With the important responsibility of providing clean, safe water for his Sonoma, Calif. community, Chris LaVay was looking for a better SCADA solution for his water treatment plant. Maintaining high-quality water at De Anza Moon Valley is not a job LaVay takes lightly. "We're on a well, a 600-foot deep well -and I'm in charge of all that," said LaVay, the facility manager. He spends a lot of his time physically monitoring his water-treatment equipment, which primarily consists of analog sensor data.
"We do have an existing alarm system, but frankly, it doesn't hold a candle to DPS equipment. I mean, it's not even close..."
Since this tedious process often eats up much of his time, LaVay said water mishaps can still occur at night. "If I see high flow rates in the middle of the night and it's outside the parameters that I've set, I'll know we've got a massive leak somewhere," he said. "In waiting a few hours, the community probably gets flooded and I finally get a phone call, but the damage is done."
Constant Equipment Monitoring Kept Him From Other Job Responsibilities...
A key part of LaVay's job of providing safe drinking water is to disinfect in accordance with the Department of Health Services regulations. A mountain of data from different sensors must be collected during this process. "It takes up a lot of my time going down there and monitoring - physically monitoring the equipment, getting the outputs, velocities, flow rates, injection rates, dosages, chlorine residuals and all that," LaVay explained.
"I get paged and BOOM - I go out there and take care of it..."
SCADA and Analog Implementation Are Just The Solution He's Been Looking For...
The equipment currently in use at De Anza Moon Valley has simply not produced the results LaVay has in mind. "We do have an existing alarm system, but frankly it doesn't hold a candle to DPS equipment," he said. "I mean, it's not even close."
For his water treatment plant, LaVay plans to strengthen his alarming with analogs and control relays. "If we just had some analog sensors in the right places, it would save me a tremendous amount of time," he said. "If I had a sensor that could sense when chlorine residuals fell below our parameters, I get paged and BOOM -I go out there and take care of it." LaVay knows that the pager and email notifications available with NetGuardian remotes will help to prevent many of the leaks and other pesky problems he's faced in the past.
"It could save us millions of dollars..."
Visions Of A Better, More Efficient Monitoring System at De Anza Moon Valley...
At a recent training event at DPS Headquarters, his ultimate goal was to learn about SCADA implementation. During training, LaVay learned about DPS devices that will accomplish this task and offer better alarm notification. Now armed with new knowledge and understanding, LaVay is working on a proposal to revamp the alarm monitoring for De Anza Moon Valley.
His visions for the future include analog and relay solutions, as well as sensors for alarm contacts. Part of LaVay's plan is use electric valve isolation. "When high flow rates are sensed over here, you can start shutting down appropriate isolation valves and isolate that leak before it gets out of control," he explained. "So by the time I get there, it's isolated and it's just a matter of repairing it."
With DPS solutions in mind, LaVay hopes to "retrofit" his current alarm system. "It could save us millions of dollars."