Consent Decree Fine? New Technology Can Help You Act Faster

Do you think Water and Waste Water and technologies like BIM, SCADA, PLC, and Drone can merge for a better future? Waste Water Treatment is a Lifeline to every city. So, why don’t we integrate that with the latest technology for the most significant advantages? Municipalities like D.C. Water, one of the nation’s leading water and wastewater innovators, adopted innovative technologies to advance operations into optimizing infrastructure for their customers and community. Clean River, Cambi, MPT, and CHP are good, but BIM can be a permanent enhancement for your operation? Are you ready?

What’s the Industry Experts Has to Say in this regard?

  • As per 2017 Business Wire, DC Water and Xylem highlighted the urgent need for investing in smart water infrastructure to make the best use of operational productivity and benefit customers. According to a report, the American Society of Civil Engineers projected the U.S. needs to invest $123 billion each year in water infrastructure over the next ten years for attaining a good renovation.
  • The former CEO & General Manager of D.C. Water, George Hawkins (2009 – 2017) stated that D.C. Water is looking down the road for the next innovation that helps to do the job at a reduced cost.
  • Biju George, Executive Vice President, Operations & Engineering of D.C. Water, mentioned that D.C. Water is working on several innovations. He added that D.C. Water also emphasizes on leveraging digital technologies for maximizing operation and maintenance efficiencies. 

Don’t You Think We Should Combine Waste Water Treatment with Technologies?

If we combine wastewater treatments with the latest technologies like BIM, SCADA, PLC, & Drone, we will be able to make efficient asset management.  Water and Wastewater treatment is essential for the environment and human health. Before delving deep into the technologies that we can integrate for treating wastewater, let’s take a quick look at why it’s necessary to treat wastewater?

What are the dangers that we are not aware? 

  • Danger on Aquatic Life
  • Human Life & Groundwater at Risk
  • Danger to Food & Crops

How Can We Integrate Waste Water Treatment with Technologies to Have Safe Water?

Our water crisis is likely to continue, but the more we anticipate and plan, the better will be our chance to enjoy the safe water for the future.

Technology Integration with BIM, SCADA, PLC, & Drone

BIM (Building Information Modeling)

Advanced technologies like Building Information Modeling (BIM) are fast gaining power on infrastructure projects across the globe. The SmartMarket Report on the Business Value of BIM for Water Projects reveals that the industry is speeding up BIM implementation. Research by Dodge Data & Analytics in association with Autodesk & Black & Veatch demonstrates that BIM is improving water projects with a high level of client satisfaction.  The study also mentions that BIM is improving project design and development. Dodge Data research reveals that Multi-party collaboration is one of the significant benefits of BIM in the water sector, which results in reduced errors and conflicts and better communication from 3D visualization.

Theo Agelopoulos, Autodesk Director of Infrastructure Industry, states that there is extraordinary pressure on the cities and limited resources of the planet with the rise of the global population.  In this scenario, it is vital to understand the value of BIM on water and wastewater that can help to build increased and better facilities using less natural and financial resources.  

Compared to other infrastructures, water sector shows leadership in BIM in the use of 3D Models for operating the facility and supporting asset management in the U.S. 

As per Steve Jones, Senior Director of Dodge Data & Analytics, facility owners’ interest in BIM for Operation & Asset Management is an emerging value proposition, which can increase BIM usage across the water sector.

Steve said that as owners identify BIM’s support across the facility lifecycle, BIM will offer them a reason to mandate its use and get a competitive advantage. BIM will facilitate engineers and contractors to improve project delivery and will assist owners in conducting improved operations and asset management for the long term.

According to Mike Orth, Executive Vice President Managing Director of Black & Veatch’s water business in the Americas BIM echoes the significance of leveraging data in the water and wastewater industry. With the increasing use of BIM, the owners and project delivery teams will realize better execution efficiencies. The owners will see improved stakeholder engagement through the visualization capabilities offered by the technology. Seeking the digital processes and gaining streamlined access to complex data, owners reap long-term BIM benefits in asset management, operation, and maintenance as well as project integration.

Key Benefits:

  • Multi-Party Collaboration
  • Reduced Errors & Conflict
  • Better Communication from 3D Visualization
  • Increased & Better Facilities
  • Improved Operation & Asset Management
  • Improved Stakeholder Engagement

SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition Systems)

SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition Systems) also helps in treating wastewater plants. The systems are standard in current operations, and an updated cloud-based SCADA system can provide a more reliable and improved solution. A cloud-based SCADA facilitates water management plants to monitor specific levels of chemicals and toxins. 

A Washington Post Article in 2016 mentioned unsafe levels of industrial chemicals in the drinking water of 6 million Americans. The chemicals can get monitored with SCADA.  

