How to Develop Smart River Monitoring

This is the third in the series of “How-To”. Let’s take a look at how we can solve the problem of river pollution and improve the quality of the river.


Example – River Pollution

Background & Impact of River Pollution

  • Malaysia has 120 rivers which are sources of water supply, and 43 were located in Selangor
  • Sungai Selangor provided water to 60 per cent of residents in the Klang Valley. Water treatment plant at Sungai Selangor cost about RM900 million
  • Nearly 40% of rivers in Selangor are known as dead rivers. Klang and Gombak rivers are among the most polluted water systems in Malaysia.
  • 64 cases of river contamination occurred in the past five years, with 15 in the last year alone
  • In Selangor alone, the amount of solid waste could rise to 6,000 tons by 2017. More than 19 percent of waste end up in the drains, which then causes flash floods and other health problems.
  • Consumers will face an increase in water tariffs if the current pollution of rivers in the city continues to worsen

Problem Statement

  1. What are the pollutants in the river?
  2. What is the pollution level?
  3. When is the highest pollution detected?
  4. Where is the location of contaminants?
  5. Who is contributing to the rise in pollution?
  6. How to control the pollution level?
  7. How much is the pollution level?
  8. Why is the pollution rising at a particular time?
  9. Why is the pollution rising at certain locations?


  1. Chemical sensors
  2. Water level sensors
  3. Network infrastructure (Wifi, 3G)
  4. Visualization Dashboard
  5. Analytics
  6. Crowd-sourced violation information (mobile device)
  7. GPS input
  8. Hydro morphology e.g. depth, width, flow
  9. Water temperature sensor
  10. In-situ (manual sampling)
  11. Weather sensors

This is by no means a comprehensive step-by-step solution but it will help you to start your exciting journey in developing your own IoT solution. Feel free to add your suggestions.

About the Author

Dr. Mazlan Abbas is an IOT Evangelist, Thought Leader and CEO of REDtone IOT. You can reach him on LinkedIn at or Twitter at . Check all presentation slides HERE.
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