Case Study: L.A. County Finds Reliable Pump Monitoring with AlarmAgent.com

Posted by jBrown on Fri, May 20, 2011 @ 12:03 PM

On July 15, 2006, a power outage at a Manhattan Beach, Calif., pump station resulted in the largest wastewater spill in a decade. Although the facility had a SCADA system in place, a combination of equipment and communication failures occurred, causing extreme flooding. Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County officials knew that such an event could never occur again, so they turned to RACO for a solution.

Many cities and unincorporated areas in Los Angeles County are separated from the main metropolitan area by mountains, so communications options are limited. The current SCADA system used landlines, so a backup system would need to use either radio or wireless technology. RACO personnel visited the system’s most important pump stations and determined that the web-based AlarmAgent.com would be best.

To get the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles county started with the system, RACO personnel visited their offices to educate personnel on using the AlarmAgent.com website. They also visited all of the pump stations to ensure each had the necessary signal strength and sent out test units for Sanitations Districts employees to try.

Today, all 53 pump stations in Los Angeles County use AlarmAgent.com for alarm notification backup. An operations team runs a field office to monitor the system for the entire county, monitoring the pump stations and coordinating response teams any time an alarm occurs.

The AlarmAgent.com system has proved its worth on many occasions, including an incident that occurred just hours after it was installed. A pump station on Pacific Highway #1 lost power, cutting out the SCADA system. AlarmAgent.com was able to notify personnel, who were able to monitor the situation until power was restored.

The Sanitations Districts have been so pleased with the system for their wastewater management operations that they decided to implement it for their solid waste operations, too. An AlarmAgent.com system recently was installed in an L.A. County landfill, one of the largest in the country.

Learn more about L.A. County and the AlarmAgent.com system by reading the complete case study and visiting the AlarmAgent.com product page.

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Verbatim Video Series Part II: Installation

Posted by jBrown on Fri, May 13, 2011 @ 2:12 PM

Part two in RACO’s six-part video series covers installing the Verbatim autodialer. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adp0Yk9dmko 1. Choose a mounting location This location must be free from condensing humidity and have temperatures between 20°F and 130°F. The autodialer must be within 5 ft of a standard RJ11 phone jack and a grounded 120-V AC outlet. It is possible to mount Verbatim outdoors with the optional enclosure. An optional heater and thermostat is also available to keep the unit at the proper temperature. 2. Get connected Next, complete all of the autodialer’s wiri... Continue Reading

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Tip of the Month: Using Comm-Check

Posted by jBrown on Fri, Apr 29, 2011 @ 2:57 PM

The Comm-Check feature allows AlarmAgent.com RTUs to check in with the website every one to two hours. However, not all RTUs are compatible with Comm-Check, so it is important to get approval from RACO to avoid any major issues. To find out when the next Comm-Check is expected, go to the RTU Status page on the AlarmAgent.com website, and look at “Next Scheduled Contact with RTU.” You can also view past Comm-Check reports by viewing the Comm-Check events log. If a report is too early or too late, you will receive a watchdog alarm. For more helpful Comm-Check hints, visit the RACO S... Continue Reading

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Case Study: Silver Springs Water Co.

Posted by jBrown on Tue, Apr 19, 2011 @ 4:37 PM

The Silver Spring Water Co. in Park City, Utah, uses a Chatterbox Model CB-4 with Remote Supervisory Control Output (RSC-4) to monitor its well- and spring-fed storage system. CTF Controls of Woods Cross, Utah, designed, furnished and installed the control system, and Lynn Stevens is system manager. The facility normally is unattended. The Chatterbox monitors four conditions at the facility: storage tank level, spring turbidity, spring valve open/close status and chlorine leakage. If the turbidimeter senses that spring turbidity is too high, it closes the spring valve and sends an alarm ... Continue Reading

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Verbatim Video Series Part I: Introduction

Posted by jBrown on Thu, Apr 14, 2011 @ 9:02 AM

RACO’s six-part video series introduces the Verbatim autodialer and gives viewers thebasics on installation, programming and installation. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgXtEOvxziU The first installment presents Verbatim and all of its features. The system acts as a remote alarm monitor for remote or unattended facilities. The standard system can monitor four inputs at once, but options are available for up to 32. Verbatim usually monitors sensors like float or limit switches to alert it to alarm conditions, but some inputs can be set just for reporting purposes. When Verbatim sens... Continue Reading

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