SWIG news – e-newsletter No 24

February 27th, 2018


SWIG summer newsletter

Welcome to the summer newsletter for SWIG members! We hope everyone is enjoying the warm weather. We are busy preparing for the next SWIG biennial Sensing in Water conference and exhibtion on 27-28 September, but also looking ahead to an exciting programme of events after September.

We have a bumper pack of great discounts for SWIG members – read on for offers available exclusively to SWIG members.

We just held a workshop on Low Cost Sensors to hear about their use in water companies and for environmental monitoring. The speakers were excellent, with some interesting discussions generated and as ever the presentations are available to download from the website. A write up by the Chairman Justin Dunning, is also provided below.

Looking ahead to late 2017 and early 2018 we have a broad programme of events, with something for everyone:

  • 22 Nov 2017: Innovation brokerage workshop, kindly hosted by the Water Innovation & Research Centre, University of Bath
  • Jan 2018: Water & Health, a joint workshop with the RSC Water Science Forum kindly hosted by IBST, UWE
  • Mar 2018: Latest developments in water sensors, a joint workshop with the RSC EASSG, venue TBC
  • Apr 2018: Sensors for water and wastewater maintenance, venue TBC
  • May 2018: Condition monitoring, venue TBC
  • Jun 2018: Sensing and data driven technologies for future water networks, venue TBC
  • Jul 2018: State of the art of wastewater monitoring, venue TBC

If you are interested in presenting at any of these events, or hosting/sponsoring an event please drop me a line. We are always interested in hearing expressions of interest to present, or topics you would like us to cover in future.

The below newsletter includes the following items of interest:

  1. Sensing in Water conference & exhibition
  2. More details on the Innovation brokerage workshop & call for papers
  3. Forward programme of SWIG events
  4. Low Cost Sensor workshop write up
  5. Discounts for SWIG members
  6. Partners sought for seawater field trials of an E coli alert system
  7. Partners sought for in situ field trials of a droplet microfluidic sensor
  8. UK Water companies sought for field trials of a flood control system for use in wastewater networks
  9. Funding opportunities inc partner for Innovate funding bid sought

We continue to get good feedback from our events. Just a selection of comments from attendees at our Low Cost Sensor workshop on 5 July:

  • Good network opportunities an connect with companies and industry colleagues” (a water company);
  • “Excellent opportunity for networking” (an academic);
  • Good for networking if not collaboration per se” (a consultant)

If you like what you hear in this e-newsletter – please spread the word about SWIG by using the Tweet & Like buttons at the bottom of this email. If you have any colleagues or clients who would like to hear about SWIG they can sign up to our mailing list from the bottom right corner of the SWIG website.

If you are proud of being a member of SWIG and would like to shout about this useful networking and knowledge sharing group, we can provide the SWIG logo for you to include on your website with a link to the SWIG website. Just get in touch with me to ask for the logo.

We hope you find this newsletter useful read.
See you at a workshop soon!

Rosa Richards, Programme Manager for SWIG

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Sensing in Water conference & exhibition

 27-28 September 2017: Sensing in Water conference & exhibition, Nottingham Belfry

‘Meaningful measurement from the micro to the macro scale’

Our 4th biennial conference and exhibition promises to be bigger and better than ever! In 2015, 180 people attended Sensing in Water over the 2 days of the conference, including 12 major water companies. 40 exhibitors presented their products and services in the exhibition, many of whom are repeat customers at our conference so don’t miss the opportunity to advertise and raise your profile to the water sensor community!

Why attend: Learn how water sensor technologies can help to deliver value from the micro to the macro scale in the water treatment cycle. Sensors can enable both operational and capital efficiency savings. Stay up to date with the latest developments from end users, regulators, researchers and manufacturers of water sensors & related technology. Presentations will range from the micro (sensor design), to process control, to network monitoring, up to the use of monitoring at the catchment scale including clean water, wastewater and environmental applications.

