A Comprehensive Overview of Freshwater Usage in the United States

Freshwater is vital to human survival. Our ancestors had the keen awareness that it was strategically advantageous to settle near rivers. This understanding drove the transition from tribes of early hunter-gatherers into civilization as we know it. Along with being a consistent source of drinkable water, rivers provide fertile land for hunting, fishing, agriculture, and transportation.

After thousands of years of civilization, many of us no longer need to dwell near freshwater sources to experience the benefits. Advances in technology have drastically changed the means of water collection, treatment, and distribution.

A Comprehensive Overview of Freshwater Usage in the United States

Conclusion

It took ingenuity, money, and cooperation to establish our current freshwater distribution network. This complex process conveniently brings freshwater to homes and industries across the country – cleaning, feeding, and powering a nation. But convenience can make us complacent.

With our attention more divided than ever, it’s easy to push impending problems to the side. Our current rate of consumption is not sustainable, and there is an increasing need to reduce our collective water footprint. Solving the riddle of sustainable water usage will require awareness, education, and bold solutions. As in the case with our early ancestors, it will take a concerted effort. Our survival depends on it.

Trump Tariffs Will Affect the Water & Wastewater Industries

Trump Tariffs are disrupting different industries across the US and might force the economy to recession if the US President continues issuing tariffs threats. The country’s trade partners are forming a retaliation that results to global trade conflict.

Trump argues that the tariffs on items like washing machines, water equipment, solar panels and wastewater equipment are just meant to protect American industries from collapsing and for a long-term benefit. However, business leaders, lawmakers, politicians, and economists say a different story. A good example is the steel and aluminum tariffs.

 

Steel and Aluminium Tariffs Story

In March 2018, it was proposed a 10% tariff on aluminum and 25% tariff on steel. Later in May 2018, it was announced that there are plans to impose steel and aluminum tariffs on EU, Canada, and Mexico. The tariff came into effect at midnight the same day of the announcement.

The announcement intensified trade war between America and its trading partners. The trade partners quickly reacted to the imposed new regulation especially E.U, Canada, and Mexico.

 

Steel and Aluminium Tariffs Impact on Trade Partners

The European Commission led by their president Jean-Claude released statements criticizing the new tariffs. The European Commission statement defined the proposal as, “a blatant intervention to protect U.S domestic industry” and announced countermeasures to Trump’s Tariffs.

The E.U responded by saying it would levy import taxes on items like Bourbon from Kentucky- a home state of Senate majority leader Mitch McConnel. Plus, Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

Mexico responded by saying it would levy import taxes on various types of steel. Also, American farm products such as grapes, certain cheeses, pork bellies, cranberries, apples were not spared.

While Canada levied taxes on the same metals (steel and aluminum) and other products like candy, coffee, pizza, and quiche. Also, the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that he had rejected the ultimatum from Vice President Pence.

The World Trade Organization –WTO was not left behind. The director general of WTO, Robert Azevedo was quick to respond that the unfair regulation and quick trade policy statements by trading partners will result in a global trade war. He termed it as, “real risk of triggering an escalation of trade barriers across the globe.”

 

Water and Wastewater Industries

The recent move to Trump’s Tariffs on E.U, Mexico, and Canada has made a substantial effect on equipment production for various industries. The steel and aluminum tariff will make them expensive to import, thus making water infrastructure projects cost more. Wastewater equipment and water equipment made from the metal alloy that is imported will drive demand up for locally produced steel.

Water infrastructure projects like repairing water and wastewater plants plus their collection systems will become expensive. Primarily, when water and wastewater utility sector wants to build or repair the plant and their collection systems, they will receive funding from federally subsidized loans as per the Water Infrastructure Finance Innovation Act.

It is foreseen that the tariffs will make the prices of steel and aluminum high thus affecting the water and wastewater utilities just like any other industries. Nevertheless, the director of Water and Wastewater Equipment Manufacturer’s Assn, Vanessa Leiby argues that the said tariff will affect small-sized to medium-sized manufacturing enterprises. Reason being they have not stocked materials affected by the taxes like large manufacturing enterprises.

