Our Calgary team has been working with the Town of Cochrane since 2013 when we were selected to perform a review of the Town’s water and wastewater communications systems as well as provide a SCADA master plan.
The Town of Cochrane has a population of 17,000 residents and is located approximately 18 KM west of Calgary, AB. In early 2013, Eramosa was selected by the Town to undertake the development of a Communications Review and Recommendations report. It included an analysis of the existing communication links at remote facilities, an estimate of monthly and annual costs, backup communications options, and recommendations to upgrade communications links between the Town’s water treatment plant and its remote water facilities.
Based on the success of the report submission, Eramosa was chosen in mid-2013 to complete the identified improvements which includes multiple upgrades to the PLC and SCADA system. During the changes, Eramosa was responsible for parts of the instrumentation and control design, development of process control narratives, network design, the plant programming standard, SCADA and PLC programming, and final commissioning to replace the legacy SCADA and PLC equipment.
Upgrades were approached in phases, beginning with a deployment of a virtual server and the virtualization of the current iFIX SCADA system to support interim operations during the work. A new Dialogic modem was installed in the primary SCADA server to monitor alarms and direct them to the appropriate on-call operator.
A historical data collection system was also added and data mining functionality improved through the installation of the Eramosa Reporting and Information System (e.RIS). The existing plant summary report, which used to be generated manually, was converted to e.RIS and is now automatically executed every night.
There are nine (9) reservoir/pumping stations and seven (7) waste collection sites operated by the Town. The reservoir/pumping stations were previously connected to the Town’s water treatment plant’s SCADA system via a network of serial and Ethernet radios. Eramosa installed Cisco VPN routers at six (6) sites and connected them by Ethernet to the water treatment plant.
At each of the Town’s waste collection sites the team installed a MicroLogix 1400 PLC programmed with the Eramosa control standard and then wired in all of the I/O points. A Cisco VPN router was integrated with the plant SCADA system enabling full remote control and monitoring capabilities.
Another challenge the team faced was with two (2) stations, located several kilometers apart, that are designed to operate together as a reservoir/pressure (upper station) sustaining site and a filling/pumping (lower station) site. Both previously used legacy I/O radios and relays from the level transmitter at the upper station to issue a pump-start command to the lower station to initiate the filling cycle. We replaced each PLC with a MicroLogix 1400 and then rewrote the control narrative to provide additional functionality and flexibility to the system including remote setpoint changing, remote pump start/stop, and a pressure-sustaining staging logic scheme.
In total, Eramosa installed 13 Cisco VPNs, replaced 10 legacy PLCs with MicroLogix 1400 PLCs, and three (3) locations needed their control philosophy to be completely rewritten to meet Town requirements.