Progressive sewerage authority elects to think outside the traditional SCADA box
The Cherokee County Water and Sewerage Authority (CCWSA) provides high-quality water and sewer service to more than 170,000 residents in Cherokee County, Ga. CCWSA was established as a subdivision of the government of the state of Georgia by an act of the Georgia Legislature in 1955. It presently maintains and operates two wastewater facilities: Rose Creek and Fitzgerald Creek. A third plant, Riverbend, is due online in 2018.
At Fitzgerald Creek, plant personnel wanted to simplify operations and facilitate access to the control panel.
CCWSA sought increased control of its Sanitaire ICEAS advanced sequencing batch reactor basins directly from its offices for two primary reasons. First and foremost, it was interested in advanced features that allowed it to more easily make changes to its process compared to the original control package. Secondly, plant personnel were forced to navigate a lengthy and annoying walk between their offices and laboratory and the room where the control panel was mounted. So CCWSA contacted Xylem distributor The TDH Co. for assistance.
CCWSA was already operating its own SCADA system. However, TDH offered an alternative, state-of-the-art solution: Sanitaire’s customizable Oscar process performance optimizer control system. For this project, Sanitaire would replace the existing programmable logic controller (PLC) and human machine interface (HMI) hardware and software to enable remote connectivity.
The Oscar control system is a customizable, integrated biological process control software and hardware system that is used with Xylem’s treatment equipment to help plants meet their desired performance and operating budget.
The system provides:
- Dynamic adaptability to changing conditions to optimize contaminant removal for the best effluent quality possible;
- Energy savings and reduced chemical consumption resulting from optimized equipment operation; and
- An operator-friendly intuitive user interface and remote accessibility bolstered by transparent real-time monitoring and quickly available electronic help features built into the HMI.
The Oscar control system enhances standard features of an HMI to provide remote monitoring that keeps CCWSA workers efficient. This enhancement allows them to send information to a central facility, where a secure viewer program allows users to adjust process control set points and monitor tank levels, oxygen levels, flow rates, alarms and more.
By March 2017, CCWSA already had provided its own desktop computer for the office, which was set up with the new secure viewer program within 30 minutes. Replacement of the previous HMI with the new industrial computer—which features a much larger screen—took only two hours total. The previous PLC processor was replaced with a newer model that included the Oscar system software logic. Finally, a highly secure industrial web portal was installed; it enables rapid response from Xylem’s support staff engineers. All critical features typically provided by SCADA were offered with this upgrade.
Following installation, the main goal—remote control of the ICEAS basins—was quickly met. The plant’s HMI was personalized to create a friendly graphical user interface (GUI that includes a wealth of features, all of which are accessible directly in the GUI and available remotely:
- Documentation and manuals for simple troubleshooting and optimization;
- Set point restore that allows an operator to save up to four groups of set points that can be reloaded at any time. This was a particularly appealing feature to CCWSA, which is trying to optimize its ICEAS process by adjusting current set points. Because set points can now be saved, operators are more comfortable making these changes;
- Troubleshooting guides for each alarm directly in the HMI to ensure alarms can be solved quickly and easily;
- Trending capability to simplify process overview and troubleshooting; and
- Maintenance health dashboards that track core equipment and ensure timely maintenance.
Oscar has quickly become a critical partner in optimization of the CCWSA plant. Plant personnel are now able to monitor and adjust plant operation remotely when not on site through the use of a computer, tablet or mobile phone. In addition, operators have begun testing experimental process methods to increase flexibility, confident that no issues will occur with the new system.
The CCWSA is so satisfied with the decision that the new Riverbend Treatment Facility due online this year also will feature the Oscar control system.