Although the regulation was payback for some unfair trade practices, the American Iron and Steel Association were happy and praised the decision made. The Aluminum Association too applauded the decision made. The two groups represented the domestic industry and felt that the policy could be more of directed towards China –the most significant competitor- other than their allies (Canada, Mexico, and E.U).

Trump’s tariffs are slowly losing long-term traditional allies by forgetting the written and unwritten global trading rules written in the past. In the pretense of protecting their industries, forgetting to look at the bigger picture.

How Eco-Conscious Are Boomers, Gen-Xers and Millennials?

Lately, it feels like each generation has a bone to pick with its predecessors or successors. But when it comes to the most environmentally friendly behavior, is it the Boomers, Gen X, or the Millennials that are the “greenest generation”? We surveyed 2,000 Americans from all three generations to find out just how eco-conscious their habits are and scored the groups based on their earth-friendly behaviors. Check out who ranked highest in the graph below.

Infographic: How Eco-Conscious are Boomers, Gen-Xers, and Millenials?

When it comes to our most precious resource, Boomers are leading the most conservative path by showering and running the dishwasher the least-Gen-Xers are most likely to shower more than 7 times in a week. Millennials are keeping their jeans as fresh as possible by never or rarely washing them, which helps cut down on water waste.

According to the survey, more than 90% of all three generations agree that recycling makes a difference. However, Gen-Xers are coming up short with a zero score, whereas Boomers and Millennials tie for first with two points apiece. Millennials are most likely to use paper billing and reusable bags, cutting down on excess paper products, and Boomers are more likely to recycle electronics like cell phones, according to survey results.

One of the biggest categories for eco-consciousness is energy and again, Gen-Xers are in last place with one point for their use of energy-efficient appliances-a good habit they share with Boomers. Boomers also have the least amount of TV watching or streaming usage and cut back their electricity usage the most. Millennials, however, tend to suck up electricity even when not awake by choosing to charge their phone at night. Boomers and Gen-Xers are also more likely to use Energy Star appliances, however, Gen-Xers tend to have the highest electric bills. Millennials also embrace the green commute, choosing public transportation or cycling over driving. Once again, Gen-Xers are the most likely to drive to work.

However, when it comes to food, one good habit cancels out the other for Boomers and Millennials. While Boomers are most likely to eat meat more than five times a week-a disastrous strain on the environment-Millennials are the most vegetarian-conscious generation. Conversely, Millennials are more likely to waste more than 10 pounds of food a week whereas Boomers are the most careful about food waste, choosing to compost instead. Gen-Xers also opt for composting, proving that younger generations could stand to learn something from their elders.

At a paltry two points, Gen-Xers lose at the Generational Eco-conscious Olympics. Millennials put up a solid score of six but get dinged on things like food and energy waste. According to the survey, with a score of nine out of 17, Boomers are considered the most eco-conscious of the current generations-though all three groups have areas for improvement. By doing things like cutting back on electricity, being food conscious and using composts, and recycling, Boomers demonstrate that real care for the environment begins with developing daily good, Earth-friendly habits.

Methodology

After surveying 2,000 people across the country, we broke down the responses based on age in order to compare eco-conscious habits across three generations: Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials. We asked respondents about their daily habits when it comes to their water, food and energy usage as well as their recycling habits.

Full Interview with David Mundie, President of High Tide Technologies

The field of telemetry for utilities has skyrocketed with the growth and usage of digital and cellular-based technology. But where do the smaller or budget-conscious providers fit in? We talked with Dr. David Mundie, Founder and President of High Tide Technologies, about some of the issues facing utility providers and mid-size municipalities, how telemetry fits into the modern landscape, how the SCADA marketplace is expanding, and some of the latest ideas in development for the future.

 

High Tide: Thanks for chatting with us. Before we dive, can you give readers some background on High Tide Technologies?