The SCADA system also offers precise records that one can access from anywhere. Any manager or operator can access data whenever needed from their satellite or WIFI-enabled device.

Another advantage of a cloud-based SCADA system is data collected in real-time from the polluted areas, which can be studied, compared, and shared with investigators in a fast and efficient manner. Analyzing the data points, investigators can get the most accurate information, and that can lead to more rapid action.

Key Benefits:

  • Monitors Specific Levels of Chemicals & Toxins
  • Offers Precise Data to be Accessed Anywhere
  • Collects Real-Time Data from the Polluted Area

PLC (Programmable Logic Controllers) Using HMI

Operation of Water Treatment Plants is also achieved by Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC) using a Human Machine Interface (HMI) to interact. Wastewater treatment managers can undertake the installation of the PLC and HMI system and can plan work for the minimum downtime, ensuring maximum production. 

Innovative Wastewater Human Machine Interface Systems effectively monitors water treatment systems. Popular PLCs can make chemical and engineering decisions for optimizing treatment. HMI systems often include a graphical panel for observing all aspects of a water treatment system, such as chemical usage, system history, pH, tank levels, as well as alarms. You can see the information on a high-resolution display with touchpad operation and can easily monitor the system.

Remote Monitoring of water treatment plant is also possible, where you can view the system remotely from anywhere, only by connecting a computer to the system via a network. As a result of which, you can check how the system is functioning from outside the facility.

Through backward compatibility, you can connect with older wastewater programmable logic controller systems and get the advantages of integration without any upgrade of existing systems.

Through automated reporting and recordkeeping, you can produce and save reports as PDFs. You can also get notifications when certain events occur within the treatment system, and stay updated in real-time about vital changes.

Key Benefits

  • Minimum Down Time, Maximum Production
  • Chemical & Engineering Decisions for Optimizing Treatment
  • Remote Monitoring of Water Treatment Plant
  • Backward Compatibility
  • Automated Reporting & Recordkeeping

Drone

Drones provide robust insights for reducing costs, increasing operational efficiency, and boosting the delivery of clean water. Energy consumption, overhead cost, and infrastructure failures are some of the issues that water treatment facilities contend with for ensuring accessibility of freshwater to their municipalities. Using drones, plant managers can collect visual information that helps to spot opportunities for energy reduction, like areas losing water or amending spots with stormwater infiltration. The wastewater treatment sector has benefited from drones, where analysts make projections about various useful ways of using drones for managing wastewater treatment requirements.

Water testing process improves with the drone. Testing is crucial for operating a wastewater treatment plant. If the representatives of the plants don’t conduct the tests, they wouldn’t know whether the systems are providing the desired results or not. Plant managers can equip drones with sensors for an advanced way of executing a water test. The technology can test the water in places, which are hazardous for humans like the areas around oil spills. Moreover, the drone can fly to a specific location and collect data such as pH, conductivity, and temperature.  

You can increase the safety of the workers with a Drone in a wastewater plant. An inspection-based task can be time-consuming and often risky for humans, which could take teams of people for several days to complete the operation. However, by using a drone, the same job takes only a few minutes to finish with the least number of people.

Wastewater treatment plants can also use drones for inspecting problems such as cracks and other issues in an isolated area of the wastewater treatment plant. Drones can take high-quality footage in short times.  A maintenance manager can detect severe problems and can decide where to allot resources and take necessary actions before disasters like a gas leak, infrastructure breakdown. Using drones, water plant managers can gather previously unknown, in-depth data through aerial photos and videos. The information helps efficient and inexpensive site inspections, leveraging technologies like 3D mapping and photogrammetry.

Drone Benefits for Water Waste Treatment Plants

  • Boosting Delivery of Clean Water, Improving Water Testing Process
  • Increasing Safety of Waters, Inspecting Problems, Making Better Decisions

Who can offer you the solution?

Tejjy Inc, based in Washington DC, USA, associates with all AEC project stakeholders to provide the information they need to strengthen the success of the water treatment plant. Contact us at +1 (202)-465-4830 or +1 (240) 899-7711 and email us at info@tejjy.com to learn more about our technology implementation. You can hire our experts for your wastewater treatment project. We can be the one-stop solution for all your Engineering, BIM & Construction needs. Contact us for more details. You can also visit our office at 1201 Seven Locks Road, Suite 360 Rockville, MD 20854.

Sukh Singh
Published by Sukh Singh

Sukh Singh is the COO of Tejjy Inc – the man on whom the vision of Tejjy Inc has dawned. He is the fountainhead of ideas for development, lines of operations, new vistas, domain verticals, and technical integration with other industries, diversification and complementary lines of practice. Sukh is the head of vision for Construction Management, BIM & Engineering Solutions. He has extensively worked with the Engineering Firms, Architects, Construction and Government agencies in the USA.