Case Study: Hampton Water Works Co. and Salisbury Water Supply Co.
Hampton Water Works Co. in New Hampshire and Salisbury Water Supply Co. in Massachusetts use the Verbatim Model VSS-8C Autodialer/Alarm Monitor for 24-hour surveillance of two municipal water distribution facilities.
During system upgrades for both plants, workers installed the Verbatim autodialer to take over status and alarm reporting on nights and weekends. The monitor is programmed for 11 areas in the plants, which serve about 11,000 customers during peak summer months when daily water delivery nears 7 million gal. Critical monitoring areas comprise water levels in storage tanks and operations of a fire-service pump.
Hampton’s autodialer has an optional analog input card, which receives signals from the storage tanks and is programmed to convert these signals into actual water levels. The system also monitors water imported to the Salisbury system—information is transmitted through telemetry lines from Salisbury to the pump house in North Hampton, Mass. Should the line fail, appropriate personnel are alerted.
The autodialer gives workers greater control over the systems, Production Superintendent Laurel Flax said. Prior to installation, there was no way to monitor the facilities during off-hours. Now officials are alerted when tanks are below acceptable levels. Digital status checking has also helped operating personnel—a user can call the system at any time to hear a voice message giving the status of monitored functions.
Verbatim units are user-programmable, and Hampton’s system currently has eight digital inputs for monitoring functions. Optional expansion boards let the user increase the number of channels from 16 to 24 to 32. Similarly, the unit can accommodate 4, 8 or 16 analog signal inputs—Hampton uses four.
Hampton executives are considering various future upgrades for the autodialer, such as expanding the unit to monitor individual pumps simultaneously and installing more systems for broader coverage. Officials might also connect the unit to a printer to generate hardcopies of records.
Before the autodialer, workers had to rely on customers and local fire departments to notify them of service problems during off hours, Flax said. “Now we get the information first hand”—a preemptive advantage to stave off trouble before it even happens.
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