 

David Mundie: Thanks for having me. Back in 2002, I was working with a civil engineer at a dot.com company that went under. He knew the wastewater market really well and I, as an electrical engineer, knew telemetry really well. So we took what we both did best, knew there was a need, and decided to start High Tide Technologies.

 

HT: What problem did you see and set out to fix with High Tide?

 

DM: We specifically started the company to focus on rural, small- to medium-sized utility systems, those who could not afford the more sophisticated monitoring and control equipment, which led to basically doing a lot of things manually. What we’re able to provide is a solution that’s simple to install, no software or hardware to maintain in the collections, and doesn’t involve a big server (because it’s all Internet-based), and has full 24/7 support. Smaller utilities are on-call 24/7 but can’t necessarily be at the plant to look at a screen. Instead, they can check their levels from anywhere and feel good that things are still working. We’re right there with them, any time. It’s peace of mind.

 

HT: What kinds of problems are utilities and municipalities coming to High Tide to solve?

 

DM: In the wastewater world, there are all sorts of environmental regulations [to stop] overflow and spoil the environment. Most states require that someone drives by and looks at the unit once a day. When you have telemetry, you don’t have to physically visit; you can access the information before you get there, which cuts down on overtime and makes the system run more smoothly.

On the water side, we’ve been in stations that had no telemetry and to monitor everything, they drive down the road and see that the target on the tank is low, flip the switch, and hope to remember later to switch it off. They have water loss from leaving it on too long and overflowing the tank. The state [government] do a lot of regulation on water loss, but also have the problem with tanks too low and not enough to fight a fire in the hydrants. But having a system that is automatically controlled can eliminate all those problems.

 

HT: So telemetry helps keep levels accurate, and helps the whole operation run more efficiently. Can you give an example?

 

DM: Sure. We had one customer who had 40% of the water produced lost somehow. They measured this by adding up water billed from meters at customer sites compared to what meters at the plant say and the numbers didn’t match at all. And after installing one of our monitoring and control products, they got it down to 30% within a couple of months and it keeps improving the more time goes on, refining their system. Loss numbers like that affect funding for plant expansions, budgets, etc. Telemetry helps solve those mysteries.

 

HT: Why would a municipality or utility board choose High Tide? What’s the benefit?

 

DM: The thing about our stuff is that there is no custom programming and we can get a system up and running within a week or two. A typical SCADA system is customer-specific. The way we do it, everybody is sharing the resources. We make the same box for everybody, in different sizes. And we can ship it the next day after the order is placed so [the customer] can be up and running fairly quickly, probably within a week or so. It’s less expensive because there is no central server they have to maintain and staff. Our solutions are about one-third to one-fourth of the cost of traditional (typically radio systems or phone dialers), which is helpful for stricter budgets or smaller municipalities.

We do have subscription service that’s like a rental service fee for the system and even if we take 10 years of fees, our systems are still less expensive than traditional because traditional systems need maintenance, and that gets costly.

 

HT: And High Tide systems don’t need maintenance?

 

DM: We think that the easier you can make it, the users can do their own maintenance instead of calling a technician for $1000 to fix it. We ship a lot of spare parts and people can service it themselves, even if they’re not technical. We provide 24/7 support. Big municipalizes have that but small municipalities need that kind of help. Their radio supplier won’t do that.

Sometimes municipalities have different systems in place or more piecemeal set-up. We can do a mix and match of products and parts—whatever the municipality needs. It all reports back to the server and the server doesn’t care what the data comes from. Customers benefit from getting accurate data in real-time, which allows them to provide their service efficiently and effectively.

 

HT: The Internet of Things is a fast-evolving idea that is quickly coming to fruition in products like smart homes, self-driving cars, and cloud-based SCADA. What do you see for the future of the IoT technology, both positive notes, and negative ones?  

 

DM: The positive side is it drives down the cost of doing more sophisticated monitoring and control the hardware is going down, the cost of communications is going down, which makes it more cost-effective.

