Gross pollutant trap (GPT) sensors

CSIRO’s team is using sensors to monitor stormwater drains and gross pollutant traps (GPTs) across Australia. This new technology allows for real-time monitoring to manage our city’s waterways more safely, cost-effectively and efficiently, before waste is lost to the environment.

Real-time monitoring

Using low-cost sensors placed in GPTs, we are monitoring debris build-up within a drain and can send notifications when traps are full and require emptying.

Sensors are part of a local network where information is conveyed to a nearby gateway. From there, the information is aggregated for further analysis and can be accessed via a web-based user dashboard. Notifications are set up based on litter depth specified by the user.

A sensor detecting litter in a road-side gully basket GPT in Hobart. 

Current development

The team are working on Phase II of sensor development with in-built processing capabilities, improved sensor housing and increased battery life.

The long-term goal is to have self-sufficient sensors that require little human intervention once in place.

An example of the current sensor.

Optimisation models are being developed for decision support tools to help councils better manage their assets, cost effectively and safely whilst ensuring waste is not lost to the environment.

Infrastructure required

Data from the sensors is transmitted to a LoRa WAN gateway.

Installation of the sensors is quick, simply requiring positioning above the asset’s collection area. Sensors require little maintenance. In future deployments, snap-lock frames will be attached to grates from which a sensor can simply be exchanged, or an external QR code can be read for automatic registration of the sensor at a new location.

Data is retrieved via a nearby LoRa router.

Sensor trials

Initial sensor trials have taken place in Hobart and we are currently setting up trials in Sydney. In the coming years, we will be conducting nation-wide trials with funding from DCCEEW as part of a larger suite of plastic work.

Ongoing sensor development

Further development to expand the capability to suit user needs (such as additional sensor types) is underway.

If you wish to know more about the project please do not hesitate to contact Denise Hardesty