It goes without saying that technology is everywhere. And when it comes
to utilities, technology’s essential role is to control costs. Think about your
home – when the programmable digital thermostat was introduced, it became
possible to achieve both comfort and energy savings at the same time. By reducing
heat or air conditioning use automatically at non-peak hours (when the house is
empty or everyone is asleep), utility bills also were reduced dramatically.
There is a misperception that automated controls in an industrial
plant, corporate office, or healthcare facility require hefty upfront costs
that make a return on investment long and
difficult. But the truth is, there are options available for every budget. It’s
like the difference between a 7-day programmable Honeywell digital thermostat
(no frills) and the self-learning, Wi-Fi-enabled Nest Thermostat (all the bells
Monitoring, remote monitoring, and automation as part of a water
management plan have benefits beyond
water use savings. For example, automation helped a food processing customer of
Watertech improve conductivity control and see significant energy and water
savings. But they’ve also leveraged the data they collect to better understand
total and peak boiler water makeup flows, which helped them right-size a new
reverse osmosis system; and monitor levels in chemical tanks, which helps them
Following is a list of the range of possibilities facility managers can
achieve with automation equipment and services.
– Stand-alone devices that feature flow-based chemical feeds for water
treatment control. Controllers can easily be implemented with the addition of
sensors and either the addition of or an upgrade to an existing control panel.
Flow Meters – Flow
measurement technology helps companies measure and control water usage. Newer technology options are minimally intrusive – they either clamp onto pipes or open flow
tube design – maintenance is kept to a minimum.
Modems – Add internet access to monitor activity and data collected from
individual devices. Controllers and meters collect data and perform automated
functions, but need a human interface to
collect and record data or make adjustments. Adding an internet connection gives
facility managers and water treatment partners remote access to the equipment.
– These controllers have the latest,
most advanced cooling and boiler water control methods on the market, are
connected to the internet and intranet, and have the ability to send status
updates, data log reports, and alarms to email addresses or cell phone text
One advanced feature is a Pyrene Tetra Sulfonic Acid Sodium Salt (PTSA) sensor. The sensor reads a tracer that is added to chemicals, enabling operators and water treatment partners to control the inhibitor feed more accurately.
Another is an affordable flow meter that measures the actual amount of chemical a pump is
delivering. Measuring this volume allows a water treatment partner to set the
optimum feed rate in the eController. Then, the eController uses the volume of makeup
water to determine how much product needs to be fed, and the chemical feed pump
is activated until that amount of product is fed. No other method of control
provides this level of accuracy for feeding chemicals into a boiler, cooling tower,
or any other water system.
– Water treatment partners like Watertech of America can provide a 24/7
online service as a facility’s one-stop water management tool for recording,
tracking, trending, and reporting all automated data from our smart water
treatment systems as well as manual data collected. It monitors all of the
crucial nearly-real-time conditions of a water treatment system and is checked regularly by a water treatment specialist. It
is so intuitive, it instantly alerts users of conditions that may require
immediate attention and a corrective action. If something does go wrong, the
Watertech specialist is ready to act with and support the facility operator to
solve the issue.
Automation allows facility managers and water system operators to be
more efficient. With automated processes, remote monitoring, and control, they can put more focus on their key
activities while understanding how to make their program better. In addition to
utility cost savings, facilities save on the intangible costs of preventing an
emergency situation that could shut down a facility for a day, a week, or for