Saturday, 14th December 2019

Centralized control system for the reuse of wastewater in agriculture in the Balearic Islands (Spain)

Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Medio Rural y Marino

Areas of Activity: Automation and Control Systems, Information Systems

Sectors of Operation: WWTP, Irrigation Modernisation



With the aim of guaranteeing productive, sustainable and high-quality agriculture, the Ministry of the Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs (MARM), via the company Tragsa, is working, among other projects, on modernizing several irrigation schemes in the Balearic Islands as part of an Irrigation Action Plan. This project is intended to recover some of the water issuing from a wastewater treatment plant and reuse it for irrigation, thereby modernizing seven irrigators' associations and optimizing the local irrigation systems.

The project includes a range of elements, most notably a wastewater treatment plant, a system of intermediate water storage basins and an associated hydraulic system, an upstream irrigation remote control system and a downstream automatic plot control system.

It is worth noting the importance of centralized management of all the elements involved so as to ensure maximum efficiency and guarantee the water supply. For this purpose a state-of-the-art control system was used including a SCADA supervision and control system with distributed architecture, 3G communications systems, GPRS, UMTS, HDPPA, ADSL, a photovoltaic panel power supply system and standards such as S88, which helps make communications understandable. With these goals, and to facilitate operation and decision-making by the system managers, expedite the compartmentation of information with other national and European bodies and simplify the integration of any enlargements, four key aspects of the control system are worth noting:
• Communications architecture, grouped in two blocks:
a. Local control centres. A control centre located in each of the 7 communities
b. Main control centre, sited in Palma de Mallorca. It has two distinct parts:
- SCADA application, with information on all pump units and irrigation outlets, allowing up to 10 users to be connected at once in an easy way
- Web application, allowing the system’s irrigation terminals to be monitored and managed. Irrigators may access it from anywhere in the world, via a computer or mobile device with an internet connection, and monitor all the data and parameters corresponding to their land. They can also keep up with their water consumption and conveniently export the data displayed for use in Excel format.

• 495 hydrant control units. The remote unit used is the aquaReg device, manufactured and supplied by Adasa, which communicates via GPRS with each community’s local control centre. It is responsible for opening and closing electro-valves, reading and transmitting meter pulses and, in some cases, receiving analogue pressure signals.

• A PLC that manages ancillary pump inlets and outlets and communicates with the local control centre. It controls the basin regulation systems and any malfunctions that occur in the pump units, along with pump rotation and management of operating hours and maintenance staff tasks.

• Control centre. In the local control centre the SCADA system is responsible for supervising and operating all the local equipment. Likewise all information from all pump and irrigation units is centralized in the main control centre.

All this has been designed with the latest technology, supporting web and WAP access and SMS texting to mobiles, ensuring great interoperability between irrigators and the irrigation system. The system also introduces various improvements, allowing, inter alia, monitoring and supervision of electrical consumption, billing of the various irrigators, historical data records and also batch programming of remote irrigation units.