City approves purchase of new control system

BY LINDA TREST, REPUBLICAN STAFF
Posted 7/14/21

Public Works Director Nick Grube was given permission to purchase a High Tide SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) system from Municipal Equipment by the Board of Aldermen at their July 8 …

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City approves purchase of new control system

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Public Works Director Nick Grube was given permission to purchase a High Tide SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) system from Municipal Equipment by the Board of Aldermen at their July 8 meeting.
Controls for the city’s wells will become obsolete when Fidelity completes its ongoing project of replacing copper phone lines with a fiber optics system.
These copper phone lines are currently used to control the city’s three wells. This must be done at the city shed from which Grube and his staff operate.
Upgrading to the new SCADA system will allow Grube to monitor and control the water wells from a cell phone. It will also monitor the sewer system alerting Grube to any potential problems.
The High Tide SCADA system will cost around $20,000 to install including the initial annual fees. Including the software to monitor the sewer system would be an additional $14,870.
The city has had to repair or replace four such pumps in the past year. Ward 1 Alderman Angela Koepke noted that the costs of this would have covered the cost of the new SCADA system.
Grube gave The Republican an example of this. Recently, the city installed a new pump at the old east lagoon at the cost of $7,200. Within a month, a contactor on the three-phase pump burned out sending it into single-phase operation which damaged the pump. The cost to repair the damage was $2,242.
The SCADA system would have alerted Grube that the pumps weren’t cycling correctly and in this case, would have automatically shut the pump down before the expensive repair was needed.
“Where are we getting the money for this?” asked Ward 2 Alderman Ed Adams.
Grube replied that he had $20,000 in reserve for equipment upgrades, which he had hoped to use for new truck. This would cover the cost of the system to monitor and control the wells. Grube told the board he believed he had the additional funds for the sewer system in reserve in his checking account, but would like time to verify that.
The board agreed to allow Grube to purchase both systems contingent on funds availability.
The SCADA system for the wells has been ordered, but the arrival time has not been confirmed, Grube told The Republican. He has asked a company representative to come look over the city’s sewer system to be sure the best system can be put into place.
Fidelity expects to discontinue use of the copper wire system currently used by city’s wells by late fall.

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