Cloud-Based Well Controller System Provides Community Water System with Pumping Control and Data Collection to Meet Regulatory Reporting

April 8, 2021

Cloud-based SCADA systems offer community water systems an affordable way to collect data and control pumps in order to meet regulatory requirements and save energy.

Challenge: Automatically calculate groundwater pumping rates for regulatory reports

The City of Tehama, like thousands of other small cities and towns, provides drinking water to roughly 400 people through 195 service connections. According to the US EPA, over 65% of the nation’s nearly 60,000 Community Water Systems deliver potable water to 500 people or fewer.

The City obtains drinking water from two groundwater wells that feed into the distribution system via a pair of hydro-pneumatic pressure tanks. Since 2014, the City has been required to report the total volume of water pumped from each well and the highest daily pumping totals under California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). As a small community water system, the City of Tehama did not own any type of SCADA system. The new statewide reporting requirements meant a city staff member (the City only employs three part-time staff) would be required to physically read the water meters on both pumps daily in order to provide accurate reporting to the State.

In response to the reporting requirement, the City began to look for technology to help with data collection and compliance. The City learned about XiO’s Cloud SCADA® Control Systems through the statewide rural water association. Following a detailed scoping meeting by phone, the City purchased two WCS-100 Well Controller Systems in July of 2016. Each system includes a Field-Installable Unit (FIU), Soft I/O® Controller, uninterruptable power supply (UPS), and cellular modem. The systems were preconfigured and shipped ready for installation by a licensed electrician. Installation at the well site took under one day to mount the NEMA 4X enclosures, connect the wires and calibrate the equipment. The pump and well data were available online immediately via the XiO User Portal. The City worked with XiO to develop easily accessible custom reports to satisfy the new reporting requirements.

Solution: Cloud-based SCADA provides cost-effective solution

The Well Controller System package combines monitoring with remote control and actionable data through powerful analytics. Sensors monitor flow rate, pump status, and pump cycles, issuing alarms via SMS text message for pump failure and power loss. Remote-control capabilities allow users to easily operate the pumps from anywhere. All collected data is available via the XiO User Portal which details historical events, alarms, and user actions. Users can view real-time charts and trendlines showing up-to-the-minute metrics such as total gallons pumped, flow rates, runtimes, and energy usage. Pump monitoring allows managers to schedule preventative maintenance and optimize energy use.

The City of Tehama saves roughly 10 hours of staff time each month with the custom reports from the XiO system. In addition, the city has increased its drinking water system’s resilience and risk preparedness by moving data and historical records to the cloud. The City’s system may be operated remotely in the event of a natural disaster or other disruption. In the event of a loss of connection with the cloud, the system operates based on preprogrammed default settings. The XiO Cloud SCADA® Control System has helped level the playing field for small community water systems by making SCADA affordable.

Editor's Note: Scranton Gillette Communications and the SGC Water Group are not liable for the accuracy, efficacy and validity of the claims made in this piece. The views expressed in this content do not reflect the position of the editorial teams of Water & Wastes Digest, Water Quality Products and Storm Water Solutions.


XiO, Inc.

March 15, 2021