Conception of a sensor system for online-detection of organic trace substances (SenSOS)

Sensor system WATERTRACE set up at the drinking water purification plant Rauental (Stadtwerke Rastatt)

In the SenSOS project the organic trace substances detecting online sensor system WATERTRACE is tested both in the drinking water purification process of the Stadtwerke Rastatt in Rauental and the waste water treatment of the sewage treatment plant of the city of Baden-Baden. In Rauental the system is supposed to be used as supplementary inflow control of the untreated water and for monitoring the activated carbon filtration by near real-time analyzed data.

High performace instrumental analysis techniques are avalable for almost all organic compounds. However, due to the financial, time and human resources involved, such laboratory procedures are only carried out in longer intervals. In order to be able to detect short-term pollutant emissions into water resources or their treatment process promptly, the use of an online sensor system is an ideal solution. At present, however, almost none solutions for online analysis of organic components are available on the market. Fields of application of the sensor system being developed include untreated water of water supply companies as well as the evaluation of the removal performance of the fourth treatment stage in effluents of sewage treatment plants.

The aim of the SenSOS project is to test the applicability of the online sensor system WATERTRACE for the detection of organic compounds down to the lower μg/L range. Methodologically, a robust technology and long maintenance intervals have priority. In the future, such a sensor can be installed at strategically important water transfer points and provide timely information about changes in water conditions or hazards.

After the installation of the system in the Rauental waterworks of the municipal drinking water supplier Stadtwerke Rastatt, calibrations of organic substances in the local water matrix has been done which allowed the achievement of practical performance parameters. The WATERTRACE will be connected to the well water, an apron measuring point and the outlet of the activated carbon filters installed for PFAS removal. The purpose of these measurements is to check the extent to which changes in the water composition can be detected online.

In addition to the measurements in the drinking water sector, the applicability of the system in the field of advanced wastewater treatment (fourth treatment stage) was also tested in the community sewage treatment plant Sinzheim/Baden-Baden.


Happel, O.; Mertineit, S.; Brauch, H.-J.: Online-Sensor zur Überwachung der Wasserbeschaffenheit auf organische Verbindungen. Vom Wasser 110/3, 80-83 (2012)

Happel, O.; Mertineit, S.; Brauch, H.-J.; Krieg, G.; Fey, D.; Coric, D.; Walter M.: Online-Sensorsystem zur Überwachung der Wasserbeschaffenheit auf organische Verbindungen Mitt Umweltchem Ökotox 2012, 18(3) 66-69 (2012)

Krieg, G.; Fey, D.; Happel, O.; Mertineit, S.: Verfahren und Vorrichtung zur Detektion von Fremdstoffen in Wasser, Europäische Patentschrift EP 2786126 B1, Patenterteilung: 11.10.2017.