Expensive, wastewater near-miss prompts Blue Pillar / Covalen engagement

August 26, 2021

In August 2021, a municipal utility had one of its most critical lift stations taken out by a weather event on a weekend night just prior to an expected influx of visitors to the community. The operator was unaware of the failure for nearly 18 hours until a local resident noticed a visual alarm and called in. The combination of delayed notice, expected demand increase, and the hard-to-reach location required the operator to expedite emergency tanker support to avoid an overflow. The expediting fees came at a premium expense, but were required for the situation.

While the operator had previously investigated installing SCADA solutions in the remote lift stations, the complexity and expense of the proposed solutions were then viewed as prohibitive. The operator had recently learned of Blue Pillar’s Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) solution.

Prompted by the near-miss, the operator reached out to Covalen to explore options with Blue Pillar’s IIoT solution  With a simple email and a few pictures of the lift station from the municipality, the Blue Pillar IIoT solution was designed and proposed within a day.  The Blue Pillar solution was a fraction of the cost of previous SCADA quotes and could be deployed quickly; with data  flowing within hours of being on-site. Further, the Blue Pillar solution could easily be extended to include the monitoring and control of the adjacent back-up generator.

For the operator, this was an easy decision, especially in light of the recent near-miss. “At this price, it’s a no brainer. I just wished I would have called earlier!”  

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