wastewater treatment plant monitoring

Identifying a Cost-Effective Wastewater Treatment Plant Monitoring System

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There’s a reason why stories about the water in Flint draw so much attention. Especially in America, in the 21st century, people expect clean water. They expect basic sanitation. And, they expect clean water to flow through the taps.

This clean, disease-free water is staggeringly new in human history, and that advancement is created by modern wastewater treatment plants. It’s not a stretch to say that water sanitation is what allows modern society to flourish. But while many of us take water for granted, people who run wastewater treatment plants are keenly aware of the work it takes to keep them running.

These are enormous, interconnected systems, employing everything from reverse osmosis to UV sanitization to basic filtering. That’s a lot of moving parts, and they all have to work right.

If you’re in charge of making sure things go right at a wastewater treatment monitoring plant, you are probably thinking about remote monitoring systems. These systems let you know what is happening at your plant, pump stations, and treatment operations, alerting you if anything is going wrong, so you can fix the problem before it goes public.

You need a cost-effective system that works. By partnering with a wastewater treatment plant monitoring system provider that helps you install and implement the right system, you’ll save money, solve problems, and get a great return on your investment. It’ll keep your books in order while keeping the water clean.

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What is SNMPWalk and When Should You Perform One?

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There’s an old saying you’re probably familiar with: ‘you have to walk before you can run.’ Or maybe it isn’t an old saying, maybe it’s something you saw printed on vintage stock. Either way, it is certainly true. It’s true in life, and it’s true when setting up a system to monitor your remote stations.

That’s why, before you start running your monitoring network, you should take an SNMPWalk.

An SNMPWalk is how you get a list of everything in your SNMP-protocol network that might be queried, and how you test the effectiveness of each agent’s response.

In short, it’s how you make sure things work. You can do this before you use your SNMP system in real scenarios, and you can do this to troubleshoot if anything goes wrong.

The SNMPWalk is more than walking around the car kicking tires: it’s doing a full-scale test of every situation, every condition, and every sudden stop your equipment might take. It’s a full picture of how your SNMP devices communicate information. It’s a walk that enables you to run.

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The Leading Remote Monitoring and Management Tools for Utilities

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Remote monitoring is an indispensable function for utilities. By monitoring generators, transmission lines, and substations, utilities can detect equipment issues before they occur. This enables more accurate responsive maintenance.

As opposed to simply relying on predictive failure models or reports of malfunctioning equipment, utilities can pinpoint emerging failure conditions and correct them. This decreases wasted travel and diagnostic time and prevents expensive downtime.

Some issues, such as overheating, can even be corrected remotely, potentially saving hours of windshield time. With the right monitoring tools, utilities can also prevent or detect vandalism, sabotage, and theft at remote sites.

Utilities are large institutions, and typically implement new remote monitoring technology on an ongoing, cyclical basis. As older equipment ages out, newer equipment is procured to replace it.

To achieve the highest possible benefits, utilities must continuously reassess which remote monitoring management tools provide the most needed capabilities.

Staying up-to-date on the top remote monitoring solutions ensures utilities can trust the equipment that’s watching their core systems.

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substation SCADA

Developing the Best Substation SCADA System

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Not too long ago, someone at the office was talking about SCUBA and asked if anyone knew what it stood for. One person insisted it didn’t stand for anything, it’s just what it was called—it’s just SCUBA. Obviously, he was wrong (“Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus”), but that shows just how much SCUBA is part of our culture. It’s just a word.

Well, the same can be said for SCADA.

SCADA stands for Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition, and it is a way for businesses, utilities, and others to monitor and quickly react to events at all their locations. It’s becoming absolutely crucial for anyone with remote stations to stay connected and to understand what is going on at their locations.

Businesses depend on it. Economies depend on it. And, the public relies on it. That’s why, if you have any remote substations, you need a SCADA system you can depend on.

Developing the best substation SCADA system means figuring out your needs, assessing your budget, analyzing the technology, and finding the right vendors.

When you do that, you’ll be able to enact a SCADA system that works for you. And, when you have control over your entire operation, it’ll be like coming up for air.

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Why an Effective Asset Monitoring System is Critical for Telecom Infrastructure

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Telecom means different things to users and operators. When telecom users think of networks, they think of their phones and other devices, and possibly of the invisible currents providing their service. When they think of something going wrong, they tend to think of the “signal being lost;” which, while it’s true, it’s also far from the entire story.

