Unitywater has transformed its control room into a next-generation nerve centre capable of managing its entire fleet of assets.
The Queensland utility has integrated data from its 16 standalone sewage treatment plants (STPs) into the central hub, which previously only controlled its water and sewerage network.
Adding the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) information means staff at the Maroochydore site can remotely monitor data and respond to alarms at STPs across the entire service region 24 hours a day.
To ensure a safe transition to remote monitoring, STP operators have been working with control room staff to ensure they know how to respond to critical alarms and follow standard operating procedures.
Unitywater Acting Executive Manager Customer Delivery Martine Watson said integrating the data had reduced after-hours STP operator callouts, improved network visibility and enhanced the power of Unitywater’s centralised network control.
“This project, and a range of other trials we have conducted over the past 18 months, has proven that adopting intelligent technology is one of the ways we can improve how we monitor, manage and maintain our networks,” Watson said.
Digital transformation is becoming increasingly important for utilities, with organisations including TasWater and Sydney Water making moves to streamline their operations and improve their customer service using technology.
Unitywater’s Watson said implementing new digital solutions would help improve the customer experience for the 777,000 people it serves across South East Queensland.
“Today’s customers expect technology to be clever and one step ahead,” Watson said.
“They want it to be convenient, save time and generally make life easier. This is also what we want here at Unitywater.”