TELEMETRY AND SCADA SYSTEMS
Normally the Managers of Operation & Maintenance of water utilities monitor levels in service reservoirs fed by the transmission system and also monitor the flow meter readings of upstream and downstream reservoirs connected by a transmission system. The pressures of the pipeline at salient points are also monitored. Data on operation of pumps such as hours of pumping and failure of pumps and on water quality by measuring residual chlorine is also monitored. The manager usually uses the telephone line or wireless unit to gather the data, analyses the same and uses his discretion gained with experience and takes decisions to ensure that the system is operating with required efficiency. Manual collection of data and analysis may not be helpful in large undertakings if water utilities have to aim at enhanced customer service by improving water quality and service level with reduced costs.
The variety and number of facilities and functions associated with a typical water distribution system make it a likely candidate for computer-aided management and control systems. The vast amounts of data (flows, pressures, tank levels, pumping conditions, water quality) often generated from distribution system operations almost require the use of computer technology to understand and manage the data so that it may be used to operate the system efficiently and effectively. Computer technology offers a powerful tool for system operators to increase the reliability of their distribution systems.
Some best management practices for enhancing distribution system reliability using computer technology include: