Case Study: Oneida Wastewater Treatment Plant

Posted by jBrown on Wed, Mar 9, 2011 @ 6:32 PM

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.

Read the complete case study to find out more about the Chatterbox system and how it helped the Oneida wastewater treatment plant save costs.

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AlarmAgent.com: A Wireless Option for Remote Monitoring

Posted by jBrown on Sun, Mar 6, 2011 @ 10:42 AM

AlarmAgent.com, a wireless, web-based remote monitoring system, offers many options for pump station monitoring at water and wastewater treatment plants. The concept is simple—wireless remote terminal units (RTUs) transmit data using the cellular network, and operators can access data through a secure, web-based interface at AlarmAgent.com. Since it does not require a landline, the system is versatile for all kinds of industries, including water and wastewater treatment. The system is easy to install. The RTUs require no wire connections, and since the operator interface is available on t... Continue Reading

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Tip of the Month: Troubleshooting Phone Line Problems

Posted by jBrown on Fri, Feb 18, 2011 @ 2:45 PM

Having trouble with the phone lines for your RACO autodialer? Try these tips to help diagnose the problem. 1. RACO autodialers work like regular telephones. Try plugging a phone into the autodialer’s jack and making an outside call. If the phone can’t make the call, neither can the autodialer. 2. Check the connection by pressing the “dial out” button on the autodialer’s keypad and listening for a dial tone. You can also measure the voltage to check the connection. If the voltage is off, there may be a problem with the phone line. 3. A staticky connection could represent a ph... Continue Reading

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RACO’s Verbatim Gateway System

Posted by jBrown on Tue, Feb 15, 2011 @ 11:40 AM

RACO’s Verbatim Gateway system puts pump station alarm monitoring and reporting for water and wastewater treatment plants right at your fingertips. Programming, status checks and alarm notification are all done through the phone. The system is compatible with programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and PC-based HMI/SCADA systems, and can monitor up to 144 points at once. It can even monitor multiple PLCs on multiple networks and provide communication between networks that are incompatible. Pump station personnel can communicate with the Verbatim Gateway system via a phone, cell phone or ... Continue Reading

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Case Study: Texas Town Benefits From AlarmAgent.com

Posted by jBrown on Fri, Feb 11, 2011 @ 3:12 PM

City officials in Midlothian, a fast-growing city in Texas, knew that accurate, efficient monitoring of its 12 pump stations was critical to keeping its water infrastructure running smoothly. To improve the functionality and efficiency of its pump monitoring capabilities, the city added RACO’s AlarmAgent.com, a wireless, web-based system that provides on-demand pump monitoring and alarm detection for water and wastewater treatment plants. Now, plant personnel can monitor flow rates, start rates, water levels and more to ensure that pumps are operating at their best. AlarmAgent.com also ... Continue Reading

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