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February 12, 2014

Resolving the Data Communications Challenge for Water and Wastewater Service Providers

The provision of water to homes and businesses as well as wastewater treatment is essential. In fact, water utility companies need to provide billions of litres of fresh water to residential and commercial customers and to recycle equal amounts every day. As a result, water and wastewater service providers are under more pressure than ever to improve operational efficiencies. There’s one key area in which improvements can be made and that is effective monitoring and control of water production and treatment assets and other remote sites.

Increasingly, such sites are found in remote parts of a country, particularly as demand for water is increasing. Similarly, the infrastructure required to deliver water to users and to take it away for treatment must cross challenging terrain. The equipment needed to manage this infrastructure and the various water plants needs constant supervision and generates significant volumes of data that must be recorded and conveyed to operations centres to ensure the smooth functioning of the cycle and to enable action to be taken in the event of any problems that might emerge.

Effective monitoring and control of such assets requires complete visibility. One type of monitoring system frequently deployed is known as a supervisory control and data acquisition, or SCADA. Often within a SCADA system there’ll be wireless telemetry media that transmit data gathered by equipment sensors via radio, cellular, or satellite networks. For water and wastewater plants in remote locations, the most successful way to convey this critical data to operations centres is via satellite. The VSAT, or very small aperture terminal, is particularly suitable for deployment in remote monitoring applications because it’s optimised for low-bandwidth two-way data transmission – in other words, the kind of data conveyed in SCADA and telemetry applications.

The TSAT3000, or SCADASat, is a variant of VSAT that’s been further optimised for mission-critical communications, offering a private satellite communications network in water and other utility industries. For this reason, it’s the ideal choice for SCADA and telemetry applications in water and wastewater plants.

Ground Control can deliver complete, turnkey solutions for all satellite communications, such as the TSAT3000 / SCADASat, involving SCADA and telemetry systems.