The Need For Water Tower Monitoring

Water towers are used by thousands upon thousands of communities to provide a reliable water supply during peak usage hours or if there were ever a power outage. These elevated structures are designed to be tall in nature to maintain sufficient pressure to deliver clean, ready-to-use water via gravity to a pump distribution network that supplies water to homes.

Since residential water pressure requirements range between 45 and 80 psi, the average height of a water tower needs to be about 160 feet tall in order to deliver water at pressures between 50-60 psi.  Municipalities need to monitor these water distribution systems to ensure proper pressure and water levels are maintained throughout the system. Pressure management is also critical as too high or low-pressure levels could result in inefficient system operations, or worse, damaged pumps.

Monitoring Elevated Water Tanks

Usually, elevated water tanks are monitored using pressure sensors. Pressure sensors are devices that are mounted to the tanks of water towers to measure the amount of pressure in the tank. By examining the amount of pressure, utility companies can determine the water level in the tank. Pressure sensors are also placed on suction and discharge pumps to monitor their pressures to avoid any leaks or damages.

By using these remote sensor systems, utilities can eliminate the need for operators to climb towers, or travel to various locations to read gauges. These systems also eliminate the need to manually input information into a system for analysis as these sensors can send data directly to your computer.  

However, the environment for water distribution systems can pose geographic problems for wired monitoring systems. When operating in the elements, wired systems are more susceptible to weather anomalies, as well as ground faults that can destroy sensors and anything wired to it.  Power can also be an issue for wired systems because only 120 volts is typically available at the site of water towers. Additionally, most wired systems require that each sensor be wired back to the controller, making maintenance on hardwired sensors costly due to the height of the water tower.

The Benefits of Monitoring Water Towers With SCADA 

Using a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system for your water towers and elevated water tanks, can greatly benefit utilities and make them more efficient. By having properly installed monitoring systems, utilities can more easily see what’s happening inside their water tower systems and can quickly react to any issues or damages. For instance, if a pump were to break and your water pressure were to drop, operators can quickly see where the malfunction took place and dispatch a repair team to the location.

Having a SCADA system in place can also help utilities save money on repairs by identifying problem areas within their systems, and performing preventative maintenance to ensure these large systems don’t fail. Repairs for utilities are often large scale and tend to be very expensive, by having a supervisory and control system available, utilities can begin to save money on repairs by catching issues before they turn into a large scale catastrophe. 

The Takeaway

At High Tide Technologies, we specialize in developing SCADA systems for many industries that require real-time data collection and control software. Our cloud-based SCADA software and clear user interface allow users to interact with the system from anywhere and on any device. By using the latest in real-time data collection technology, utilities can prevent damages to their water towers, save money on repairs, and keep their communities supplied with fresh potable water when they need it.