Smarter Wastewater Control
Municipal water utilities are obligated to collect, distribute and protect a scarce, essential resource. As demands for efficient operation increase, more utilities are investing in smarter control solutions to improve system performance.
When Kansas City’s municipal water utility, KC Water, chose to update their aging wastewater control system infrastructure, they called on their long-time system integrator, R.E. Pedrotti Company, for the solution. Headquartered in Mission, Kansas, R.E. Pedrotti serves municipal water and wastewater utilities throughout the Midwest. The company is part of the Rockwell Automation® PartnerNetwork™ program.
“The technical knowledge required to deliver a design project like this is vast,” said Brent Herring, deputy director, water and wastewater operations, KC Water. “Our wastewater treatment facilities were constructed over a period of 50 years – and throughout that long history, we worked extensively with R.E. Pedrotti.”
Plenty of Data. Limited Insights.
With a 320 square mile service territory, KC Water manages an area larger than the cities of San Francisco, Philadelphia, Boston or Miami. Wastewater operations encompass a network of 66 facilities, including six wastewater plants and multiple flood and sanitary sewage pump stations.
“Much of the control equipment across the wastewater system was antiquated,” said Marc Pedrotti, president, R.E. Pedrotti Company. “Maintenance was challenging and finding replacement parts was becoming increasingly difficult.”
In addition, the system relied on standalone supervisory control and data acquisition systems (SCADAs).
“The only control available was localized at the facilities,” said Herring. “Our ability to understand what was occurring in any one site depended primarily on automatic dial systems.”
Automatic dial systems pick up alarm signals – and notify utility personnel via phone, text or email message. When an alarm notification is received, a worker is dispatched to the site to respond to the issue.
“Our response time and troubleshooting was delayed,” said Herring. “We certainly were generating plenty of data. But because that data resided in separate systems, it couldn’t provide us with an immediate, system-wide view into day-to-day operations.”