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Council upgrades water and wastewater operating system



23 Aug, 2022


The first part of a multi-phase project to manage Council’s asset network more efficiently and improve its resilience is complete.

Council’s Digital Services team and Infrastructure team recently upgraded Kaipara District Council’s Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA), a central operating system that helps to manage and control water and wastewater networks.

SCADA is a combination of software and hardware, a secure data system receiving real-time information collected from the district’s wastewater and water networks. The data is processed and then displayed for the Council infrastructure team and contractors, giving them the ability to monitor the network (including equipment in remote locations) while it is operating, identify issues quickly and efficiently, and ensure regulatory requirements for water quality, treatment, and management are always met.

The previous system performed as designed but had come to the end of its lifecycle and was prone to failures. Upgrading the system offered greater reliability and increased capabilities. The project was accelerated after Council approved that the upgrade be brought forward from Year Four of the Long Term Plan to Year One. The work was completed under budget at $155,000 of its original $275,000 projected cost. There are ongoing costs including additional improvements and equipment upgrades, already included in Council budgets.

Donnick Mugutso, Operations Manager Infrastructure Services, says upgrading SCADA has been a game-changer for the team, allowing them to identify issues faster and operate equipment offsite.

“We had staff waking up at night to reset faulty alarms because they were unable to reboot the system remotely when the server went down, and travelling to sites in isolated locations. In some instances, failures of the old system also risked the compliance of our treated water supplies. Our district covers a large area and some of our equipment is in some out-of-the-way places, so this upgrade has been critical for operating a more efficient, dispersed network. We’re delivering a much better service for our community.”

The new and improved SCADA system is now in place across water and wastewater treatment plants in the district, with the exception of Glinks Gully water treatment plant and some smaller remote sites to be completed in the next phase.

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