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Case Study: Union Township Water & Sewer

Reduced staff travel means more time for new projects & maintenance


The Challenge

Union Township logoIt used to be that staff members at Union Township’s Water & Sewer Department had to drive to each equipment location in the township’s 28-square-mile (72 sq. km) area. They’d read flow rates, tank levels, pump status, and other data from wells, pumping stations, and water treatment plants, then bring the data back to department headquarters. 

A small municipality located in central Michigan, the Charter Township of Union provides water and sewer service for approximately 10,000 area residents. But the staff is small, and all this travel took a lot of time away from maintaining and improving existing systems.

The obvious solution was remote monitoring, and since most locations had PCs running HMI (human-machine interface) software already, the department installed remote desktop software to view and operate them.

It was a definite improvement, but WWTP Superintendent Michael Dearing, responsible for the wastewater system, and Chief Water Operator Shaun McBride, Dearing’s counterpart for water distribution, thought they could do better. The remote desktop solution required a PC running HMI software at every location. And when smartphones came along, the interface didn’t work on them.

The Solution

Union Township Water & Sewer Department had used Opto 22 systems for over a decade, so when local Opto 22 distributor OptoSolutions showed groov View to Dearing and McBride, it was an easy decision. They promptly bought three groov Box appliances and started building new operator interfaces. 

Results came fast.

“Considering the limited time we had between other projects,” says McBride, “we were surprised that we were up and running so quickly with a new product.”

The groov View interfaces provide equipment status, process measurements, and much more.

“For wastewater we monitor flows, power consumption, and tank levels,” says Dearing, as well as key metrics like dissolved oxygen levels, pH, and turbidity.

groov View,” Dearing agrees, “was very easy to configure and set up.” Dearing and McBride kept the existing PCs running HMIs, which now provide detailed information for analysis.

And because the browser-based groov View interface runs on PCs, tablets, and smartphones—in fact on most devices that use a web browser—Dearing and McBride already have the smartphone support they needed.

About Union Township

For more information, contact Charter Township of Union Water & Sewer Department: http://www.uniontownshipmi.com

Download case study pdf

Union Township's groov View HMI on a smartphone
Tank levels and pressures are readily available on a smartphone. 

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