On the negative side, computers crash and you’re depending on the company to turn on and off the tank. All these stations have manual overrides so people have to revert to what they did before equipment.

The nice thing about our systems, there’s not a single point of failure. You might lose one tank one pipe, but not the whole system. We try to retain redundancies on our server farm. We have customers have lighting hit and we can do tweaks to their controls until that unit is repaired.

If the tank is fried by lighting, we put timers on the pump station—which is based on history since we have that data—and we can go days and keep things maintained and if usage changes, it might be a little off, but not completely dead.

 

HT: What trends do you see unfolding that makes you excited for the future of your business/industry?

 

DM: Utilities are getting more sophisticated in the preventative maintenance areas. Equipment used to run until the pump died then they’d replace the pump but it’s cheaper to repair than replace. We’re getting more sophisticated with the data we collect so [utilities] can start doing predictive analysis and see the performance over time and know when to service it before it fails completely. One of the big things that telemetry lets you do is collect, monitor, and control in real time. In the past, someone had to do the analysis by hand (via graphs) but the software on the servers’ analyzes the data and can alert to an upcoming repair before it fails, which saves time, money, and energy, and manpower.

Some of our utilities really think about the cost and budgeting and want to know and utilize all their options. I mean, there are $30,000 pumps that cost only $5000 to repair it, as opposed to replacing completely.

 

HT: Anything else you can say about the state of telemetry in municipality infrastructures and utility service providers?

 

DM: There are a lot of changes happening right now in the Internet of Things market because the cellular companies are adding stuff to go after this new market, looking for ways to adapt and changing the way the markets work. It’s a lot of small connections using just a little bit of data as opposed to a few connections that use a lot of data and It really affects cellular companies; they can’t make money if they don’t make X amount per modem but they’re not going to sell the millions of them at the price they need. For example, we want 2GB for our movies on our phones, but the sensor in the pump only needs a few bytes every 5-10 minutes. This new market is disrupting their pricing strategies. And affects how we design the future equipment.

Utility Telemetry Systems Keep Coastal Town Drinking Water Safe

Solid ground could be a misnomer when it comes to Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The popular vacation spot and idyllic island is effectively a sandbar, with towns, roads, and businesses built on the porous ground that washed up several centuries ago. Except for a single pond in Falmouth, the drinking water on Cape Cod is produced from a single underground aquifer, which by definition is porous rock, so anything that spills—gasoline, waste discharge, insect repellent, paint, etc.—eventually seeps into the groundwater.

According to a 2016 article in the Boston Globe, “In some parts of Cape Cod, groundwater travels a foot a day, and in many places, the water table sits less than 10 feet below the surface. Whatever gets dumped on the ground could contaminate water within a couple of weeks.”

What makes Cape Cod both rustically beautiful and a day-tripper’s dream is the geology, which has been shifting into uneasy territory for decades. For example, water in the town of Barnstable is no longer assumed to be drinkable and safe. New regulations from the EPA rolled out in 2016 forced the closing of two of the town’s three wells. Industry, as well as a nearby military base camp, and weather-related forces, like storm run-off and tide swells, means that the municipal water system is fighting several factors on several fronts. That’s where telemetry comes into play.

 

Telemetry System Solution

Telemetry is the wired or wireless transmission and reception of measured quantities for the purpose of remotely monitoring environmental conditions or equipment parameters, and in utility services has many long-range benefits.

  • A cloud-based SCADA system physically monitors the levels and quality of the water, so Cape Cod municipality workers can check the viability of the drinking water supply at a click of a mouse.
  • Remote access units means that data can be collected from areas not easily accessed, such as marshy outposts or run-off areas near industry hubs, like Barnstable or the military base. Personnel simply logs in to see, catalogue, and transmit the pertinent data.
  • Outfitted with alarms, a telemetry system like a cloud-based SCADA often serves as the first indication of any problem or issue. Any dip or rise in proper levels, or introduction of contaminates, or equipment and power failures is immediately sent to personnel, thereby allowing for quicker response and mitigating additional damage. In Cape Cod, where a hurricane can redraw the coastline in minutes and overwhelm the water system, immediate knowledge of any problem can save precious dollars, minutes, and livelihoods.

