With the increase of urbanization and the rise in the number of people utilizing municipal potable and waste water systems, the monitoring of key water quality indicators has reached a critical stage. However, monitoring is not the only vital procedure that needs to be in place to ensure public safety. Timely and accurate notifications to exception conditions are also critical. Over the past 3 years, SS Technologies, in a partnership with the Ontario Clean Water Agency, has achieved this goal in the province of Ontario. This was achieved with a project called Outpost 5. Outpost 5 is based on the PI UDS and provides a variety of operator interfaces through a set of custom Visual Basic applications. Outpost 5 uses a star network architecture where a number of remote data collection systems, collect, and process their data using separate PI UDS and a set of custom developed Visual Basic applications. The collected data from each remote system is then replicated to a central PI UDS using the PI to PI Interface. Each remote data collection system is also responsible for notifying local operations staff to exception conditions through pagers, phone, or email. All exception levels are user definable and can be changed at any time to accommodate the operators’ requirements. The central PI UDS acts as a single access point to all the water quality information for the sites across Ontario. The central system is also responsible for creating regulatory reports for the Ministry of the Environment. Regulatory reports are created using a mix of PI API for summarizations, PI SQL to retrieve data, and Crystal reports to create the report format.
Currently, Outpost 5 uses 30 remote data collection systems to monitor approximately 900 individual potable or waste water sites. This translates to between 75,000 and 100,000 tags pertaining to water quality and system maintenance information collected on 10-30 second intervals.