PUC Services Inc. in Ontario Canada has launched its new supervisory control and data acquisition system (SCADA) during a ribbon cutting event at its water treatment plant on Second Line West. PUC president Rob Brewer says the SCADA upgrade will ultimately boost efficiency levels throughout the utility corporation’s 14 sites.
“What it does from a technical standpoint is it actually gives us real time insight into our entire system across town, and allows us to make modifications as we go,” Brewer told SooToday during the launch. “We can now, from a control room, make adjustments that previously we had to send crews out to the various sites to do. So it’s increased both our efficiency, but also the ability for us to react in a much more timely fashion.”
The new SCADA system at the water treatment plant replaces the previous 30-year end-of-life system, which PUC says was racked with frequent hardware and network failures. Now, PUC has the ability to control many of its industrial processes locally or from remote locations, while giving staff the power to monitor and analyze process information in real time.
During a tour of the water treatment plant, PUC water operations lead hand Sandra Dewar told SooToday that the new system will allow employees to open and close valves on the filter floor remotely, as opposed to doing the same task manually.
“We have it in real time, there’s no delay process for us anymore,” said Dewar. “We have the actual console on the filter floor, so that was a huge upscale from what we had before.”
Dewar says that many of the reports now available through the upgraded SCADA system simply weren’t available to PUC employees in the past.
“We can see historical data pretty much at any time to see what was happening at a specific day, specific time and see all of the factors involved,” Dewar said.
Prior to the official ribbon cutting in the control room of the water treatment plant, Mayor Christian Provenzano – who also sits on the board of directors for PUC – told onlookers that a progressive utility corporation is a step in the right direction for the city as a whole.
“It’s important that we make sure that we have the right mechanisms and infrastructure in place to provide [and] deliver our services properly, but it’s also just as important that we as the city, and we as the PUC, be a leader in the community,” said Provenzano. “I believe strongly that the changes we want to see in our community, we have to see at city hall and we have see at our utility.”
PUC initially began its planning, development and engineering phase of the project in 2017, with physical construction getting underway in early 2018.
“You know, it’s fantastic to see a project start right from the planning stages, and then two years of a whole lot of staff time and a whole lot of energy from contractors and everybody involved in it,” said Brewer. “To see it come into fruition, it’s a really exciting time for us.”
The SCADA upgrade had a total actual cost of $1,915,430, or 97.5 per cent of the project’s total budget of $1,963,200.