• Intelligent, autonomous control of iron dosing for effective phosphate removal

    Able to sense, think, act and adapt to changing circumstances
  • Drastically reduce additive use in meeting and maintaining compliance

    40% savings compared to insurance based approach
  • Low cost, easy to deploy, maintain and operate

    Integrates with existing inlet monitoring instruments and supervises dosing pumps

What is IRONMAN™?

IRONMAN™ is an innovative wastewater treatment control technology based on Artificial Intelligence. It is used to control the addition of iron additives to remove phosphate as part of the wastewater treatment process.

  • Reduce risk of breaching permitted consents
  • Prevent overuse and waste of chemical additives
  • Easily integrate with existing instruments at wastewater treatment works
  • Reduce carbon footprint of wastewater treatment process
  • Eliminate requirements for expensive human intervention and laboratory analysis

IRONMAN™ is self-managing and easily deployed. Through the optimisation of iron additives, this technology has the potential to save thousands of pounds; benefitting water companies, their customers and the environment.


What are the benefits of IRONMAN™?

  1. Cost and ease of deployment - IRONMAN™ is much cheaper and easier to deploy than existing technologies. This is particularly applicable on smaller WwTW’s where expensive Real-Time Control systems are not viable.
  2. Reduce additive use - Current treatment control is often wasteful. IRONMAN™ can save around 40% of additives while maintaining permitted consent levels.
  3. Reduce energy use - The over-addition of chemicals is also wasteful in terms of energy used to produce the chemicals and the overall carbon-footprint of the treatment process.
  4. Reduce environmental impact - Controlling the amount of phosphate discharged from wastewater treatment plants is paramount to maintain the ecological balance within receiving watercourses
  5. Easy integration - System can be easily integrated with existing standard flow and quality instruments already installed on small wastewater treatment works.
  6. Observability – The web-based IRONMAN™ dashboard enables observation of performance trends, faults and alarms, and integration with existing control room systems.
  7. Adaptability – Able to sense, think, act and adapt to changing circumstances. This powerful technology is able to mimic human reasoning, executing narrow tasks efficiently and safely.
  8. Asset stretching – The AI based technology aligns with the current requirement for intelligent systems that best leverage existing assets.


How does it work?

IRONMAN™ is an IoT technology with embedded fuzzy-logic AI. It is modular, robust and easily deployed, with an inbuilt communications network and a web-hosted dashboard. A module monitors inlet conditions as a surrogate for phosphate load. Information is relayed to the IRONMAN Hub which decides dosing rates. A further module issues commands to the dosing pumps and monitors pump health.

These low-cost autonomous systems sense, think and act, adapting to changing circumstances. They mimic human reasoning, executing narrow tasks efficiently and safely. This powerful technology can take away the need for expensive human intervention and provide pronounced improvements on current processes and systems for significant cost benefit.


What is the business case for IRONMAN™?

At larger Wastewater Treatment Works, sophisticated processes, sensing and treatment control are in place. Additionally, further investments are more justifiable based on high throughput. The problems of permit reductions are being tackled by new treatment processes and real-time-control, including expensive direct-measurement phosphate monitors.

However, at small WwTW (<50,000 Population Equivalent), the treatment train can be simple and less flexible, and site footprints offer little scope for expansion. Moreover, large investments cannot be justified on throughput and are unaffordable. New phosphate consents mean the common way of using iron additives is becoming exhausted and is very wasteful in an age where resource and energy waste is becoming a focus and less acceptable.

An “insurance approach” is often used at small Wastewater Treatment Works whereby enough iron additive is used to cope with assumed or adverse phosphate loads rather than prevailing conditions. This can result in the overuse of chemicals and is becoming ineffective due to the competing priorities of controlling against phosphate and iron concentration permit levels. Our own detailed analysis has shown that IRONMAN™ will save up to 40% of additive. At a 10,000 population equivalent (PE) site, this would save  approximately 80 tonnes per annum of ferric sulphate, equating to £11,000 in chemical costs alone.

When considering the cost of IRONMAN™, this gives a payback of less than 24 months. For 50,000 PE sites, this reduces to less than 6 months. This payback calculation doesn’t consider the brand impact of breaching consents, and the accompanying fines which have increased massively in size in recent years. In terms of capital avoidance, solutions which incorporate local SCADA/RTC using wet-chemistry instruments have associated costs in the order of six figures and more. If treatment processes had to be changed then costs could increase several-fold.



Want to know more?

For more information on IRONMAN™, please contact Dr Kieran Williams at or call 0114 272 2270


Request a Callback

During office hours we aim to contact you within 30 minutes !
Message (optional)