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Providing Critical Data on Water Quality in Schwyz, Switzerland

Schwyz, a small Swiss city of 15,000 inhabitants, is connected to the Muotathal valley and neighboring communities through one street. Unimon was asked to provide an automated solution for minute-by-minute water quality monitoring in two wells that, because of their proximity to the construction works, were potentially at risk.

The Challenge--Ensuring Safe Drinking Water 30 Meters Underground

Schwyz, a small Swiss city of 15,000 inhabitants, is connected to the Muotathal valley and neighboring communities through one street. At the beginning of 2019, following a decision to fortify this critical artery, there was concern that the insertion of cement pillars thirty meters deep into the ground, including in water catchment areas, might result in contamination of the town’s drinking water, 90% of which is provided by wells. Manual measurements being conducted daily to monitor the water quality were not cost-effective. They did not enable the immediate response required in case contamination was detected.

 

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The Solution--Minute-By-Minute Remote Monitoring

The regional authorities and the government construction company sought the services of Unimon GmbH, experts in water and wastewater monitoring, and Ayyeka’s Swiss partner. Unimon was asked to provide an automated solution for minute-by-minute water quality monitoring in two wells that were potentially at risk because of their proximity to the construction works. In June 2019, an Ayyeka Wavelet was placed a few meters underground above each well, and a cable connected to three sensors were inserted through a pipe reaching 25 meters underground to the well itself. The sensors, placed in the water, provide real-time data on conductivity, ORP (Oxidation-reduction potential, or Redox), temperature, turbidity, and pH of the well water. The ultra-low power and fully autonomous operation of the Wavelet and its advanced encryption and authentication technology provide a cost-effective 24/7 monitoring solution.

Relevant key personnel can access real-time data reports on water quality using the DataView portal; more importantly, instant cell phone and email alerts -- generated by the Wavelet when data deviates from pre-configured thresholds -- allow for an appropriate response when water quality is compromised.

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