For small municipalities like Barnstable, in areas that are unique in geological structure and environmental needs, the best defense is a solid infrastructural offense. Telemetry systems are instrumental in places like Cape Cod because the constantly changing data needs to be monitored, tracked, and analyzed to be able to find long-term solutions.

Municipalities’ Modern Superhero: SCADA Systems on the Silver Screen

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. [Spoilers ahead]

In Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins, the Scarecrow gleefully reveals that he and his henchmen have been contaminating Gotham’s water supply with a powerful hallucinogen through a busted water main. If Gotham’s Public Works department had installed a satellite-based SCADA system, the water utility manager would have been alerted immediately of the equipment breach. The recorded data that the utility manager can access from anywhere would also show the inaccurate chemical levels of the water supply.

A satellite-based SCADA system would have exposed the issue and foiled the plan before any damage was done. And for once, Batman could have taken a vacation.

In the 2000 film Erin Brockovich, Julia Roberts stars as the title character who investigates the Pacific Gas & Electric Company after hundreds of residents suffer from cancer and other illnesses. The story is based on the true tale of Brockovich and her attorney boss Edward Masly discovering that the company had been neglectfully polluting the water supply of Hinkley, California, with harmful toxins.

Much of Brockovich’s time is spent driving hundreds of miles to water plants, digging through old and outdated records, and researching data from the PG&E company, some of which is destroyed or slated for destruction. With today’s technology and legislative safeguards against this kind of blatant environmental disregard, a monitoring system like SCADA makes the data about chemical levels readily available. Furthermore, Brockovich (or anyone!) wouldn’t have to drive hundreds of miles to dig up old documents but instead have instant remote access.

The “contaminated water supply” trope is especially convenient for Hollywood’s zombie movies. George A. Romero’s 1973 film The Crazies plays up fears of a crazy-making virus spread through unfiltered drinking water. Apologies to zombie enthusiasts but proper management and monitoring of the water supply via a satellite-based SCADA system would alert the utility department to unsafe levels for drinking water immediately. And if zombification were a real concern, the utility services manager could easily send the satellite-based data to the Center for Disease Control, ensuring that the walking dead remain just interesting entertainment.

All fun aside, the municipalities dedicated to modernizing the utility services and systems with the latest and best technology are the reason residents can trust their water supplies. Being able to record, monitor, transmit and analyze data across entire utility services makes the public works departments the unsung heroes of modern municipalities.

How SCADA Systems Help Water Treatment and Wastewater Plants

The beauty of modern plumbing is that when we turn on our faucet, we can reasonably expect freshwater 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, wastewater treatment plants and water management services took notice.

The report cited in the Post article found that “194 of 4,864 water supplies across nearly three dozen states had detectable levels of the chemicals.” Of those water supplies, 66 services had at least one sample that exceeded the EPA’s recommended safety limit for two types of chemicals. That ratio might not seem like a high number, but 66 water services affect six million Americans, so it’s clearly not a small issue.

Water treatment plants and water usage facilities can do their part by making sure their monitoring equipment is up-to-date and as accurate as possible. While SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) systems are more commonplace in modern operations, an updated version exists and is proving to a more reliable and better solution: a cloud-based SCADA system.

A cloud-based SCADA system allows water management plants to not only monitor levels of specific chemicals and toxins but to have precise records accessible from anywhere. No longer are digital read-outs only available at a fixed point on the SCADA unit. Instead, any manager or operator who needs data can access it from their own satellite- or WIFI-enabled device.

In the contaminated water study, the EPA sought to mitigate the ramifications until stricter guidelines could be drawn up. When it comes to healthy drinking water, Americans don’t want to waste time in the bureaucratic process of defining regulations.

