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MISSION COMMUNICATIONS -- Newsletter
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News from Mission Communications for the Water and Wastewater Professional
Issue 27, Summer 2017
Contents
Mission-Critical Monitoring in South Carolina
Mission MyDro Expands Monitoring Possibilities
Canada Invests over $373 Million in Water and Wastewater

Protest to Preserve Net Neutrality
Organizations are banding together with a protest July 12th to voice opposition to the end of net neutrality by FCC regulators.

There are people who oppose the dismantling of the equal access provision in Title II of the Federal Communications Act. They say overriding that provision will allow Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to throttle back streaming speeds or selectively block certain websites and companies from reaching consumers.

Protesters insist competition could be stifled because not all companies would have equal access to customers. ISPs would be allowed to give preference to content providers that pay more for greater bandwidth and faster streaming (fast lane distribution) of data.

Ultimately, that additional cost would be passed on to consumers and businesses and result in restricted access to information and services on the Internet. Some opponents argue it will stifle IoT (Internet of Things) innovation.

The FCC decision is not final. You can join the protest.

Tradeshows

OWEA Technical  Conference
June 26-28
Cincinnati,Ohio

July 10-12
Lexington, Kentucky
     
 GAWP Annual Conference 
July 16-19 
Savannah, Georgia

July 17-20
Lake Charles, Louisiana

August 22-24
Indianapolis, Indiana

August 28-30
Lexington, Kentucky

August 20- September 1
Hubert, Oklahoma

September 11-13
Loveland, Colorado

September 11-14
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

September 11-14
Hampton, Virginia







Webinars
  
 Week 3: Web Portal I - Notification and Unit Setup Options 

Week 4: Web Portal II -  Supergraph, Reporting, Volumetric Flow, and Advanced Topics
 
Week 2: Hardware, Instrumentation, and Installation
      
 Week 3: Web Portal I - Notification and Unit Setup Options  
 
  Week 4: Web Portal II -   Supergraph, Reporting, Volumetric Flow, and Advanced Topics
  
 Week 1: Survey of Features 
 
  Week 2: Hardware, Instrumentation, and Installation    

Week 3: Web Portal I - Notification and Unit Setup Options

Week 4: Web Portal II -  Supergraph, Reporting, Volumetric Flow, and Advanced Topics

Week 5: Special Topics

 Week 2: Hardware, Instrumentation, and Installation  

Week 3: Web Portal I - Notification and Unit Setup Options
 

   
 
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 







 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 





             
Mission-Critical Monitoring  
in South Carolina
Renewable Water Resources (ReWa) is a wastewater treatment agency in Greenville, South Carolina that serves Greenville and parts of Laurens, Anderson, Pickens, and Spartanburg counties in the upstate area. The utility infrastructure includes eight water resource recovery facilities that are serviced by 343 miles of interceptor lines and 60 pump stations. Effectively managing such a large network is challenging at best. Reliable communication is imperative to head off emergencies in remote locations. When an old dial-up phone system at a pump station failed due to a power outage, facility managers began to search for a more reliable way to monitor equipment.

Renewable Water Resources, South Carolina. Photo Credit: Nickie Soleimanzadeh.
 
Blake Visin, Information System Director with ReWa said the turning point was when a tree took out the phone and power lines at their largest pump station at Rocky Creek several years ago. A third-party contractor had failed to do regular maintenance at the site. The station went one week without power, and the outage was not reported which caused ReWa to lose over 1.5 million gallons of water.
 
ReWa headquarters. 
"That was one of the indications that we needed to bring service back in-house," explained Visin.
 
ReWa officials tried a temporary fix before pursuing a permanent solution. "We set up a workstation with Trihedral client/ server SCADA that did nothing but poll the CB4s," said Visin. "If that work station failed to communicate or connect within 15 minutes, it set off an alarm.  That 
was a band-aid  approach to a failsafe checker."
 