Who should attend: water companies, consultants, regulators, researchers, sensor manufacturers & distributors.

Special offer: Large corporate members (>250 employees) are entitled to 2 free delegate places at the conference – these will be allocated on a first come first served basis on booking.

Only one stand left, book soon to avoid disappointment!

Opportunities to sponsor SiW 2017

Draft final programme

Online Booking Form

Pricing Structure



Media Partners

Next SWIG event

22 Nov 2017: Innovation brokerage workshop,

Kindly hosted by the Water Innovation & Research Centre, University of Bath

Chaired by: Chris Jones, Northumbrian Water Ltd

Location: University of Bath

Overview: There is a wealth of new technology and innovation being developed in UK universities which often translates into the development of new products in industry.  Successful translation and exploitation of academic research depends on recognising potential and forming necessary collaborations.  This SWIG Innovation workshop is designed to bring together academic research groups and interested companies to identify potential technologies, collaboration, and exploitation opportunities in the area of sensor technologies developed for use in water.

The need for new sensor technologies for water is often driven by legislation and the need for regular measurements at lower concentrations, or the need for more rapid or more reliable measurements made at remote sensing sites.  This encompasses a wide range of technologies that are used for measuring physical, chemical or biological parameters in or of water.  For examples sensors that measure water pressure, height or chemical and biosensors for measuring dissolved components, pollutants or microorganisms.  How remote sensors and sensor networks communicate reliably and securely, energy harvesting and data management are other important technology areas that form part of a modern water sensing system..

Call for papers: Universities and companies are invited to promote their research and technologies and submit a paper for presentation at the above workshop.  Instrument manufacturers ​and end users are also invited to submit a paper to outline their needs to the R&D community.​ Please send an abstract (100 words max) to rosa.richards@swig.org.uk by the 31st July 2017.

Cost: £89.00 inc VAT for SWIG members.  £161 inc VAT for non-members. £20 for students. Literature may be distributed for a fee of £67 and a limited number of table top displays are available at £128 each.

Booking: please use the online booking form or contact rosa.richards@swig.org.uk

SWIG Forward Workshop programme

27-28 September 2017: Sensing in Water conference & exhibition, Nottingham please see above for details of the conference.

22 Nov 2017Innovation brokerage workshop, kindly hosted by the Water Innovation & Research Centre, University of Bath – call for papers ends 31 July

Jan 2018: Water & Health, a joint workshop with the RSC Water Science Forum kindly hosted by IBST, UWE

Mar 2018: Latest developments in water sensors, a joint workshop with the RSC EASSG, venue TBC

Apr 2018: Sensors for water and wastewater maintenance, venue TBC

May 2018: Condition monitoring, venue TBC

Jun 2018: Sensing and data driven technologies for future water networks, venue TBC

Jul 2018: State of the art of wastewater monitoring, venue TBC

Please visit the SWIG website for more details on each event.

For offers of presentations for the 2017/2018 programme please contact rosa.richards@swig.org.uk

Also if you would like to suggest a topic for a future workshop or host a future SWIG workshop please contact Rosa.

Low Cost Sensor workshop, 5 July 2017 – write up

The SWIG Low Cost Sensors Workshop took place in spacious and comfortable surroundings at University of Southampton on 5th July with very close to 50 attendees registered.  The workshop took the usual SWIG format with contributions from Sensor Users within the Water Industry, Suppliers and Academics.

A change to the schedule gave Brian Back of RDN the opening presentation, a real key address, which provided delegates with 9 pointers on keeping things simple in relation to sensor deployments, which in itself leads to reduced costs for the user.  Thames Water made their presence known with Catalina Pedraza of the Innovation team and Yvonne Ryan of the Smart metering team, providing two presentations one in relation to pipe asset management with pressure transient measurements and one on Thames Waters’s Smart Meter role out.  Both provided a useful insight in how Water Utilities are grasping the low cost sensor topic, applying to different requirements within their networks.

