Harbour and Coastal Waters, UK

Poole Harbour is one of the world’s largest natural harbours, recognised internationally as an important area for nature conservation and is designated a Special Protection Area. The harbour supports extensive wild and aquaculture shellfish beds, and good water quality is vitally important.

Damaging nutrients flowing into the harbour have a negative impact on water quality, causing eutrophication and build-up of algae. The harbour authorities needed a way to monitor water quality, particularly nitrates, phosphates and e-coli. They held a competition to identify a real-time water quality measuring system to sit alongside existing, lab-based systems and reduce the man hours required. This would also act as an early warning system. The Environment Agency also has an interest in monitoring recreational and bathing sites.

UnifAI won the competition and has deployed a number of small low-cost, wireless, plug-and-play, fit-and-forget sensors on existing harbour infrastructure such as navigation buoys. These are powered by UnifAI’s proprietary artificial intelligence.

This project is being undertaken in association with Poole Harbour Commissioners, the Environment Agency, Digital Catapult’s Things Connected Bournemouth, Southern IFCA and Barclays Eagle Labs.

Poole Harbour, water quality
Poole Harbour water quality