Extend Your SCADA – Case Study

Remote Monitoring to Extend and Enhance a SCADA System

A northern Ohio company manages several wastewater treatment plants and dozens of lift stations throughout a few counties. They have a centralized SCADA system at their main office that collects all data from the lift stations and treatment plants. Their operations and field service personnel wanted the ability to view this information when they were away from the office and to receive important alerts on their cell phones.

Data-Command was able to solve their problem by installing the Data-Bridge software on their SCADA system. Data-Bridge software gave the company the ability to extend their SCADA system to our data center, where they can see their information at any time of the day via smart phone, tablet or computer. They can also receive alerts and notifications on their cell phones (via voice call, text message, or email) about important events including high wet well levels, pump faults, generator status, pump high temperature, power fail, and more.

With Data-Command’s software solutions, the company’s field staff now has information on water treatment plants right at their fingertips, reducing the amount of time spent travelling to plants and optimizing workflow.

Redundancy to On-Premise SCADA

Avon Lake Region Water had that exact issue when a catastrophic failure occurred in both their primary and backup on-premise SCADA system. It was during the Christmas holidays which made it very challenging to get service and needed parts: the perfect storm. Data-Command was there to save the day. Surface water plants in Ohio EPA requires them to record filter effluent turbidity every 15 minutes. While the SCADA was being serviced, Data-Command was recording these values to keep them compliant.

Secure, Cloud-Based Monitoring for an On-Premise SCADA system

One of the nation’s largest publicly traded water companies, which provides water and wastewater services to approximately 2.8 million residents throughout the country, had several small facilities located 200 miles or more from its main operations facility. The remote facilities handled daily operations and maintenance on a local level, but the main facility needed access to the remote data as well. 

The local facilities’ monitoring information had to be available in multiple locations for multiple personnel. The company had an on-premise SCADA system and was able to consolidate the information; however, the company also needed to distribute it to all the region’s operators. Knowing their SCADA system did not optimally support secure web-based viewing and configuration, the company did not want to expose their system to the internet by opening portals through their network security firewall.

The company contacted Data-Command for help. To provide a solution,
a Data-Command certified partner initially installed OPC SCADA interface software on the plant’s SCADA computer.
(Note: Since then, Data-Command has removed that software and has installed an even more secure appliance to deliver the information to the Data-Command Cloud Services as well as add data redundancy.) Once installed, the software began sending information from the local SCADA system to Data-Command’s data centers. The client easily configured their custom web displays, validated their information, and set up notification and alert schedules for the various operation and operators, along with system displays, trend charts, and reports.

Data-Command’s Device interface works behind a firewall and requires no open incoming ports. The SCADA system is not exposed to the internet since the information is delivered to our Data-Center. Through Data-Command’s Info-Portal, the company management was able to view real-time and historical information, as well as system trends. The company was also able to set up alert parameters to receive notifications any time system levels exceeded their limits. Overall, the solution provided by Data-Command allowed company management to acquire global access to its information, which was extremely important as it continued to grow and expand.

Extending On-Premise SCADA

Many larger facilities have 24/7 operations and operators. They have
on-premise SCADA but the upper management and maintenance crew sometimes want to know what is going on in their plant when an issue arises or other events occur. Data-Command gives them that next level
of confidence to know what is happening at any time. Additionally, Data-Command gives them some redundancy to their existing SCADA system, when it is being maintained or has an issue, to keep them compliant.

The City of Norwalk’s superintendent oversees both the Water and Wastewater plant. He does not know which plant he will be at when an issue arises. Data-Command allows him to monitor both plants at the same time as well as his distribution and collection systems. The notification system make him more secure knowing that if something happens, he will get the notice and be able to take the proper action in a short period of time.

Twin Cities water & Wastewater has the same situation. However, on top of the superintendent managing both operations, neither plant is operated 24/7. He sleeps well knowing that Data-Command is watching both operations for him and his operators get notifications before he does through our alert escalation feature.

Others include North Royalton, Avon Lake Regional water & Wastewater, Zanesville Water and Wastewater, Twin Cities water & Wastewater, Village of Sugarcreek water & Wastewater, City of Norwalk water & Wastewater, Aqua American Water, City of Hudson, East Liverpool…  Too many to list.