MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The City of Memphis and Brown and Caldwell are proud to announce receipt of the Clean Water Professionals of Kentucky & Tennessee’s Project Excellence Award for the City’s Smart Sensor Monitoring Network Project.

The project was heralded for successfully reporting water quality parameters in near real-time across one of the nation’s largest industrial water pretreatment programs.

The annual excellence awards program recognizes excellence and innovation in the execution of projects and programs in the Kentucky or Tennessee water sector.

In 2018, Brown and Caldwell installed real-time spectrographic sensors at industrial discharge sites and the City’s two wastewater treatment plants to monitor pH, chemical oxygen demand, and other water quality parameters. With a staff of 13 and more than 100 industrial sampling sites within Memphis’ wastewater service area, these inexpensive sensors were installed in remote locations to quickly understand events further upstream without relying on inspectors or self-reporting.

Subsequently, a map-based dashboard now displays sensor data, discharge parameters, alerts, and notifications, empowering City staff with the information to monitor what is being discharged into the sewer in real-time. To potentially avoid over or under treatment and to protect the integrity of their assets, this real-time data gives the City between two to six hours to adjust plant operations while ensuring proper billing and compliance.

“The use of technology and real-time data has streamlined processes, improving the City’s responsiveness and efficiency.”

Tasha King-Davis, Administrator of Environmental Compliance and Permits, Memphis Division of Public Works

The City, through its partnerships and innovative use of new digital solutions, has demonstrated its vision of how a public utility can maximize the use and application of smart technologies.

“This was truly a collaboration where we worked alongside the City to solve a problem – too many sites to monitor and not enough resources,” said Brown and Caldwell Memphis Office Leader Joshua Balentine. “By leveraging technology and facilitating adoption of the smart sensor technologies and data, we could make the most of the City’s infrastructure integrity and recover costs in an innovative and efficient way.”

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