Posted on 24 February 2017
Under water drones of the Dutch start-up Indymo were recently used to inspect the poor quality of the surface water around Surabaya, Indonesia.
The use of the drones is part of a large-scale international research project to find ways to improve the water quality of the Brantas- and Surabaya rivers that both end up in this Indonesian city.
The research is conducted by a Dutch-Indonesian consortium with experts from many organisations, including the Indonesian organisation Ecological observation and wetlands conservation (Ecoton), the Indonesian water board Jasa Tirta 1, the river basin management organisation BBWS and the technical university of ITS Surabaya.
|The heavily polluted rivers in and around Surabaya, Indonesia.|
The consortium was hosted by the non-governmental organisation Ecological observation and wetlands conservation (Ecoton) that launched a number of initiatives to stop the pollution of these rivers and make them healthy again.
The activities range from raising awareness amongst citizens, to organizing lawsuits against polluters, and placing warning flags on locations where the river water is dangerously contaminated.
Together with Ecoton, Dutch-Indonesian experts started a base-line assessment of all aspects of water quality management, including data collection, modelling, regulation, monitoring and planning. This baseline is a first step to be able to determine the ambition and strategy with the various stakeholders.
To determine the full extent of the pollution of both rivers, different measurement methods have been applied, including the use of underwater drones of the Dutch firm Indymo.
The current measurement of the water quality, is often random and static with sensors only in one place. An important lesson of the collaborative research is that such random samples are not representative of a body of water, given the water quality parameters in space and time can vary widely.
The use of drones allowed to take a closer look at the 35 m deep sediment underneath a floating fish pond. It was assumed that such fish ponds, by the excessive use of fish feed, are responsible for high nutrient and low oxygen levels.
The measurements showed that the water quality at these ponds do not differ much from other locations. However, there are now clear indications that the sediment is contaminated by accumulation of contaminants which needs further research.
High pollution levels
Measurements with sensors on fishing boats revealed that the water quality varies from location to location. Locations with high BOD and COD levels could be associated with the various points of discharge of domestic and industrial waste water.
The industrial-related measurements have not yet been published but will be discussed first in a constructive and open dialogue with the industry and individual companies.
The joint outcome of sustainable, cost-effective solutions is one of the most important tasks of the consortium in the coming years.
|Floris Boogaard (right) and Rui Lama (left) holding the equipment they used to measure the water quality.|
Indymo is a start-up that works in the field of the management of water resources and water quality.
The company focusses on innovative ways of monitoring water quality and ecology using underwater drones and apps.
Indymo has two offices in Leeuwarden and Delft and the main supporting partners in this project are Delft university of technology, consultancy firm Tauw, water quality centre WLN, research institute Deltares and specialist on floating urbanization DeltaSync.
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● Van Oord signs dredging contract Surabaya harbour, Indonesia, 3 April 2014
● Country: Indonesia
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Water quality study of Brantas Basin using underwater drones in East Java, Indonesia.