CONTROLO 2016 pp 323-333 | Cite as

Development of Soft Sensors Based on Analytical and Spectral Data on a Real Small Size Wastewater Treatment Plant

  • C. Leitão
  • L. Fernandes
  • R. Ribeiro
  • M. C. Almeida
  • C. I. C. PinheiroEmail author
  • H. M. Pinheiro
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Electrical Engineering book series (LNEE, volume 402)


Advances in measurement and automation have recently enabled the deployment of monitoring systems with high frequency data acquisition in Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTP). In this context, this work aims to design soft sensors to predict hard-to-measure wastewater quality variables required for mechanistic modeling of biological treatment in a real municipal WWTP. Input data collected at the WWTP using a flowmeter, online spectrophotometric and electrochemical probes, sampling campaigns and off-line analyses, are here used for the development of soft sensors through multivariate methods, i.e., Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Partial Least Squares (PLS) regression. Exploratory data analysis is performed to detect outliers, patterns and correlations. Soft sensor PLS models are optimized using leave-one-out cross validation and the root mean squared error (RMSE) for the prediction of an independent dataset is computed. Normalized RMSE values for organic nitrogen prediction result in 19.5 % and 18.1 % for sensors using analytical and spectral data, respectively. The possibility of using a single wavelength spectrophotometric probe is here evaluated aiming to reduce the online monitoring investment costs.


Wastewater treatment Municipal WWTP Online monitoring Prediction Partial least squares Soft sensors 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the contractor of the case study WWTP, Águas de Lisboa e Vale do Tejo (AdLVT), for technical support and information. This work was financed by Programa Operacional Regional de Lisboa 2020 (Project N. 007317) and by Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (Portugal) through project PTDC/AAG-TEC/4124/2012, and through the funding received by the iBB - Institute for Bioengineering and Biosciences (UID/BIO/04565/2013) and by the CQE - Centro de Química Estrutural.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Leitão
    • 1
  • L. Fernandes
    • 1
  • R. Ribeiro
    • 2
  • M. C. Almeida
    • 2
  • C. I. C. Pinheiro
    • 3
    Email author
  • H. M. Pinheiro
    • 1
  1. 1.iBB—Institute for Bioengineering and BiosciencesInstituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de LisboaLisbonPortugal
  2. 2.Departamento de Hidráulica e AmbienteLaboratório Nacional de Engenharia CivilLisbonPortugal
  3. 3.Centro de Química Estrutural (CQE), Instituto Superior TécnicoUniversidade de LisboaLisbonPortugal

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