During  Santa Croce sull'Arno WWTP's operativity, many expansions and modifications occurred to each treatment stage, leading to unevitable changes in plant's control systems, particualrly for analytical aspects.

Despite the installation of the most recent available technologies for the process control, a leading role for the management of the plant is covered by the analytical laboratory. Each purification step needs a dedicated analytical protocol, which can be more or less complex, on the basis of the stage typology.

Excluding physical measurements,  such as levels or flow rates, only few parameters can be remote controlled via specific probes or sensors. This lack of remote control availability, requires a series of analytical determinations, to provide the necessary outcomes for the correct operativity of the purification process.

Continuous regulatory updates and plant's modifications have required changes to the number and the typology of laboratory analysis at the same time, which have been continuously revised and modified.

In 2001 the conversion to "Tutto Biologico" process, highlighted the necessity of a more intense analytical control of external and internal wastewater. All biological processes require more attentions over a major number of parameters regarding the influent and effluent streams of each depuration stage. This is necessary in order to ensure the maximum efficiency and the right vitality of the  activated sludge within the basins. The equilibrium between the various coexisting microbial consortia, distributed in differents stages, plays a determining role for the whole treatment process efficiency. All analytical protocols have been reviewed and the number of parameters have been increased as well as the sampling frequencies, this, specially for the purpose to obtain the optimum  microbial acitvity.

To deal with all these new analitycal needs, in 2010 a new internal analytical laboatory was opened, larger than the old one and provided with modern instruments and premises.

The analytical laboratory supervisor is also the plant manager, whom  provides the coordination of the analytical activities and the precise data analysis of their results. On the grounds of these outcomes the manager organizes the interventions of specialized teams, operating 24/7, 365 days per years.

Over and above the control of the treatment process, the laboratory activity is useful also for its optimization. After the merging with Ecoespanso, processes improvement issue has gained a leading role among the managing ones. Thanks to the modern instruments and the possibility to  cross-check data related to the two plants, an important contribute to the optimization of the whole wastewater treatment process has been given, from the wastewater  to the excess sludge treatment. 



Besides the regular control activities and related analysis, special tests and R&D activities are often carried out by chemists. Not only are particular evalutations of new products and new treatment technologies performed, but also all supporting activities to the Aquarno's R&D Projects are accomplished in the analytical laboratory.

A workbench specially dedicated for these purposes has been placed in the laboratory and then it has been fit-out with special auxiliary instruments that, with others already existing, make it possible the accomplishment of main experimentations about wastewater treatment processes.