Unfortunately, Congress mandates that before the EPA imposes new limitations on the nation’s water utilities, it has to prove that there is a meaningful opportunity to improve public health. It is a long, arduous process that takes years; officials have not successfully regulated any new contaminant in two decades because the process is complicated and contentious.

Another benefit of a cloud-based SCADA system is that data collected in real-time from the contaminated areas can be studied, compared, and shared with researchers in a faster, more efficient, digital manner. By comparing the data points, researchers can have the most accurate knowledge from which to draw, and that hopefully can lead to quicker results and faster action.

Because of our industrial advancements, the environment is changing faster than we can understand. However, because of our technological advancements, we can use the digital tools available, like a cloud-based SCADA solution, to monitor, record, and support research for improvements.

Small Towns Solving Big Water Management Problems

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.

Providing electric, gas, water, and wastewater services to the city and the surrounding area is the Harriman Utility Board (HUB). Due to necessity, HUB has absorbed smaller water service providers throughout the years and integrated them into its system, creating a patchwork of different systems, processes, and technologies for monitoring.

 

This hodge-podge of systems led to a serviceable but clunky workflow:

  • Personnel received monitoring data via one computer in the warehouse, creating gaps in efficiency and opening the door to inaccurate readings.
  • Operators in the field didn’t have direct access to the data and had to rely on relayed information or, more commonly, the past experiences of engineers and operators. More time was spent trying to pinpoint what or where the problem could be instead of actually addressing the issue.
  • Many of the remote locations lacked telemetry—the wired or wireless transmission and reception of data to monitor equipment or conditions—and required onsite visits, which varied in frequency and consistency.

 

Add to it aging and outdated monitoring equipment and limited availability for replacement parts, and the case was clear: The time had come to upgrade the HUB water and utility management system.

Rural municipalities typically have small budgets that must be stretched to cover large geographic areas, limiting rural areas to low-cost and low-tech options, such as line-of-sight radio networks or phone lines. Because of the growing cost of leased lines, and costly repeaters for hilly areas, soon enough, low-tech options no longer mean low cost. The HUB board had the same concerns when it set out to find a better, more efficient, more affordable solution.

Luckily, the right solution exists. The HUB board decided to install a small cloud-based SCADA system through us, allowing utility operators to access and control the systems from any Internet-connected device. The changes put an end to spotty landline connections, costly equipment, and distance issues. Additionally, the cloud-based SCADA provider carries the burden of licensing and maintaining SCADA software and hardware, which reduces the cost and development needs—and worries—for utility departments.

In the two years since its implementation of a cloud-based SCADA, the Harriman Utility Board has seen water loss reduced by 10 percent and a more accurate understanding of the way the system works. By having precise and timely data at their fingertips, operators and engineers can better predict and calibrate future issues.

Though rural municipalities like Harriman may be small, they still think big when it comes to effective water management. Finding the latest monitoring technology to meet their needs and their budget proved that a cloud-based SCADA system is the best fit for utilities of any size.

You can learn more about the Harriman solution by downloading the case study here.

Municipalities Can Lessen Hurricane Damage with Real-time Access to Data

With 13 named tropical storms and hurricanes since April, this year is shaping up to be one of the most damaging hurricane seasons on record. One of the biggest hurdles after such major weather events is making sure the affected areas are habitable and safe for people to return. More specifically, local authorities need to make drinkable water available to all citizens, and they need to eliminate or contain toxic wastewater.

In times of crises, the best thing municipalities can do to effectively manage their water supply and mitigate damage is have real-time data reporting and open communication. But how?

A silver lining to hurricane season is that each weather event presents an opportunity to learn and prepare for the next one. The Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network, or WARN, is a program to help utilities share resources with each other in emergency situations. Municipalities or city water management departments who subscribe to their state’s WARN program to abide by an agreement that clarifies liability, reimbursement, response procedures, and joint planning efforts.

