Ammonia levels are important for water treatment plants using river water as the water source.
High ammonia levels in the inlet water cause major problems in the disinfection process. By successfully measuring the ammonia content in river water, at inlets to water treatment plants, organisations are able to protect the inlet supply. In some applications, when ammonia levels hit unacceptably high levels, the inlet can be closed.
Ion selective electrode based instruments can be expensive and complex, using costly reagents which are toxic and difficult to dispose of. These monitors are also non specific and require continuous calibration. Detection of very low level ammonia is difficult and this type of technology, is not well suited to measuring levels of ammonia in river water which are often less than 0.1ppm.
Colorimeter based system can measure low levels. They use toxic chemical that are expensive and difficult to dispose of. The systems are also non continuous and in some cases, could be up to 30 minutes before a high level is detected.
HOW it works.
The dissolved ammonia monitor uses reaction chemistry that converts ammonia in solution, to a stable monochloramine compound equivalent in concentration, to the original ammonia level.
The chloramine concentration is then measured with a unique amperometric sensor that responds linearly to chloramines, while eliminating interference from excess free chlorine in solution.
The Q45/46N uses reagents which are simple and inexpensive, and their usage is low. As a consequence the Q45N has a very low cost of ownership.
Since 2009 United Utilities, Scottish Water, Severn Trent, Wessex Water and South West Water have installed several units. A typical trace from one of the three Q45N monitors installed on the River Dee protection scheme is shown below. It shows the sensitivity and response time of the monitor.
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