Software solutions help Ohio sewer district tackle wet weather overflows

The City of Cincinnati's Metropolitan Sewer District has standardized its GE Proficy Software platform for optimizing its wet-weather facilities, equipment and operations. It will gather data about its wastewater system from remote locations to see what's occurring across its watersheds.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA, Sept. 10, 2014 -- The City of Cincinnati's Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) recently standardized its Proficy® Software platform, provided by GE Intelligent Platforms (NYSE: GE), for optimizing its wet weather facilities, equipment and operations. The technology will help the city's management collect varying pieces of information about its wastewater system from remote locations in order to provide a system-wide view of what's occurring across its watersheds.

MSD will be working with GE Intelligent Platforms and its integration and solutions partner, Gray Matter Systems, located in Cincinnati, to apply Proficy Software to new and industry-leading solutions that can be replicated by other wastewater utilities faced with combined sewer overflows (CSOs).

One of the key goals of the project is to aid in the reduction of discharges from CSOs as part of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Clean Water Act (CWA). Under the Act, cities are required to reduce and, in some cases, stop releases of untreated wastewater into the environment through CSOs and sanitary sewer overflows. These requirements apply to every wastewater system in the country and have dramatic implications for systems in older communities that have significant overflow occurrences.

MSD will be utilizing the full suite of Proficy Software, including GE's Industrial Automation Solutions like Proficy iFIX, Historian and CSense, as well as the company's new mobile applications, such as Proficy Mobile, to capture data on excess water produced during periods of heavy rainfall or snowmelt, which can exceed the capacity of the sewer system or treatment plant and result in discharge of pollutants into local waterways. The city will also be using Proficy Workflow integrated with its CMMS system for real-time, condition-based asset management, creating work orders on the fly for faster response.

"If we are to use the traditional approach -- just build infrastructure -- that's a significant cost," said Tony Parrott, director of Water and Sewers for the City of Cincinnati. "Not only would we incur the cost of constructing bigger pipes and storage tanks, but those assets have associated maintenance costs as well. Wet weather operational optimization will complement our capital program, allowing us to accelerate water quality improvements and reduce costs with technology."

Utilizing the Data Management & Analytics solutions available in the Proficy suite of software products, MSD will be able to introduce data analytics that would help identify the optimal way to manage flows through its system and take advantage of the existing system capacity. With software technology, MSD is also reducing its total cost of ownership. The District won't have as many new assets to own and maintain down the road, and it won't have to deal with long-term sustainability, which is ultimately the cost of infrastructure.

See also:

"Software Designed to Guide Operators Through Operating Procedures"

"Water utility to improve workforce efficiency, effectiveness with GE software platform"

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