Telecom operators know that there is a physical reality behind that signal: a vast network of remote stations all filled with incredibly expensive equipment. And when that “signal goes down,” it’s often because something very bad—and quite expensive—happened at one of those remote locations.

Those locations are filled with critical assets that are vital to keeping the operation running. That’s why an effective asset monitoring system is absolutely critical for telecom infrastructure. 

Monitoring all your assets can save you downtime. It can also save you the PR and consumer loyalty hit you take when systems are not functioning.

Most of all, it will save you money. An asset monitoring system entails an initial cost but quickly pays for itself by making sure that the things that matter keep working the way they should. It allows you to respond to any problems. It lets you keep the physical part of your operations up and running, so your customers can continually enjoy their service without a second thought.

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Implementing Advanced Positive Train Control Technology (PTC)

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While several U.S rail companies have not yet fully implemented Positive Train Control (PTC) technology, it remains certain that they will shortly.

First mandated in the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008, the deadline for full PTC implementation looms. Installation of equipment has been accomplished on all Class I railroads, and 91% of route-miles have fully implemented PTC. Testing and activation remain on just 9% of Class 1 railroads.

While implementing PTC is costly, it’s mandated to help prevent rail accidents through its advanced positive train control technology, however, PTC does not address all issues related to preventing disaster.

What about track and equipment failure? SCADA and remote monitoring systems can cover this critical function for smooth railway operation to help those railroads that have implemented PTC, as well as those who are in process of updates.

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Remote Infrastructure Monitoring: Top Strategies for Better Results

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Very few people truly grasp the vast network that keeps the world running. People rarely see the endless telecom towers that keep us connected, or the seamlessly-connected utilities that keep our electricity flowing and water running. They don’t see it, but they rely on it to run without question.

If you’re in charge of the network of stations that keep the world moving, you know the pressure to understand everything in your network. That means you also understand the need for a remote infrastructure monitoring strategy that gives you the right information to act intelligently. Having a solid strategy is vital to your company’s future.

This remote infrastructure monitoring strategy must include having the best technology, the most cost-effective networking system, and customized support to make it work for your needs.

Your remote infrastructure monitoring strategy is how you make that vast network small and manageable. It lets you display it on one screen. It creates an information source that people like you can rely on.

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How Can SNMP in Networking Improve Company Strategy?

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snmp

Graphic user interface (GUI) for smart management and visibility

“Large” has many dimensions. Commonly, we think of a large company as one which has a significant number of employees. But describing a company as large can also signal a widespread physical footprint, like hundreds of telecom towers or thousands of gas wells.

Even if businesses don’t sprawl hundreds of miles, they can have hundreds of pieces of hardware in operation to keep track of, like a hospital might.

Company magnitude extends in another direction as well—time. In this sense, companies, like fish or trees, are constantly growing larger as they grow older. Why does this matter? Because larger companies are more difficult to monitor and manage.

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Implementing an Effective Remote Tower Management System

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Smoke swirls slowly from the top of a cell phone tower, almost like a pleasant chimney outlined against the slate-gray sky. Within a few minutes, though, the entire tower is ablaze, dark black smoke pouring into the sky, as first responders debate how to put it out.

The electrical units at ground level are sparking and flaming, and determining how to end it is not easy. One thing is clear, though: the tower is completely ruined.

The video of this incident is basically a horror movie for anyone at a telecom company in charge of protecting remote towers. When something like this happens, it breaks communications, heightens consumer anger, exposes the company to financial and even legal liability, and is a waste of a major investment. It’s a nightmare.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

With an effective remote tower management system, operators can be made aware of things going wrong at the tower immediately. 

By setting up a system of monitors and alerts, you can get the right people to respond quickly. You can put out a fire before it even starts.

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How to Prevent Copper Wire Theft with Remote Control

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Industries including telecom, oil and gas, and railroads all rely on remote, unmanned facilities to perform daily operations. As unmanned stations, these facilities allow companies to accomplish their objectives. They’re necessarily unstaffed, as no company can afford to pay the high costs of staffing numerous, far-flung outposts.

Unfortunately, this coin has two sides. Without staff on-site, these facilities are vulnerable to copper wire theft.

Copper wire theft can cause a significant loss of revenue, far beyond the cost of the copper itself.

If equipment is damaged as copper is stolen from a telecom tower, service can be disrupted. If wires are ripped from the ground, trenching (the majority of the install expense) must be paid for again.

A service disruption can trigger contractual penalties in the millions. Simply replacing the copper doesn’t solve the problem, so companies must learn how to prevent copper wire theft.

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