Case Study: Oneida Wastewater Treatment Plant
The wastewater treatment plant in Oneida, N.Y., uses a RACO Chatterbox autodialer system to increase efficiency and save money. The plant is unattended at night, so the Chatterbox system is set to notify plant personnel of two alarm conditions: a power outage or a high sewage wet well level.
The Chatterbox system is easy to use, since it can be programmed on site. The plant operator enters a list of phone numbers to be called in case of an alarm and creates pre-programmed voice messages. If personnel changes occur, and phone numbers need to be changed, the operator can make the adjustments, reducing service costs. If the system senses an alarm situation, the autodialer calls the pre-programmed numbers until it completes a connection. It then states the problem in English, and the staff member acknowledges receiving the call by pressing a button. The Chatterbox system makes calls even if alarm conditions occurred, then returned to normal. It simply adds “now normal” to the voice message.
Chatterbox offers several other benefits as well. The system can be set to verify that it and the notification phone numbers are working by calling them at predetermined intervals. It also provides a warning message if the alarm switch is off or no phone numbers are entered into the system. A built-in microphone provides another communications option. Plant personnel can listen to local noises or speak with a colleague at the plant.
The Oneida wastewater treatment plant has benefited greatly since installing the Chatterbox system. According to the plant operator, if an alarm occurs, personnel are able to arrive on the scene more quickly, equipped with relevant information about the problem. The treatment plant staff also are able to anticipate alarm notifications in the case of an unexpected event like a big storm, and call in to the system for a status check. After the addition of the Chatterbox system, the plant was able to eliminate a whole shift and greatly cut down on overtime. In one year, the plant saved $10,000.
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