Carmel, Indiana: One of America’s Most Top Ten Places to Live
You may have heard of Carmel, California, the seaside resort where Clint Eastwood once was mayor. But there’s another Carmel in Indiana that’s recently been attracting attention. For two years running, this growing city of 90,000 has made Money Magazine’s 10 Best Places to Live in America.
What’s behind the accolades? Besides a picturesque downtown, a thriving economy, and being America’s roundabout capital (there’s over 100), Carmel is a leader in wastewater treatment. It goes back to 2006 when the city won an Engineering Excellence Award for being the first in the US to implement a Bio-Pasteur process for its biosolids.
Today that innovation continues with the city’s ongoing drive to optimize its water and wastewater processes, including implementing WIN-911’s software for remote alarm notifications.
“WIN-911’s main benefits are its flexible scheduling, its multiple ways of sending alarms, and its ability to group alarms for both in-plant and out-of-plant alarms.”
Kevin Buhmann, Senior Wastewater Technician, City of Carmel, IN
Modernizing the plant’s control and communication systems
Previously, the city’s water department used an aging dial-out system with paging and analog voice calls to alert staff when its 12MGD wastewater plant equipment or one of 22 lift stations would go into alarm mode. That changed when they upgraded to a GE iFIX SCADA system along with WIN-911 for in-app and SMS alerts.
The utilities department currently operates two manned shifts on weekdays, and one on weekends, with the late night hours being unmanned. In-plant alarms are routed to plant staff, lift station alarms go to lift station personnel, and a hodgepodge of miscellaneous alarms need to go out to a range of different people, depending on the alarm type and severity.
Buhmann says that WIN-911’s flexible scheduling and escalation engine was a key to relieving overlap and confusion when it came to alarm response. “It works great for grouping alarms for both in-plant and off-site staff, and accommodating our changing shifts and schedules.”
Alarm response has improved
Buhmann notes that the new system saves time and money because of improved efficiency in response, both during and after regular work hours. “Our response time has improved because we can let people know specifically what the alarm is and in what status condition. No one has to go to our monitoring computers to see the alarms and where they are at.”
As one of the people responsible for installing new IT systems and PLC programming, Buhmann knows how complexity in implementing automation projects can be a show-stopper. He pointed to WIN-911’s direct connects to leading SCADAs as a major advantage. “It’s (plug and play configuration) works great for many types of SCADA programs and is easy to set up.”
- Lift station levels
- Blower & pump failures
- Phase power failures
- Flow and pressure meters
- Chemical meters, clarifiers, aeration, feed rates and levels
- Communication failures