Delegates were then provided with a suppliers perspective of Smart metering, where Dan Simmons of Quensus explained some of the issue in the fitment of smart metering and provided some pointers on technologies to look out for in the future.  Before lunch, Adam Jones of IBM went a step further with the future view, providing details on what other utilities are currently looking to implement with regard to smart sensors, and a future where utility customers have real control of both their energy consumption and generation, resulting in a direct link to the energy market.

After an extended Q & A session and busy networking lunch, it was the turn of the academics to provide a picture of the types of low cost sensors users can expect in the future.  Up first, Eion Murray of TE Laboratories provided updates on two of their key projects, the AquaMonitrix and novel miniaturised capillary-based ion chromatography system, both for nutrient monitoring. This topic is currently of real interest within both the environmental and water utility sectors. This was emphasised again with a presentation from the workshop hosts, University of Southampton, where Dr Adrian Nightingale presented a new concept in wet chemistry techniques for nutrient monitoring, in the form of a microfluidic system utilising discrete droplets within a stream of oil.

At the end of the workshop, a discussion was opened up on the theme of the day, with comments including such issues as data security within sensor networks and the relationship between calibrated sensors and their costs. All in all a very informative and well attended day, with good feedback from the attendees.

Justin Dunning, Sales Manager, Chelsea Technologies Group & currently SWIG Chairman

Discounts for SWIG members

5-7 September 2017: 15th International Computing & Control for the Water Industry Conference, Sheffield

‘Intelligent water systems’

This is the fifteenth in the CCWI series of biennial conferences organised by the universities of Brunel, De Montfort, Exeter, Imperial College and Sheffield.

Focusing mainly on water systems modelling and control this conference aims to bring together leading experts from academia and industry. Researchers and practitioners will be given the opportunity to discuss, present and disseminate recent advances in research and industry. Other short courses, group meetings and exhibitions, are also planned during the conference.

The main aims of the conference are:
• To facilitate continued co-operation of academic institutions and industry
• To examine the current state-of-the-art in computing and control techniques applicable to the water industry
• To provide a forum for discussions and the dissemination of ideas on applied computing and control for the water industry.

For further info see the website

SWIG members are entitled to a 5% discount. Go to registration and click on the line for SWIG members to qualify. £522.50 instead of £550 for 3 day delegate place.

20-23 September 2017: 15th European Conference of the International Network of Basin Organisations, County Dublin, Ireland

Sessions will cover:

  • WFD, upcoming milestones: 2019 Review, 3rd RMBPs and beyond
  • Adaptation to Climate Change: Pressures, Priorities, Insurances, Impacts and Resilience of Government Agencies and Economic Sectors
  • Public Participation: Statutory Consultation for RBMP, SEA, NIS and PoMs Development and on-going Sectoral, Voluntary, NGO and Network Participation
  • New Threats to Aquatic Environments: Degradation of Natural Capital and Ecosystems, Emerging Contaminants and Hazardous Substances, Micro pollutants including plastics entering the food-chain, Non-point source pollution, Hydromorphology, Alien Species

SWIG members are entitled to a discount of almost 20%! (€325 registration fee, discounted from €395) to obtain this discount, please use the following link

3-4 Oct 2017: European Waste Water Management Conference, Leeds

Now in its 11th year the European Waste Water Management Conference is the UK’s leading event covering the management and treatment of wastewater.

The conference considers all aspects of the wastewater treatment cycle from the sewer to discharge of final effluent and the impacts on receiving watercourses; and provides a forum for practitioners and researchers to meet and discuss the needs and interests of the European water industry.

SWIG member discount: members are entitled to a 10% discount – simply use the code SWIG10 on registration! website

20-21 Nov 2017: Biosolids & Organic Resources, Leeds

Now in its third decade, ‘The Biosolids & Organic Resources conference’ gives an essential annual update on: legislatory changes, new technologies, best practice and site-experiences with existing technologies and an insight into relevant research in the science and engineering encompassing biosolids and organic resources production and use.

