DIAMOND is a 24-month ‘Research for SMEs’ European Union's (FP7/2007_2013) project that began in September 2012 and finished in August 2014. The project aims to achieve a model of excellence in the management of wastewater treatment systems by addressing the design, development, implementation and validation of new advanced data management, monitoring and control algorithms and tools for supporting the optimum operation of wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs).
The overall objective of the project is: “to optimize the global operation of wastewater systems by adequately managing and using all the information available in the plant at every moment”.
It is well known that process monitoring systems and automatic controllers play a very important role in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). On the one hand, process monitoring software tools are in general meant to facilitate the daily decision making of the WWTP operators, where the information needed by these monitoring systems mostly comes from heterogeneous data sets made up by various sources of data in the plant (online sensors and analysers, laboratory analysis, programmable logic controllers, etc.). On the other hand, process controllers become a must when complex decisions must be based on a large number of operational variables in order to maintain the optimum operational point of a plant.
However, the successful implementation of existing process monitoring software tools and control systems very much depends on the reliability and completeness of the data collected, the quality of the information extracted and how quickly and easily it is accessed. On the one hand, although online sensors and analysers as well as data acquisition and data base systems have greatly evolved, they do not guarantee reliable data, high quality information and easy access: sensors have failures, delays, drift and noise, and data acquisition and data base systems frequently are incompatible.