Monitoring and Controlling Bypass Pumps with Cloud-Based SCADA

Milcrofton Utility District, located in Eastern Williamson County, Tennessee, provides clean drinking water to over 6,700 customers. The utility district maintains 232 miles of water mains, 13 water storage tanks and 10 water pumping stations. Dramatic population growth in this area necessitates creative solutions to keep up with demand. The Avalon Water Booster Station pumps to a water storage tank that services approximately 400 homes. Growth and irrigation use during the summer months left the existing pumps at this station undersized. Milcrofton Utility District determined the existing skid-mounted water booster pumps needed to be replaced. During installation of these new pumps, Milcrofton would need to utilize a bypass pump to provide continuous water service to the Avalon area.

During a 30-day construction period, the bypass pump would require a design condition provided by the Utility (500 gpm at 323′ TDH). This bypass pump would also require a telemetry system to ensure the Avalon Water Storage Tank would fill and drain appropriately. Adding this system to the bypass pump would reduce the need for on-site supervision and allow remote control, freeing up resources to work on the new installation. WASCON, Inc., representing High Tide Technologies, was asked by Milcrofton Utility District to provide a proposal for the project. After reviewing the project conditions, a 6×4 diesel driven standard centrifugal pump was selected. This pump was fitted with a LOFA control panel ideal for pairing with the High Tide Technologies (HTT-1100) telemetry system.

High Tide Technologies, based in Nashville, TN, enables users to create a complete SCADA solution utilizing field units, satellite, cellular, or Ethernet communications as well as the Internet to monitor and provide automatic control. High Tide also offers a web-based software called TelemetryVIEW, allowing the user to view data and initiate manual controls from any Internet-connected computer or mobile device. For the Milcrofton project, HTT-1100 units were installed at the Avalon tank and on the bypass pump at the Avalon booster station. Set points for when the pump would turn on and off were determined and programmed into High Tide’s TelemetryVIEW website. The HTT-1100 unit at the tank also provided water elevation data. David Pine, Application Engineer with WASCON, stated “I was most impressed by the ease of working with HTT and how quickly the site could be customized to meet the customer’s needs.” Milcrofton Utility District had a solution in place that both avoided service interruption and decreased the need for on-site supervision.

A week into the project, a local resident requested that operation of the bypass pump be limited during night hours. David Mundie, President of High Tide, was notified of the request. After a simple programming modification and installation of a relay unit at the HTT-1100 on-site, the bypass pump would no longer operate between 11 P.M. and 7 A.M. without manual override. Mundie says, “Traditional SCADA requires a lot of infrastructure to function, which would not be available at a temporary site. Because of the ease of installation and the nature of our various communication options, cloud-based SCADA enabled the customer to keep automatic controls functioning even with their system in a bypass mode.” Milcrofton Utility District also had access to TelemetryVIEW, which allowed them to view the status, run-times, suction/discharge pressure, tank elevation, and control the bypass pump from any Internet-connected computer or mobile device. According to Mike Jones, General Manager of Milcrofton Utility District, “High Tide Technologies is user-friendly, has customizable features, and a very fast field response over our existing radio system. The experience of a fast and knowledgeable service partner, combined with High Tide Technologies, was a perfect combination.”

Cloud-based SCADA provided Milcrofton Utility District with a simple solution during the 30-day construction period. Continuous water service and reduced manpower enabled Milcrofton to better serve the residents of Williamson County during a time of rising demand.