SWIG members are entitled to a discount of 10%, simply use the code SWIG10 on registering for the event. website

7 Dec 2017: Water Scotland, Glasgow

The Water Scotland conference is now in its 6th year and it is the only event that brings together the whole sector to share leading and strategic expertise specific to Scotland. This is the only conference and networking dinner that brings together the whole sector to share leading case studies and strategic expertise specific to Scotland.

SWIG member discount: members are entitled to a 15% discount simply use the code FW15 when registering to attend website

Partners sought for seawater field trials of an E coli alert system

Fluidion has developed the E. coli ALERT system which automates all sample acquisition, preparation and microbiological analysis steps, being able to rapidly measure bacteriological contamination directly in-situ, transmit data wirelessly to remote servers and issue automatic alerts. The ALERT system technology is field-validated and being commercialised for fresh water applications, and has recently been extended to seawater analysis. Currently, Fluidion is performing field trials for beach monitoring, and is looking for partners to extend such trials to all seawater applications (beach, aquaculture, outflow and storm monitoring).

If interested in participating in a pilot trial of this technology, please email terry@planet-ocean.co.uk

Partners sought for field trials of a droplet microfluidic sensor

A research team from Southampton University’s Faculty of Engineering and the Environment have developed a novel chemical sensor platform based on droplet microfluidics. This technology allows accurate assaying of water chemistry, with much more efficient consumable use relative to existing state-of-the-art microfluidic sensors.

The sensor technology can be used to detect a wide range of natural and anthropogenic chemical species (e.g. nutrients, pollutants) and can do so with continuous calibration and at a high maximum temporal frequency (up to 30 measurements per minute if required). The sensors are now being further developed for commercialisation in collaboration with University spin-out company SouthWestSensor Ltd.

The technology has thus far been applied to measuring the dynamic variation of nitrate in a tidal river over the tidal cycles, and we now are looking for partners to help us validate the technology in other environments and with other target analytes. If you have a suitable application then we want to hear from you!

Please contact Xize Niu: email x.niu@soton.ac.uk, telephone 023 8059 2367.

Water companies sought for field trials of a floo control system for use in wastewater networks

CENTAUR has been successfully trialled in Europe. EMS is looking for UK water companies for further trials of CENTAUR.

CENTAUR utilises existing storage capacity in wastewater networks to reduce flood risk at downstream sites. It achieves this by local monitoring and control, using robust fuzzy logic AI to process real-time in-sewer level information.

CENTAUR can deliver benefits equivalent to capital intensive (storage tank) solutions at orders of magnitude lower cost. It can have the equivalent effect of SUDS but avoids issues of public- and developer-acceptability. It could also be used in active management of CSO spills, or to regulate flows into energy intensive assets.

Please contact Prof Pete Skipworth, Managing Director of EMS on (0)114 272 2270  or email Pete.Skipworth@em-solutions.co.uk

An EU Horizon 2020 Project

Funding opportunity

Innovation Follow-on Call:  Enabling innovation in the UK and developing countries – JeS now open

Pathfinder grants available

The Follow-on Fund is a ‘proof of concept’ fund to support the commercialisation of ideas arising from NERC-funded research. It picks up where research grants finish and enables those research outputs to be further developed so their commercial potential can be realised.

Before applying to the Follow-on Fund it is recommended that you have a good understanding of the market environment for your technology, a clear idea of who you believe will be interested in it, and why, and that you have a credible plan for driving your project towards an appropriate commercial outcome. If you are uncertain on any of these issues you are strongly advised to apply for a Pathfinder grant. This funding is available all year round but early application this calendar year provides a better chance of applying for the Follow-on Fund call opened in the spring and will be closing in September 2017.

Examples of activities that NERC has supported include technology licensing, launching technology-based products or services, selling know-how based consultancy services, and the commercialisation of NERC-funded datasets.

For further information go to the website or contact the Senior Programme Manager, Tessa Edgecombe (tjed@nerc.ac.uk/01793 442610).