Moore Industries-International NET Concentrator System helped the Onondaga County Water Authority (OCWA) modernize the control system at its water treatment plant in Marcellus, N.Y. Through the use of this Distributed I/O and Remote I/O solution, the OCWA has achieved improved efficiency and a significant cost savings, according to Moore.

Figure 2. As part of the treatment process, filters containing granular activated carbon and sand are used to remove particles from the water.

The Marcellus facility treats and distributes water from Otisco Lake to roughly half of the OCWA’s nearly 350,000 residential customers. Automation systems at the facility control processes, which ensure the quality of the treated water and compliance with state health department and EPA regulations. In order to update its operations and increase efficiency, the OCWA decided to switch from analog Remote Terminal Units to digital control systems through an online SCADA system powered by Ethernet and MODBUS network communications.

Moore Industries assisted the OCWA in implementing the new system by delivering isolated I/O modules, which eliminate potential signal loop interference from the Ethernet control network. The I/O modules within the NET Concentrator System contain ground loops or other individual aberrations locally, stopping them from impacting other readings at the site. The new system also reduced total wiring by transmitting process control and monitoring signals across a single digital communications link.

“Having isolated I/O modules was critical to the success of our facility control process upgrades,” said OCWA Executive Engineer Geoffrey G. Miller, P.E. “This system allows our technicians to view I/O directly from the plant through a local HMI or laptop. Doing this has saved us time and money by reducing trips to the field.”

Installing the NET Concentrator System helped the OCWA solve several data collection problems. The ability to monitor the water filtration beds in real time has improved operator reaction time and increased efficiency. In addition, it is a reliable solution in reducing overhead related to hard wiring and maintenance.

“With modern I/O modules, there’s no reason for plants to rely on analog signals which require expensive wiring that often fails,” said Moore Industries Senior Field Applications Engineer Jim McConahay, P.E. “Working with the OCWA, we’ve developed a solution that is scalable, cost-effective and improves the ability of engineers to receive and analyze data and make mission-critical decisions.”