Improving Water Quality Through SCADA Automation
Communities depend on water treatment systems to maintain the safety of the supply and prevent environmental damage. When run properly, treatment plants take contaminated water and release clean effluent. The critical nature of this service means water treatment plants should seek to leverage the benefits of new technologies. Employing a System Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system brings several advantages to water treatment facilities.
Understanding SCADA Technology
Before the advent of SCADA, workers in a facility needed to go from station to station to take manual readings. This arrangement limited the size and functionality of the plant. It also meant a significant delay between gathering and acting on data.
A SCADA system involves sensors that send real-time data to a central processor. With this technology, managers can see what is happening throughout a system at the same time. Improvements in communication technology have increased the potential size of SCADA systems.
Today, utilities can locate sensors over a broad geographic area, and employees can access data on wireless devices from any location. The increased scale and flexibility make SCADA an ideal data solution for water collection, distribution, and treatment facilities.
The Benefits of SCADA in Water Treatment Systems
SCADA technology can make an impactful difference in the water treatment sector. The system provides real-time information in facilities that must make fast decisions to benefit public health.
Predictive Data Analysis
Artificial intelligence and machine learning represent the next step in SCADA technology. Sensors provide immediate access to data, and AI resources can interpret it, comparing it to historical trends. Such analysis allows employees to prepare the facility for changing conditions.
Water treatment plants depend on equipment functioning consistently. Breakdowns can lead to operational delays and untreated overflows. SCADA water systems can analyze performance data to see when an asset may need attention. Since manufacturers base service recommendations on average performance, SCADA provides a more accurate representation of the equipment’s condition.
The system control aspect of SCADA empowers facilities to create automatic system protocols that decrease response times. Automation allows the system to function as a unit, adapting immediately to variations in flow rate and demand.
The streamlined processes of SCADA water systems are more efficient. Instead of spending time taking repetitive measurements, automated processes and data-driven maintenance schedules free up employees to focus on more important tasks. SCADA in water treatment allows facilities to do more with less.
Adding SCADA at a treatment plant will lower operational costs, saving money over time. The facility can run effectively with fewer employees. An improved maintenance schedule will reduce inventory costs. The water utility can pass on these savings to local consumers.
Implementing SCADA at a Water Treatment Plant
These systems require careful planning for optimal results. A well-designed system will yield relevant data that empowers informed decision-making.
Choosing Relevant Data Streams
Sensors in a SCADA system can produce a broad range of data streams, providing statistics about factors like pH levels, water pressure, flow rates, and impurity levels. When designing the system, managers must decide which data will be essential to improving safety and efficiency.
Developing Automated Protocols
Modern SCADA technology can perform multi-step automated processes, responding to changing conditions faster than human employees. The design team must develop processes that respond to local conditions. For example, areas prone to heavy rains will want an automated overflow procedure in place.
Maintaining SCADA Security
The wireless design of modern SCADA systems makes them vulnerable to cyberattacks. A successful breach could have serious consequences for the local environment. Human error is the most common cause of security issues, so the organization should adopt security measures such as two-step verification and a role-based access policy.
An Experienced Partner for Water Treatment SCADA
If you seek to benefit from this type of treatment, it is always best to work with a knowledgeable partner. High Tide Technologies specializes in developing SCADA technology for municipal water systems. Our cloud-based model offers operational flexibility, real-time data, and constant connection. Contact us to learn more about the benefits of SCADA in the water industry.