Water monitoring sensors in industrial, municipal and environmental monitoring are advancing our understanding of science, aid developments in process automatization and control and support real-time decisions in emergency situations. Sensors are becoming smaller, smarter, increasingly specialized and diversified and cheaper. Advanced deployment platforms now exist to support various monitoring needs together with state-of-the-art power and communication capabilities. For a large percentage of submersed instrumentation, biofouling is the single biggest factor affecting the operation, maintenance and data quality. This increases the cost of ownership to the extent that it is prohibitive to maintain operational sensor networks and infrastructures. In this context, the paper provides a brief overview of biofouling, including the development and properties of biofilms. The state-of-the-art established and emerging antifouling strategies are reviewed and discussed. A summary of the currently implemented solutions in commercially available sensors is provided and current trends are discussed. Finally, the limitations of the currently used solutions are reviewed, and future research and development directions are highlighted.
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