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Vacuum Sewer System Monitoring by IP Sensing

Our VSS monitoring using wireless technology provides utilities a needed solution to increased visibility and awareness of operating conditions and early detection of operational anomalies and catastrophic failures. The principal component of the solution is our American-made IP Sensing Pit-Bull Radio system with the following features guaranteeing long-life and maintenance-free operation:
  • Low-cost 10-year life battery
  • One mile line-of-sight range
  • Durable construction
  • Epoxy encapsulated containment for protection against full submersion in water
Each Pit-Bull Radio node is connected to a sensor module that measures valve pit and sewer main conditions. Each Pit-Bull radio has a range of over one mile line-of-sight and is totally encapsulated in epoxy, guaranteeing long-life operation even when fully submersed in water. The Pit-Bull Radio, sensor modules, and vacuum valve actuators have replaceable 10-year life batteries, making the IP Sensing sewer system monitoring (and management) system maintenance free. No monthly cellular or satellite service is required. The data measured and collected by each Pit-Bull Radio is continuously transmitted to multiple data collectors installed throughout the system, typically on a one-mile grid, for transmission to a master data collector at Central Control, achieving real-time monitoring by the utility of its entire system and each component.

Drive-by reading and real-time Central Control metering is available for the following parameters:
  • Valve Partially Open and Valve Leak Rate in GPM
  • Valve Air Flow Time Ratio
  • Valve Air Flow Time Duration
  • Valve Liquid Flow Time Duration
  • Valve Actuations Counter
  • Sewer Mains Air-to-Liquid Ration
  • Pit Vacuum Recovery Time
  • Valve Actuations Counter
Central Control alarms and alerts (including email, phone and pager notifications) on valve pit and sewer main conditions, including:
  • Sump Overflow
  • Waterlogged Sewer Main
  • Obstructed Sewer Main
  • Water Infiltration
  • Sewer Main Leak Locator
Monthly, daily and hourly recording, charting and archiving can be accomplished on a 24/7 basis with alarm and alert notifications by email, phone and pager. System performance is achieved at a glance by a large LCD screen monitor installed at Central Control graphically displaying real-time status of all system components, including vacuum valve pits, sewer mains, pump stations, lift stations, vacuum stations and holding tanks. An automated GIS map graphical interface indicates exact valve pit locations and highlights hard failures and areas of inefficiencies for scheduled maintenance. Each field asset is continuously displayed as a graphical icon with colors used to indicate status:
  • Normal operation in GREEN
  • Alarms in RED
  • Acknowledged alarms in ORANGE
  • Unacknowledged alarms that have been cleared in YELLOW
Our VSS monitoring and management system also permits active management of the vacuum sewer system to maximize efficient operation and minimize adverse consequences of surge flow. Surge flow management - the process of controlling the rate of sewage entering sewer mains to better manage surge flow incidents, whether caused by peak usage periods or heavy water infiltration and inflow - significantly reduces the risk of catastrophic consequences surge flow can cause to system assets as well as third-party property. Our solution permits management of surge flow by controlling the release of sewage into the sewer mains using surge flow management valve controllers at the valve pits and providing an alert notification of compromised sewer main integrity using the Pit-Bull Radio network. By monitoring valve pit and sewer main air-to-liquid ratio at selected sewer main lift points, the surge flow management methods determine when to evacuate a sewage sump at the valve pit.

Implementation of an IP Sensing monitoring and management system also can improve system capacity and reliability, lower normal operating and maintenance cost and reduce the likelihood of catastrophic damage to equipment, system and third-party property.