The quality specifications to be fulfilled by the cooling water are established by national and regional legislations and include a wide variety of physical (e.g. suspended solids, turbidity, conductivity), microbiological (e.g. aerobic microorganisms), and chemical parameters (e.g. pH, ammonia, total nitrogen, total phosphorus, residual chlorine, etc.).
At present, virtually all these parameters are determined in the laboratory from samples collected in situ, using standard analytical techniques (e.g. those in UNE/EN/ISO standards). Since transport to the laboratory, sample processing and the analyses themselves (especially microbiological ones, requiring a prolonged incubation period) are slow processes, it would be desirable to have a reliable, safe and specific sensor manifold, capable of determining in situ, in (quasi)real time and continuously these parameters. The sensor system will guarantee at all times the quality of the cooling water of the power plant, allowing a quick decision-making in case any of the parameters leave the set intervals.