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If someone asked you what the most important development for all of civilization is, modern water utility service should top the list. Sure, agriculture is good, and the internet is hit and miss, but water utilities take away dirty water and bring us clean water, preventing diseases that have scourged humanity for literally our entire existence.
Needless to say, protecting water utilities is of utmost importance.
They are increasingly vulnerable to changes in the climate, electrical and mechanical failures, flooding, and even terrorist attacks.
That's why, if you run a water utility, you have to monitor everything that goes into making all your units run well, no matter how remote. Everything from physical security to environmental monitoring can be tracked as a part of a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system (SCADA).
You'll need to monitor, gather, and analyze your data in real-time. You'll need to respond, hopefully proactively. And you'll need a system that lets you do all of this quickly. It's important for utilities to have SCADA system architecture that works flawlessly. That's something we can all raise a glass (of clean water) to.
SCADA, to put it most simply, is a network of monitoring or supervisory and control systems that interact throughout your utility system using a variety of sensors and control relays. SCADA gives you the ability to measure and control elements of your system.
What does that mean in practice? It means you can manage and analyze hundreds of distinct events, from humidity to the night shift guy accidentally leaving the door open when he goes for a break. Anything that might impact your utility can be tracked.
Data and alerts are collected by your HMI and stored in a central database.
Important details are programmed to be delivered to the right people at the right time.
These might go to your engineers, or they might go to emergency services. What's important is that the correct people get them in the order that they are needed.
A truly smart SCADA system architecture will allow you to minimize unimportant events and highlight crucial ones, saving you from wasted time while letting you prioritize critical details. And if you work in a water utility, you know what you need to monitor. Solid SCADA system architecture will help you monitor all of your remote operations.
What are some of the things that your SCADA system architecture can monitor if set up by an established company who knows how to help you capture all important events? It's crucial to monitor all of your critical assets involved in your water utility. This includes:
Flooding, overheating, overtaxed generators, and more can add up to a disaster. But there are also other issues that your SCADA system needs to monitor.
Human error comes in two distinct varieties. Consider:
Human error happens. SCADA can make sure it won't cost you. SCADA systems can save your organization thousands to even millions of dollars over a lifetime.
We live in strange times. The threat of foreign and domestic terrorism is all too real. And water utilities are a prime target.
But they don't have to be vulnerable. A great SCADA security system can involve some or all of the following:
Only the right people should get in. And you should know when anything is offline, off-balance, or just plain off. After all, the stakes are too high.
Cape Town, South Africa, is running out of water, leading to the tightening of belts and a looming disaster. Areas around the world are facing drinking water shortages due to toxic algae blooms and other environmental causes.
Water utilities are prone to disaster, but also minor errors with huge human and economic costs. A burst main can cause problems for businesses, homes, hospitals, and more. Dirty water can cause widespread sickness.
To avoid that, you want efficient maintenance, including preventative maintenance. That's where SCADA comes in. You can receive an alert as soon as something goes wrong, and can resolve it right away. More sophisticated systems can even automatically and remotely fix some issues.
We know the costs of not being able to properly monitor equipment. So how are you going to get the best SCADA system architecture?
It's crucial to implement a SCADA system that helps you manage and streamline your operation. Doing so can save your water utility millions over its lifetime. This means ensuring SCADA that can handle all the discrete events listed above, from environmental monitoring to security.
You'll also want to make sure your system can handle all language protocols, as many utilities have a patchwork of new and legacy equipment.
Having a system that can translate all protocols for a central monitoring computer (HMI) is crucial. It saves money and lets you upgrade piece by piece, rather than all at once.
Finally, you want a company that provides robust support and has expertise in your field. Someone who understands the unique and crucial role that water utilities play, and who understands your unique and vital needs.
As a society, we need our water utilities to work. To do so, you need a SCADA system with built-in monitoring, security, and equipment alarms that help keep your systems up and running. Then, everyone can have clean, accessible water for years to come!
DPS Telecom has the experience and expertise to help water utilities who need custom-built SCADA system architecture. Our technicians can work with you to find the right SCADA offerings for your specific needs. Reach out and get a quote today!
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