BANDUNG, unpas.ac.id – Today, most rivers in Indonesia are categorized to have heavy pollution because of many household and industrial activities.
These are in line with the data released by Ministry of Environment and Forestry (Kementerian Lingkungan Hidup dan Kehutanan, KLHK) in mid-2021. The Ministry revealed that 59 percent of rivers in Indonesia were detected in a heavily polluted condition. Waste that pollutes river causes aquatic biota to be unable to live due to lack of oxygen.
In order to help monitor water quality and maintain the viability of aquatic biota, a teacher in the Environmental Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering (FT) Universitas Pasundan Dr. Yonik Meilawati Yustiani, ST., MT. created an Internet of Things (IoT)-based water quality monitoring tool (Alat Pantau Kualitas Air, ATAIR).
The design and development of ATAIR was also assisted by a Mechanical Engineering Department teacher, Ir. Djoko Widodo, MT. and alumni of Environmental Engineering Department Fachruzia, ST. and Ilham Maulana Yusuf, ST.
The tool itself was officially applied in Cimahi and Cikijing River. These locations were chosen because of their river stream is close to the textile industry. The use of ATAIR was proven effective to analysis the change of river water quality.
So far, water quality monitoring is still being done conventionally, namely by doing field survey, collecting water sample, then being tested in the laboratory and recorded manually. Besides taking a lot of time, efforts and sum of money, the conventional monitoring can only find out the water quality at short-time and its result may not necessarily represent the actual current conditions.
ATAIR is designed to monitor water quality in real time by using an IoT system, so that the results of water monitoring can be accessed at any time via gadget or computer. The water quality parameters which are measured consist of dissolved oxygen (DO), pH, total suspended solid (TSS), and temperature.
“ATAIR is also supported by the Arduino microcontroller to simplify the monitoring process by simply placing the device in the location to be monitored,” she said on Tuesday, 15 February 2022.
Yonik also said that the tool was firstly initiated around 2017, but it has not been labelled ATAIR yet. The next year, this tool has been submitted for a grant-fund proposal of Calon Perusahaan Pemula Berbsasis Teknologi (CPPBT) and passed the selection to be funded.
“After that, we did the research and tool development. It was finally named and branded ATAIR. We registered its brand in 2018,” she said.
From the moment it was launched, the form of ATAIR keep being evolved. Initially, its components were put in a water-tight container with the sensor probe on the outside.
In order to be able to work optimally in the waters, ATAIR is now equipped with buoys and sensors to identify water quality. Later, the water will be analysed and sent in graphical form by connecting to a WiFi modem attached in the microcontroller.
Regarding accuracy, ATAIR has been calibrated in the laboratory using a buffer solution. Included sensors such as pH sensor, temperature sensor, analogue turbidity sensor, and DO sensor are also calibrated for use in rivers and to provide accurate results.
“In addition to measuring river water quality, ATAIR is also possible to be used in ponds, lakes, reservoirs, dams, water treatment plants, and other aquatic fields,” she explained.
Compared to similar products on the market, ATAIR offers the advantages of a dissolved oxygen (DO) feature that can detect oxygen levels in the water. The more oxygen levels, the better for the biota.
“In terms of Environmental Engineering, I think the way ATAIR works is optimal, it just needs to be improved in the electrical and mechanical aspects. For the development of both, we submit it to the Innovation Centre and Business Incubator (Pusat Inovasi dan Inkubator Bisnis, PIIB),” she explained.
The development of ATAIR is expected to be able to maintain the quality of the environment, especially waters so that they comply with quality standards and do not become a source of waterborne diseases.
By monitoring the quality of the aquatic environment, agricultural, plantation and rice fields are guaranteed to get good water through their irrigation system. ATAIR can also help certain industries that require continuous data on water quality for production control and environmental monitoring. (Reta)*