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Thread: SCADA systems for drinking water utilities

  1. #1
    Bob DenOuden
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    Default SCADA systems for drinking water utilities

    We are in the beginning phases of an effort to replace our aging water distribution and treatment SCADA systems with a new system. An initial step will be to evaluate SCADA options on the market currently. I'm interested in users' experiences out there with SCADA, in particular the ease of data integration between SCADA, GIS, hydraulic models (InfoWater in our case), CIS, asset and maintenance management, and other enterprise level water utility business systems. Anybody out there have any recommendations - either positive or negative - based on their experiences?

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    Michael Miller

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    Default Re: SCADA systems for drinking water utilities

    Bob,
    This is great question, a question we are being asked a lot about recently. More and more utilities want to bring SCADA into GIS, as well as GIS into SCADA. GIS will not replace SCADA and should not replace SCADA, but we need the two to play nicely. We are seeing utilities building widgets, plug-ins, essentially tools in their GIS system, to visualize SCADA or any real time sensor in GIS. GIS will store the location of the sensor or device and some basic information, type of device, ID, etc... When the user highlights or clicks on the device, it makes a call, either in to the SCADA system or the historian, to look at the most recent value or a series of values. Another tool monitors the SCADA system or historian and looks for alerts. So when a device’s raises an alert, a pop up is shown on the GIS map. From the SCADA side, we are seeing a similar integration. From the control console, a device can be clicked or selected. A map is then shown with the highlight device or facility. This map will not only contain the distribution or plant network, but other operational data, like workorders, AVL feeds, reported leaks, etc... So the SCADA operators can see what is going on daily in the system and see if those operations are effecting the information he/she is seeing.

    Integration of SCADA can be complicated, due to legal and technical issues. Typically the SCADA system in outside the firewall, either in the DMZ or completely isolated from the internal network. A lot of clients develop a process to replicate data from the historian to a production database internally and use that database for integration. This guarantees that the GIS/SCADA integration will not affect the SCADA operations. The downside is there is a lag between the real time SCADA and viewing that information in the GIS system.

    If you have additional questions, contact us at ArcGISTeamWater@esri.com.
    Last edited by MikeMillerGIS; 06-08-2010 at 03:33 AM.

  3. #3
    Timothy Hayes
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    Default Re: SCADA systems for drinking water utilities

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob_denouden View Post
    We are in the beginning phases of an effort to replace our aging water distribution and treatment SCADA systems with a new system. An initial step will be to evaluate SCADA options on the market currently. I'm interested in users' experiences out there with SCADA, in particular the ease of data integration between SCADA, GIS, hydraulic models (InfoWater in our case), CIS, asset and maintenance management, and other enterprise level water utility business systems. Anybody out there have any recommendations - either positive or negative - based on their experiences?
    We have some experience in this area. We have a hydraulic model built in InfoWater. Here is what we did:

    1) We created a SCADA Sensor Feature Class.

    2) We used the Trimble GeoXH 6000 with Centimeter Option to obtain the XYZ values for each sensor, if it was in a vault below ground, we obtained the Z for the ground surface outside the vault, then took a tape measure and dropped it in the vault and obtained the sensor elevation. If the Sensor was inside our Pump Station, we obtained the Z for the outside, then took a tape measure and obtained the Z for the Sensor inside the Pump Station.

    3) We named each Sensor that same name/ID that it is referenced in our SCADA Historian.

    4) We export data from our SCADA System's Historian into Excel and brought into our Geodatabase.

    5) We joined the two tables and now we have the SCADA data in GIS. Depending on how often we need data, we just repeat steps 4 & 5.

    One important thing to remember is that a typical water/wastewater utility will have Sensors that do not record data, but just send it to the Control Room so the Operators can see it on their computer screens. You must ID which Sensors are actually recording data AND saving it to your SCADA Historian. Make a note of these in the SCADA Sensor Feature Class.

    This is the best solution we have been able to come up with regarding SCADA and GIS integration.

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