Having a set plan in place before disaster strikes allow municipalities to prepare accordingly, so that precious time, energy, money, and resources can be more effectively deployed rather than get lost in uncertainty and bureaucracy.

In a modern town or city infrastructure, it’s absolutely necessary to communicate system data, repair plans, and monitor water levels, system breaches, and other potential and dangerous issues.

That’s where a SCADA system for all utilities is imperative to cities and municipalities. SCADA, which stands for “supervisory control and data acquisition,” is a category of software application program or process control that gathers data in real time from remote locations in order to control equipment and conditions. SCADA solutions allow workers to manage, monitor, and assess the levels and output of the utility systems in real time, thus enabling them to make decisions immediately when something happens.

Furthermore, a cloud-based SCADA solution is even more integral to quick response and mitigating damage. If a storm knocks out the central pumping station, access to the data would be lost if it wasn’t securely housed in a cloud-system, allowing digital access from anywhere in the world. Instead of relying on physical units located in the areas affected, the water management department still has access to the information and can implement repairs immediately.

This year’s gauntlet of storms will bring years of damage and devastation. With a WARN system and a reliable way to access data—like cloud-based SCADA—municipalities, cities, responders, and plants can prepare accordingly and act efficiently and quickly. When the unknown strikes, the best defense is a good offense.

SCADA Systems / Software for Cloud-Based SCADA

Imagine what your job would be like if you didn’t have to manually check the status of pump stations, tank targets or lift stations.

With cloud-based SCADA, all of your town’s water, wastewater, and oil & gas services can be monitored with a click of a mouse or a swipe on your iPad. Not only does this save you time, it can also help prevent costly downtime of your equipment.

SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) is a category of software application program for process control. Basically, it’s all about gathering data in real-time, from remote locations, in order to control equipment and conditions. The key component of cloud-based SCADA is that the data is not stored locally. The elimination of local servers and software saves money, and you won’t have to worry about data back-ups or data loss.

Here are a few questions our customers have asked us about cloud-based SCADA:

 

Who uses cloud-based SCADA?

Cloud-based SCADA is frequently used by sewer lift stations, water tanks, valve stations, water treatment plants, wastewater plants, raw water intake stations and natural gas odor injectors and regulators, to name just a few.

 

How does cloud-based SCADA help me do my job better?

Our 500+ customers have found that cloud-based SCADA helps them deal with power/equipment failures, overflow avoidance, and leak detection. With cloud-based SCADA, you’ll be able to monitor and control tank levels, observe water usage and track pump and valve performance with web-based software.

 

How much does cloud-based SCADA cost?

The price of cloud-based SCADA can vary, depending on equipment size, maintenance, and annual support fees. However, it usually costs much less than traditional SCADA, eliminating the need for repeater towers, data management, and SCADA software fees.

 

Tell me a little more about what makes High Tide Technologies different than other cloud-based SCADA providers.

Our goal is to simplify everything for our customers. We offer easy-to-install hardware, web-based software, communications (satellite, cellular or Ethernet) and 24/7 customer service. That means you can develop a reliable cloud-based SCADA system one unit at a time. Each unit communicates with the cloud independently, so you don’t have to build out your infrastructure all at once.

Our system is able to monitor, control and send alerts by text, voicemail, and email. We’re always here to support you with any questions or concerns.

 

I think cloud-based SCADA is the right thing for me. What questions should I ask a supplier before I sign-up?

We know you have many choices when it comes to SCADA suppliers. It can be overwhelming. Here are a few questions we think you should ask suppliers:

  • As a cloud-based SCADA supplier, how will you support us for the long-term?
  • What happens to our system if your business dissolves?
  • Will you be able to support our system remotely? And if so, will there be individual charges for that? If you’re a local supplier, do you have the in-house expertise to make repairs or changes?
  • Is there a fee for ongoing phone support and/or changes to the system?

 

Schedule a quick chat with us to see how a cloud-based SCADA solution will help you!