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Tiber County Water District Control Systems Upgrade


Conrad, Montana

About the Project

Due to the age and proprietary nature of the existing control system, Tiber County Water District realized the need for a system upgrade in order to increase reliability, efficiency, and functionality.

The previous telemetry system was a proprietary and obsolete telephone tone system using paper chart recorders to record operational data (both of which are no longer manufactured or supported) with a few remote sites set up with Motorola voice recorders for limited alarm reporting to operators.

Project Details

Date: 2008

Client: Tiber County Water District

Key Project Elements
  • Montana Rural Water System
  • Non-Proprietary System
  • Touch-Screen Interface
  • Remote Process Control Ability

Overcoming Challenges with Control System Upgrades

The existing system used physical connections through buried telephone cable and transmitters/receivers (also no longer manufactured or supported) at each remote site, making the system susceptible to cable degradation and transmitter/receiver failure.

This put the system at risk of complete communication loss to the remote sites. The system deficiencies also resulted in large amounts of travelling to collect system status information manually.

In mid 2008, Tiber County Water District selected AE2S to provide a Control System Upgrade to help meet the challenges associated with bringing the system up-to-date and effectively meet their current and long term needs.

Controls Upgrade Goes WIRELESS

The AE2S project team recognized the essential need for a non-proprietary telemetry system using serial wireless radio technology, allowing remote troubleshooting and accessible replacement devices.

Complementing the radio telemetry system, each remote site was retrofitted with new Control Panels – each with industry standard Allen-Bradley PLC hardware (whose modular design allows for easy future expansion) and an Allen-Bradley Operator Interface Terminal (OIT), which provides a user friendly touch-screen graphic representation for local control at each site.

The radio telemetry system then reads and writes signals to and from each remote site providing real-time data transfer between the new HMI/SCADA Wonderware system and remote sites, giving the operator remote process control ability, historical trending and reporting, and real-time alarm conditions throughout the entire system.

Benefits Realized

This project will provide Tiber County Water District a system that offers control functionality, data collection reliability, and efficient system operation both locally and remotely. These features will result in a more effective means of monitoring and maintaining the district’s treatment and distribution system, and improving operations.

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Tiber County Water District Control Systems Upgrade