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Rapid application development

Problem

Managing data at the 1.8 mgd Plover (Wis.) Wastewater Treatment Facility involved entering information into multiple files in different formats. Transcribing and compiling reports was time consuming, and the village could not employ a system analyst and database developer. Plant superintendent Rich Boden decided to develop his own system and searched for rapid application development tools.

 

Solution

Boden selected MaintenanceVIEW and ReportVIEW software from IntelliSys Information Systems. He configured real-time data collection, report templates, laboratory quality control, energy management, maintenance, and regulatory reporting.

Every hour, the program collects and imports statistically reduced data for processes, maintenance, energy management and pump stations from SCADA and stores it in central SQL databases. The information provides an engineering database with peak hourly data and operational reporting. The maintenance staff use it for predictive maintenance reports and forensic analysis.

The software also collects information from laboratory instruments. Electronic bench sheets allow the laboratory technicians to calculate results and perform quality-control functions, then save them to the database. Other data such as trucked waste receiving and industrial wastewater discharger data is managed in the same database.

 

Result

Boden handles all data management needs in the SQL database while minimizing software, development, and training costs. 800/347-9977; www.intellisys-is.com.

 

Highest motor potential

Problem

A lift station for the Sheboygan (Wis.) Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility had three 75 hp motors drawing 96 amps at full load, and protected by bimetallic overload relays. The plant’s SCADA system monitored the flowmeters, but technicians went down 30 feet to check the pumps and motors. Superintendent Dale Doerr turned to Eaton Corp. for a better, safer way to monitor them.

 

Solution

The plant retrofitted the motor disconnect panels with Motor Insight overload relays, remote displays, and Modbus communication modules. “I was impressed by how easy it was to learn and program,” says controls engineer Steve Meifert. “I snapped in the modules, wired them up, and they were talking with our SCADA system.”

The door-mounted LED display puts diagnostic and fault codes, submenus, and cryptic descriptions at the technician’s fingertips, while the door protects him from line voltage. The type 1, 12 and 3R remote display uses the same interface as the base unit. The programmable relay allows independent actuation for differing fault types to weigh their importance. A low-power feature protects pumps against starved or dead-headed conditions.

 

Result

Soon after installing the devices, the maintenance supervisor noticed that two pumps were drawing 50 kW, but the third was closer to 75 kW. The responding technician found a rag wrapped around the impeller. If left undetected, the extra power draw would equate to an additional $10,900 in annual energy costs, assuming a 50 percent duty cycle.

“We now have the ability to find and resolve a situation before it becomes a failure, potentially saving us thousands of dollars annually,” says Meifert. 877/386-2273; www.eaton.com.

 

Septage receiving station tracking

Problem

The Anchorage Water and Wastewater Utility had no record of what haulers discharged at two septage receiving stations, both 25 miles from the facility. “We only had a gate access system with no backup capabilities,” says John McAleenan Jr., customer service division manager. “We needed a reliable, automated solution.”

 

Solution

The utility purchased the PortALogic on-site hauler access station with integrated software from EleMech. The automated system provides secure hauler access via a swipe card or PIN. Hauler data, stored in a secure database, includes site and truck IDs, receipt number, date and time, waste type, load volume, sample pH and alarms.

The utility can view the data in real time, edit and sort it, or create custom reports. The system also enables the facility to set waste type rates, create billing statements, and manage haulers with debit- or credit-based accounts.

 

Result

“Using volumetric data to charge haulers was only a dream several years ago,” says McAleenan. “PortALogic made it a reality.” 630/499-7080; www.portalogic.info.

 

Collection system monitoring

Problem

Engineers at the City of South Bend, Ind., needed a way to use data from storm events to characterize a 20-square-mile combined sewer system and identify the inefficiencies.

 

Solution

The city chose the EmNet suite of analysis tools to monitor 36 outfalls, 17 locations on the single interceptor line, 42 locations on the trunk line, and five retention basins. The technology integrates level, flow, precipitation, and water quality information with the collection system. The tools work with monitoring tools such as LogiCover and RainBox. Playback and real-time modes allow users to easily identify developing hydraulic issues and compare past events. They can use Profiler for pre- and post-verification, operations and maintenance, and design.

 

Result

The city’s dry weather overflows dropped by 65 percent, enabling maintenance crews to quadruple the number of annual sewer inspections and clean problem areas once per week, providing benefits of more than $200,000 per year. Real-time monitoring identified inadequacies in the collection system and reduced the need for additional infrastructure from $500 to $120 million. 574/855-1012; www.heliosware.com.

 

Alarm detection and notification

Problem

The 24,000-foot-long concrete and cast-iron Lake Oswego (Ore.) interceptor sewer had insufficient capacity to handle development and peak wet-weather flows, resulting in surcharged manholes. Part of the gravity-flow system traverses the 405-acre Oswego Lake.

The 9,700-foot-long buoyant middle section floats 14 to 21 feet below the surface. On either end are 5,200 feet of submerged pile-supported pipe. The city needed a reliable bypass system while replacing and upsizing the interceptor with another in-lake gravity-flow system.

 

Solution

A pump manufacturing company rented portable bypass pumps to the project. To avoid an ecological nightmare in case the system should fail, the pumps arrived with AlarmAgent.com units from RACO Mfg. and Engineering Co. Wireless. Web-enabled remote thermal units continuously monitor and collect data from equipment for viewing on a simple dashboard screen.

The notification system accommodates cell or landline phones, text messages, emails and pagers. Users can assign alarms to specific groups, making sure the proper team responds. The information is easy to set up, manage and use. With it, project managers need only one person on site instead of 14.

 

Result

The system enabled the contractor to avoid potential backups and complete the project on time. 800/722-6999; www.racoman.com.

 

New monitoring system

Problem

The Natick (Mass.) Water and Sewer Division had to replace an aging monitoring and control infrastructure, which was difficult to use and maintain. Operators wanted a SCADA system that communicated with the programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and remote telemetry units (RTUs) already monitoring the reservoirs, sewer lift stations, and water treatment plants. They also wanted simple built-in tools to help them better use historical data.

 

Solution

The town’s engineering consultants, Haley and Ward, invited Ian Technology Solutions in Hampstead, N.H., to develop a new system using VTScada software from Trihedral. Ian engineers duplicated the functionality of the existing system, and the integrator added new sites, replaced older RTUs, and updated plant functionality. Operators ran both systems side by side for several months to test the new application before shutting down the old one.

 

Result

The system is easier to use with more features for trending, reporting and viewing alarm history. Operators can construct trends based on specific sets of values and save them. “Trending screens allow us to quickly access enormous amounts of information for troubleshooting system failures and reducing costly repairs,” says treatment plant/GIS supervisor Anthony Comeau. “It’s been a good investment for us.” 800/463-2783; www.trihedral.com.



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