Developing the Next Generation of SCADA and Telemetry Reports in Water and Wastewater

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Most water and wastewater utilities want much more comprehensive and meaningful reports from their SCADA and telemetry systems so that they can run their operations more efficiently. Higher level reporting is also essential for running cost-effective capital works programs. MultiTrode has published a new white paper outlining some of the challenges and some new solutions.

Report comparing efficiency loss by pump vendor

Having said that, most of the legacy RTU or PLC based systems in lift stations may only have a few points of data per site anyway. That does limit the ability to create an asset rich report. Having a pump station manager with a richer data set, coupled with a great telemetry protocol like DNP3 is definitely a far stronger foundation.

The new white paper from MultiTrode looks at the benefits of the next generation of reporting, as well as covering why SCADA reports have historically been so limited and what barriers still exist to improving them. The paper focuses mainly on the challenge of reporting on the network of lift stations and pump stations that form the wastewater collection and water supply system.

Utility asset managers are often hamstrung by the lack of information from their collection system. Capital works programs are designed and funded based on little more than hours run and starts data from each pump station. Even when more data exists at site, good analytical reports are very hard to come by. With millions of dollars invested in capital works programs, an obvious place for improvement in capital allocation is to help the organization understand the real state of the assets.

Operational managers have similar problems in designing effective maintenance programs.

Paul Francis, Group CTO for MultiTrode commented: "Reporting has always been a challenging aspect of any SCADA platform. Visualization and trending tools were some of the earliest adopted elements of SCADA systems and hence matured long before reporting interfaces did. Developing useful reports can also be more of a technical challenge than making a nice graphical interface for your plant or collection system; in part due to the nature and structure of the underlying data."

Francis added: "Having said that, most of the legacy RTU or PLC based systems in lift stations may only have a few points of data per site anyway. That does limit the ability to create an asset rich report. Having a pump station manager with a richer data set, coupled with a great telemetry protocol like DNP3 is definitely a far stronger foundation."

Utility managers have therefore generally had low expectations of what might be achievable. However, new RTU technology, open communications, much higher bandwidth radios and better knowledge of how to deploy systems makes a new generation of reporting possible for water and wastewater utilities.

About MultiTrode
MultiTrode, founded in 1986, is a specialist in pump station technology for water and wastewater utilities around the world. The company has offices in the USA, UK and Australia.

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Steve Carson
MultiTrode
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