News Releases 2021Meiden adopted as a government project on AI-based sewage treatment operations

Meidensha Corporation (Meiden) has been adopted as a Japanese government project to demonstrate technology featuring artificial intelligence (AI) to efficiently operate sewage treatment plants.

Meiden will participate in the 2021 Breakthrough by Dynamic Approach in Sewage High Technology (B-DASH) Project*1, conducted by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, with three other parties: the City of Hiroshima, Hiroshima Prefecture; Funabashi City, Chiba Prefecture; and NJS Co., Ltd.

This project is based on AI technology that was confirmed effective and practical during a two-year B-DASH Project feasibility study*2 from 2018. This study investigated whether technology designed to automate operations more efficiently at sewage treatment plants could be widely adopted*3. The project will be commissioned by the National Institute for Land and Infrastructure Management.

This advanced technology uses AI to analyze the status of the sewage treatment process based on data including operation records, water quality analyses and camera images. This system provides real-time guidance on adjusting operational variables and assessing responses as well as predict the water’s quality. AI can make the same operational decisions as a skilled water treatment plant engineer in response to changing water treatment situations. The system accumulates data so it can provide optimal operational choices.

The demonstration project is also intended to safeguard this industry against a looming shortage of skilled engineers. It will help inherit these workers’ techniques and expertise by visualizing the factors skilled engineers consider when making decisions; stabilize water quality and thereby optimize operation efficiency; and reduce maintenance costs.

Meiden will continue to develop innovative sewage treatment technologies and firmly support Japan’s social infrastructure.

Demonstration outline

*1 Launched in 2011, the government-led B-Dash Project facilitates development and use of new technologies to address various problems facing sewage operations. Under this project, real-scale facilities are established to verify technologies and guidelines compiled to promote the adoption of innovative technologies across Japan. Since 2016, feasibility studies have been conducted on the technologies’ effectiveness and potential for widespread use.

*2 This study investigated the feasibility of a new project.

*3 From Meiden press release dated April 23, 2018.

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