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The Florida Water System Hack And How to Protect Your Operation From A Similar Fate

Posted on Thu, Mar 11, 2021 @ 5:32 PM

Lessons from the Pinellas County, FL Hack The biggest challenge the 55,000 water treatment plants in the US face is monitoring the plant to avoid intrusions. In our increasingly digital world, the threat of intrusion is no longer just physical. Water treatment plants are amongst the focus of cyberattacks from international hackers and extremists. The recent hack of the treatment facility in Pinellas County, Florida, shows us that even the smallest operations are at risk. Why? The reason is simple; each of these plants provides water to an average of about 50,000 Americans. The potential impact of a hack is substantial for those seeking to do maximum damage. This figure is attraction-seeking, and the US water supply technology has very little protection against hacking. The Florida incident is a case study to explore the prevailing problems with the existing water system management technologies in the country and how operators can better protect their critical infrastructure going forward. BACKGROUND: The Florida Water System Hack In the early days of February 2021, an unknown hacker recently infiltrated a computer for the water system and briefly increased the amount of sodium hydroxide by a factor of more than 100. The introduction of sodium hydroxide would have led to the loss of disinfectant in the water, a sudden change in water PH level, and dissolved oxygen in suspension. (more…)... Continue Reading

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RACO Mfg and Eng at RAOTM – Spokane, Washington – July 27-28, 2016

Posted on Fri, Jul 8, 2016 @ 11:22 AM

On July 27 & 28, RACO Manufacturing and Engineering will be at Rockwell Automation On the Move (RAOTM). The event will be held at the Davenport Grand at Spokane, Washington. RACO alarm systems provide remote monitoring, reporting, datalogging, and control functions over the standard dial-up or wirelessly over cellular telephone networks. Alarms can be reported using voice messages sent to landline or cellular telephones or using electronic messages delivered via computers, fax machines, email, or SMS. For over 50 years, RACO Manufacturing and Engineering Co., Inc. has provided municipalities, industry, and government with a wide variety of high-quality, reliable remote communications systems, annunciators, and RTU's for alarm autodialing, remote monitoring, reporting, datalogging, and control. Applications range from only a single RTU to a full multi-station, multi-point PLC, DCS, or SCADA network. At RAOTM, come learn how smart, safe and sustainable solutions can turn your marketplace challenges into advantages. Enable Plant-wide Optimization — Helping you get more productivity and efficiency from your automation investments throughout all stages of your plant’s lifecycle. Boost Machine Builder Performance — Flexible, scalable automation solutions designed to lower Total Cost to Design, Develop and DeliverSM machines and improve overall performance. Drive Sustainable Production — Increase competitiveness and overcome the rising costs of energy, raw materials and lost worker productivity. Participate in technical sessions, hands-on labs and interact with products and technology exhibits. For more information about this tradeshow please call Gene Cottom at 510-594-4223 or for event details and registration click here.    ... Continue Reading

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RACO Now Included in Rockwell Automation Support Center – RACO Product and Rockwell PLC Integration Made Easier Than Ever

Posted on Fri, Apr 5, 2013 @ 9:15 AM

EMERYVILLE, Calif. (April 3, 2013) — RACO Manufacturing and Engineering Company Inc., a leading provider of remote monitoring, reporting and control devices, announced today its inclusion in the Rockwell Automation Support Center, also referred to as its knowledgebase. With RACO’s inclusion to the RockwellAutomationSupportCenter, customers have access to over 350 FAQs, including all integration notes, which makes it even easier to integrate existing Rockwell PLCs with RACO® products. Customers can resolve their technical issues easily and efficiently with 24/7 support from theRockwellAutomationSupportCenter. Customers can search for public answers, request notification updates, read forums, submit questions and chat live as part of this full-service support center. “We are very excited to partner with Rockwell Automation and be included within their support center,” said James Brown, vice president of sales and marketing for RACO. “We see this as a value-added service to our customers, ensuring a seamless and easy integration between our products and their existing Rockwell PLCs.” Visit the RockwellAutomationSupportCenterat For more information about RACO products, please visit About RACO Manufacturing and Engineering Company For more than 60 years and with more than 60,000 installations, RACO Manufacturing and Engineering Co. of Emeryville, Calif., has provided municipalities, industry and government with a wide variety of high-quality, reliable remote communications systems and RTUs for data logging, alarm autodialing, remote monitoring, reporting and control. For more information, contact RACO at 1400 62nd St., Emeryville, CA94608; Ph: 800-722-6999; Fax: 510-658-3153; email:; or visit Follow RACO Manufacturing and Engineering Company on Twitter: @RACOmann... Continue Reading

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Guard-It: Key Features and Benefits

Posted on Thu, Jul 21, 2011 @ 6:30 AM

RACO’s Guard-It is a low-cost autodialer with flexible features for dependable alarm and remote monitoring. Users can configure four universal input channels for analog or digital signals, which are field-programmable at the system’s control panel. Upon alarm detection, the system calls a list of up to eight phone numbers. Respondents are given the station’s identity and specific alarm condition by a prerecorded voice message. In addition to standard office phones, the alarm sequence can also call pagers, cell phones or voice mail. Respondents can press a button on the phone’s keypad to acknowledge the alarm and listen to background sounds at the site through a built-in microphone. Users can call from any remote phone for status updates. Additionally, the system’s operating status is displayed on the front panel, while surge protection and noise suppression are standard.... Continue Reading

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Case Study: Hampton Water Works Co. and Salisbury Water Supply Co.

Posted on Fri, Jul 15, 2011 @ 5:08 PM

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... Continue Reading

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