Customized Monitoring for Essential Operations
ReWa managers soon realized land-based phone lines were neither an economical nor reliable solution. Their temporary fix was spotty and limited the information they could obtain from equipment in their large service area. They needed something to reliably detect and track emergency events in real-time and provide regular reports which could be reviewed. Visin consulted with managers at the nearby Laurens CPW to learn  how they were monitoring critical assets. They were using the Mission system in a large geographic area for dual water and wastewater monitoring, and control of water tanks, water towers, and pumps. After seeing the CPW set up, Visin said the decision to switch to Mission was a 'no-brainer' and has been a life-saver when trouble-shooting remote locations.
 
"It (the Mission system) has saved our hides two to three times a month," explained Visin.
 
He said Mission has given utility workers the ability to designate areas that are the most mission-critical. They have been able to segregate collections systems and operations into two sectors on the Mission portal. Monitoring and reporting functionality are tailored to each department. Personnel from both departments see only data that pertains to their job on the real-time viewer when they log in.
 
"This allows us to have a central site that IT can view and manage, but the assets of each group are separate. For us, this is beautiful," explained Visin.
 
Visin said critical elements like power at a plant, inflow at pump stations, or issues with pumps can be managed more efficiently and in more detail with Mission. He said he likes the fact that personnel can securely access the Mission site from anywhere and no confidential information is at risk because it is isolated from their network.
 
Reliable Service a Big Selling Point
ReWa Mission Statement.
Visin said his staff is very happy that Mission intervenes quickly when they have an issue. He recalled an instance when some RTUs were having trouble connecting. Mission staff contacted the cell carrier, got the proper answers, and the problem was solved. His staff quickly received brand new radios to replace the ones that were out of date.
 
 "You guys are probably at the top of the list as far as customer service goes," said Visin. "It is not a matter of being put on hold. Usually, the person we talk to is the person who can solve the problem. That is huge, and the follow-up has been phenomenal. We almost would like to take Mission and hold it up to vendors and say that is the standard you need to have."
 
Renewable Water Resources is investigating other uses for the Mission units. Future plans at ReWa include an expansion at the water resources recovery facilities with the potential for remote control. 
 
"The demonstrated performance of these devices, coupled with Mission's service level, has sold us on their products. We consider them a business partner that has helped us succeed," Visin concluded.



Mission MyDro Expands Monitoring Possibilities 
We are excited to announce our new MyDro 150 and 850 Remote Terminal Units (RTUs). The MyDro family has all the functionality as our M110 and M800 RTUs with more features for added convenience and versatility. The new series of RTUs help facility managers and their staff be more efficient.
 
MyDro Features and Benefits
MrDro Flatpak
  • LCD touch screen for status and configuration
  • Simultaneous expandable I/O (up to 16 digital inputs, 6 analog-in, 2 analog-out, and 2 pulse-in)
  • Smart Digital Inputs that support strap-on load sensors 
  • Optional wire supervision on digital inputs
  • Enhanced Power Circuitry:
    • Selectable auxiliary output voltage 
    • Smart battery charger circuit with a sophisticated test mode
    • Higher ampacity output relays
  • Additional Ports and Interfaces:
    MyDro Flatpak Retrofit
    • Micro SD card for event logging
    • Over-the-air firmware updates
    • RS485 communication port for expansion modules
    • Secondary electronic key reader port with service mode indication
  • Removable terminal blocks and replaceable fuses
  • Molded case with the same form factor as legacy RTUs for easy upgrades
 
Matt Crousillac, National Sales Manager for Mission says customers are enthused with the newest addition to the Mission RTU lineup. "The MyDro is turning some heads with the eye-catching LCD touch screen," explains Crousillac. "The additional information presented on the screens is useful in performing site inspections, particularly for operators who don't have smartphones. The touchscreen is also helpful to installers as they configure I/O."
 
"Larger stations can benefit from the MyDro with the simultaneous I/O expansion," adds Crousillac. "A simple RS485 cable can be used to daisy-chain expansion modules together. The expanded architecture of the MyDro opens up monitoring capabilities to facilities that were previously unable to use the Mission platform."
 
