Unitywater has developed pioneering data integration technology to transform its network centre control room into a fully-integrated, remote operations centre capable of managing Unitywater’s entire fleet of assets.

The control room has experienced a major capability boost after a recent project successfully integrated data from its 16 stand-alone Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) into a central location, which previously controlled the water and sewerage network only.

The project funnelled data from 16 different Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems into the Control Room, which is based in Maroochydore and operates 24/7.

This has allowed Control Room staff to remotely monitor data, respond to alarms at STPs situated across the Unitywater service region and apply a systems approach when operating the sewerage network to meet the conditions of the receiving environment at the STP.

The integration of data has reduced after-hours STP operator call-outs, improved overall network visibility and enhanced the power of Unitywater’s centralised network control.

“This project, and a range of other trials we have conducted over the past 18 months, has proven that adopting intelligent technology is one of the ways we can improve how we monitor, manage and maintain our networks,” Acting Executive Manager Customer Delivery, Martine Watson, said.

“Today’s customers expect technology to be clever and one step ahead. They want it to be convenient, save time and generally make life easier. This is also what we want here at Unitywater.

“It has been really exciting to see how these technologies can help us achieve our primary goal, which is to leverage digital solutions to improve the overall customer experience.”

This STP SCADA integration uses two thin client applications: Netsupport Manager and Microsoft RemoteApp.

To ensure a safe transition to remote monitoring, STP operators are working closely with Control Room staff as they are trained in critical alarm response and how to follow detailed standard operating procedures.

Before joining the Utility team, Eliza worked as a freelance journalist for a number of years. Eliza has the rare talent of being able to find the nuggets of gold in otherwise average source material, and like any self-respecting member of gen-Y is a whiz when it comes to social media marketing and management.

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