Distinctive functional designs for PA at water treatment plants

A functional design that is clear and of high quality is the basis for effective process automation (PA) in industrial systems. Applied correctly, it can help save on construction and operational costs. Witteveen+Bos has created functional designs for various industrial systems in the water sector.

Witteveen+Bos has extensive experience in translating process descriptions and the practical experiences of process operators into a functional process automation design. As well as resulting in process improvements, a PA system should incorporate an easy-to-use control environment so that process operators are unburdened as much as possible.

In recent decades a significant number of water treatment systems based on a functional design by Witteveen+Bos have been successfully built and put into use for industrial and community wastewater as well as drinking and process water. 

Characteristics of high-quality functional design

  • Applying both traditional and innovative process controls together with well-calibrated process management parameters is the basis for a robust and reliable PA system;
  • Incorporating the knowledge and experience of process operators is essential for a PA system’s reliable and correct operation (as well as that of the overall system);
  • Deploying intelligent controls can reduce operational costs such as those stemming from the consumption of energy and raw materials.


  • Aa en Maas Water Authority: the multidisciplinary renovation of Oijen WWTP with the aim of increasing the reliability of the whole plant and future-proofing the process automation system. The process automation system’s functionality was redefined and set down in a functional design (with the participation of process operators);
  • Vechtstromen Water Authority: the renovation of Hengelo WWTP to create an on-site energy factory. The functionality of the sludge line, gas line and energy generation system was redefined and set down in a new functional design. Various KPIs were also established;
  • NCOC, Kazakhstan: large industrial wastewater treatment system for demineralised water. Points of attention for this functional design included the location of the system (in the middle of a large ATEX zone) and the partial integration of its PA system into the central safety system of an oil processing plant.

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