Crousillac says the MyDro was designed with the future in mind. "There is no need to change a firmware chip with the Over-the-air firmware update option," explains Crousillac. "The company offers current generation cellular radios and is already working on the next generation. This is all part of our technology obsolescence guarantee. Mission has made it easy and low-risk for existing customers to upgrade their existing RTUs to the state-of-the-art MyDro. Convenient retrofit mounting options are available for all enclosure styles."
 
Join our weekly webinars and visit us at tradeshows to see the MyDro in action. You may contact us directly by emailing sales@123mc.com.



Canada Invests over $373 Million in Water and Wastewater
Canada and British Columbia officials are investing a total of $373.2 million ($277.7 million USD) for water and wastewater improvements to safeguard the well-being of Canadians and preserve ecosystems. The announcement made in February by the Honorable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, funds nearly 150 new projects in British Columbia through the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund (CWWF).

Rose Valley Reservoir, which is where the new plant will be built. Photo Credit: City of West Kelowna
 
The provincial initiative meets two of the 13 Aspirational Goals laid out in the federal government 2030  Agenda for Sustainable Development to guarantee safe drinking water and safe and healthy communities. Federal officials are matching up to 50 percent of the water/wastewater projects for a total of  $140 million USD. Provincial officials are allocating up to $90 million USD for the eligible projects. 
 
The recent funding supports infrastructure improvements throughout British Columbia. They include a new water treatment plant in West Kelowna, a drinking water system upgrade and metering project in Balfour, design work in Elkford for new water mains, a water main extension in Oak Bay, wastewater lagoon aeration upgrades in Tumbler Ridge, and extensive sewer work in Vancouver. The investments are part of a bilateral agreement between Canada and British Columbia that was announced in September 2016. Officials say the CWWF dollars help local government officials make critical investments to essential services.
 
"Infrastructure is the foundation of the Canada we all want to build for tomorrow," said Prime Minister Sohi in the press release. "Both large and small communities can find it challenging to fund much-needed water and wastewater infrastructure, which is why the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund is so important. This latest round of approved projects will protect the environment, keep communities in British Columbia healthy, and will create well-paying jobs for the middle class."

Mission Serves Numerous Canadian Customers 
Mission has a strong presence in Canada including numerous customers in British
North Vancouver Shipyard. Photo Credit: North Vancouver
Columbia. 
Dave Cooper, Utility Supervisor of Sanitary and Storm Water of North Vancouver uses Mission products to monitor his pump stations. "I personally find Mission to be an invaluable asset," Cooper said in a recent interview. "I have it (Mission Mobi) on my phone. Every morning I look at it. It has become part of my daily routine to look at all my pump stations from yesterday and then go to the real-time viewer and make sure everything is fine because the last thing I want to have happen is a pump station failure. Using the web portal is a go-to kind of thing for me. Usually, during the day I will even go back and look at my pump stations just to make sure everything is normal. The minute things aren't normal I can react to it." 

Cooper calls the web portal his most valuable tool. He says he is very pleased with Mission technical support. "Mission is very cooperative in making things happen," Cooper added. "Everything runs very tight. I would call it a well-oiled machine so I have never once been caught off-guard with something not working right."

North Vancouver Shipyard. Photo Credit: North Vancouver Chamber

Other Funding Available for Canadian Utilities
T he  Canadian Environmental Damages Fund  (CEDF) offers funding for individual projects across the country designated for environmental restoration. Water and wastewater utilities may be able to benefit from some of these dollars for water and wastewater improvements. Possible funding initiatives include improving watersheds with the highest priority given to restoration, environmental quality improvement, research and development, education and awareness. Most recently, the CEDF allocated $73,000 USD for the Niagara River Restoration Council project. It removed barriers to fish and created 300 meters of habitat to stabilize stream banks and improve water quality in the Niagara River watershed.
 
If your utility has a project or infrastructure improvement proposal that falls within CEDF funding guidelines, it is recommended you contact your Environment Canada regional office with your proposal. If you are planning an infrastructure upgrade, Mission is available to assist you in a project proposal and improvement. Please contact Eric Lapointe (ericl@123mc.com), our Canadian Regional Sales Manager.


 
"Water links us to our neighbor in a way more profound and complex than any other." ~John Thorson
 
 
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