WESTMORLAND — The City Council approved a measure Wednesday that would allow the purchase and installation of a new industrial control computer system for the city’s water treatment plant, to work in conjunction with a decade-old computer system.
“The biggest thing for me is, what we do today isn’t something we have to do next year or the year after,” Westmorland City Mayor Henry D. Graham Jr. said while addressing the issue of purchasing an updated supervisory control and data acquisition system for the city’s water plant.
The need for adding the additional SCADA system to the water plant comes after previous power outages this year has caused the older system’s hard drive to shut down and fail, according to Westmorland Public Works Supervisor Ramiro Barajas and Graham.
The system’s failure to start back up during power outages was a significant reason why the city had to issue boil-water advisories to its residents just three weeks ago, after the city’s water pressure dropped below the minimum 20 units of pressure per square inch to four units of pressure per square inch, said Graham.
“The older computer system, it didn’t do all the bells and whistles because there was no redundant system to overtake it, so subsequently the generator didn’t kick in because there was no single port to do it,” Graham said.
The new system will use $10,398.60 from the city’s general reserve fund, according to City Clerk Sally Traylor.
Both systems would essentially be operating at the same time, however, the new system would allow operators to have external or remote access to the water plant and provide a visualization of what is occurring in both the new system and older system, explained Barajas.
The new system is expected to provide a smooth transition from the current 2002 SCADA system when it fails to restart during power outages, and eventually becomes obsolete.
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