Adventures into Wastewater Systems… have you ever thought about what it takes to keep a major riverfront city like St. Louis, Missouri free and clear of rising stormwater and run-off? Recently the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD) provided SSS with a private, behind-the-scenes look at their operations and exclusive tour of the two main pumping stations around the city of St Louis:
– The Bissell Point Pump Station
– Mill Creek Pumping Station
It’s amazing to see the inner workings of these vast machines that help keep the city above water and keep cracks from flowing through the streets. With the pumping stations linked to thousands of lines of piping and infrastructure built decades ago, it’s also fascinating to see how operators manage this complex system through technology and innovation.
An automated, integrated network
MSD’s mission is to provide effective wastewater and stormwater management to protect our environment and the health and safety of our community. The underground water system is literally the digestive system of the city, funneling non-potable water through pipes and into pumping stations that treat and safely discharge the water.
A fully-integrated SCADA network that enables automated monitoring and alerting is key. For sites that aren’t manned, MSD has vast telemetry sensor arrays that monitor the status of these giant pump stations and control systems. Often, the remote locations of these stations require that the data be carried using wireless technology. Preventing the need for costly physical data transport infrastructure. This wireless network allows their system engineers to monitor the operation from one central location and identify and fix problems using both historical and real-time data.
Automation also helps MSD by reducing engineering time and maintenance costs. This in turns allows the agency to balance water quality protection and compliance with economic growth and sustainability.
MSD uses GE MDS radios to transport telemetry data from lift stations forming a broad SCADA network encompassing multiple sites and allowing command and control of remote PLCs that manage tank levels and water flow. The GE MDS industrial wireless solution provides long distance communications over licensed, unlicensed and cellular radio bands, allowing users to interface with both Ethernet and serial devices such as PLCs, RTUs and meters with host monitoring and control systems.
SSS is a strategic technology partner with MSD, supporting their deployment of SCADA communications products across their operations which covers over 1.3 million residents. This includes providing wireless data solutions that allow for remote monitoring of pumps, water level sensors, flow meters, and alarms. SSS is also in position to help MSD find synergies with the city’s major electric utility – Ameren Corp – identifying ways both agencies can benefit from each other’s knowledge asources.