Following recent developments in Flint, Michigan, it is no surprise that the issue of monitoring the quality of public water supplies has found itself under the microscope.
In 2014, the city transferred its water supply to draw from the Flint River in order to balance the city budget deficit. What wasn’t known until a year and a half later was that, due to a failure to provide corrosion control measures, city residents had been exposed to water tainted by high levels of lead.
Since the news broke, the crisis in Flint has drawn international attention, led to extreme water rationing, and forced residents to rely on emergency aid and charity. To add insult to injury, there is also a chance that the affected taxpayers will have to foot the bill to fix the problem.
As the global population continues to move into urban centers, monitoring water quality at treatment facilities has become more important than ever. Simultaneously, fixing an error in hindsight is proving incredibly dangerous and equally costly.
Thanks to 4G LTE connectivity, government bodies responsible for maintaining clean water have a solution in sight. Water monitoring solutions can supply real-time data feeds, and can actually help cash-strapped city and state governments cut overall costs.
Providing a stronger level of connectivity than Wi-Fi or 3G, LTE networks will allow water sensors the bandwidth to transfer data in real-time — at all times — through to the proper channels without a break in service.
LTE coverage also operates in a radius that vastly outpaces alternative technologies, meaning that sensors spanning across entire cities can function on one network rather than relying on patching numerous disparate towers together. This results in a decrease in downtime and a more efficient water monitoring process.
The high performance 4G LTE chipsets required to connect water sensors to enable this process are cost effective and – crucially – able to provide up to ten years of battery life. This means that water monitoring agencies can employ a network of water sensors able to check quality around-the-clock. Any indication that a toxin has entered the water supply, will alert officials immediately to begin measures to inform the public and provide alternative water supplies. The potential cost-savings that can be achieved by implementing such a network, will mean that cities are no longer forced to choose between paying bills and providing healthy drinking water for their citizens.
Providing people with healthy drinking water will continue to be of vital importance as our global population continues to rise and shift into cities, increasing the number of people that treatment facilities are responsible for keeping safe. We stand at a pivotal moment where we can effectively begin to transition to processes that are not only benefitting our physical health but our financial health as well. 4G LTE is providing us an opportunity to make the world a safer place to live.