In Hollywood, art can imitate life, except with bigger budgets and more exciting plot lines. A common movie trope is when a villain threatens to contaminate a town’s water supply, putting thousands of citizens’ health and lives in jeopardy. Luckily, the hero manages to foil the plan in the nick of time. Today, the hero is modern water management technology, like satellite-based SCADA systems, which can easily prevent similar stories from developing. While it might not make for exciting movies, satellite-based SCADA systems provide the protection required for modern utility infrastructure, in a scalable and affordable way. Check out these examples of where a SCADA system would have saved the day.
Florida—land of surf, sand, sun, and… septic tanks? Aging septic tanks (which include over 2.6 million homes) is a growing concern for Florida residents because the outdated systems can leak nitrogen and other contaminants into the groundwater. In 2010, the Florida legislature passed a law requiring inspections for septic tanks every five years—an edict that forces smaller utility providers, like Hillsborough County in eastern Florida, to find creative ways to modernize their systems while staying on budget.
The beauty of modern plumbing is that when we turn on our faucet, we can reasonably expect clean water to come pouring out. There are few places left in the country that are untouched by the advancements and regulations of public water. So when The Washington Post published an article in 2016 about researchers finding unsafe levels of industrial chemicals in the drinking water of 6 million Americans, waste water treatment plants and water management services took notice.
For 200 years, Americans have relied on natural gas to heat their homes and cook their food, to power appliances such as water heaters and oven ranges, and to power integral industries, such as manufacturing and processing plants, and boilers to generate electricity. According to the American Public Gas Association (APGA), natural gas currently supplies more than one-half of the energy consumed by residential and commercial customers, and about 41 percent of the energy used by U.S. industry.
As the saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But with technology developing at a break-neck speed and the benefits of efficient, accurate data so integral to planning, staffing, and budgeting, not to mention crisis aversion, municipalities can’t afford to ignore the latest offerings for utility management solutions. Whether you’re in the research phase or ready to implement a better system today, knowing what to look for and what to avoid when evaluating SCADA monitoring systems is the first step to making a good decision.
Forty-five miles west of Knoxville and nestled in the Tennessee Valley is Harriman, TN, a scenic small town of 6,218 in 10.6 square miles. Because time and technology wait for no man, Harriman found itself looking for big innovations for their small town water management needs.