Real-time monitoring and prediction of water quality parameters and algae concentrations using microbial potentiometric sensor signals and machine learning tools

Daniel Saboe, Hamidreza Ghasemi, Ming Ming Gao, Mirjana Samardzic, Kiril D. Hristovski, Dragan Boscovic, Scott R. Burge, Russell G. Burge, David A. Hoffman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The overarching hypothesis of this study was that temporal microbial potentiometric sensor (MPS) signal patterns could be used to predict changes in commonly monitored water quality parameters by using artificial intelligence/machine learning tools. To test this hypothesis, the study first examines a proof of concept by correlating between MPS's signals and high algae concentrations in an algal cultivation pond. Then, the study expanded upon these findings and examined if multiple water quality parameters could be predicted in real surface waters, like irrigation canals. Signals generated between the MPS sensors and other water quality sensors maintained by an Arizona utility company, including algae and chlorophyll, were collected in real time at time intervals of 30 min over a period of 9 months. Data from the MPS system and data collected by the utility company were used to train the ML/AI algorithms and compare the predicted with actual water quality parameters and algae concentrations. Based on the composite signal obtained from the MPS, the ML/AI was used to predict the canal surface water's turbidity, conductivity, chlorophyll, and blue-green algae (BGA), dissolved oxygen (DO), and pH, and predicted values were compared to the measured values. Initial testing in the algal cultivation pond revealed a strong linear correlation (R2 = 0.87) between mixed liquor suspended solids (MLSS) and the MPSs' composite signals. The Normalized Root Mean Square Error (NRMSE) between the predicted values and measured values were <6.5%, except for the DO, which was 10.45%. The results demonstrate the usefulness of MPSs to predict key surface water quality parameters through a single composite signal, when the ML/AI tools are used conjunctively to disaggregate these signal components. The maintenance-free MPS offers a novel and cost-effective approach to monitor numerous water quality parameters at once with relatively high accuracy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number142876
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume764
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 10 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Algae
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Machine learning
  • Microbial potentiometric sensor
  • Monitoring
  • Water quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

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