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Mission Streamlines Monitoring Saving STMA $100,000

Somerset Township Municipal Authority (STMA) owns and operates three sewage treatment plants and four water systems in rural Western Pennsylvania.  STMA treats their wastewater with chlorine and sodium bisulfite. Lead sewer and backup water operator, Anthony Griffith, said they faced serious cost overruns after the new reporting mandate was issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP). STMA wastewater workers were going to have to make daily on-site visits to comply with the new state standards, including weekend trips. "I wasn't about to come in every day for a 15-minute test that would turn into two hours of pointless work," explained Griffith.

Anthony Griffith, lead sewer operator for STMA

Anthony Griffith, lead sewer operator for STMA

Mission Simplified Daily Lab Chores

STMA uses peristaltic pumps, chemical sensors, and Mission M800 remote terminal units (RTUs) to collect data from their discharge sites. They were using simple auto-dialers before new state mandates took effect. Griffith decided to streamline chlorine monitoring by converting exclusively to Mission RTUs. He consulted his distributor, Mark Place of John P. Place Inc., to see how Mission RTUs could simplify their daily lab routine.

Place suggested Griffith integrate 4-20mA analog analyzer signals with M800 RTUs to obtain updated chlorine levels every two minutes. The RTUs also report pH, DO, flow rates, and water temperature in two minute intervals, as well as pump run status and times. Additional benefits to converting to Mission were that fewer site visits would be required because all information is gathered remotely, chart recorders would no longer be necessary, and flow could be monitored online.

Mission Monitoring Pays for Itself

STMA was the first utility in Pennsylvania to use the Mission system to complete the DMR. Griffith said remote monitoring not only reduced his costs but improved process control through online interfaces that allow operators access to more data like accredited labs and daily trending on remote devices and laptops.

 Immediately following the Mission integration, STMA operators discovered that manganese had caused previous equipment to generate a false positive and use more chemical than necessary. Griffith said they went from spending $7,902 to $222 on chemicals each year. They also eliminated about $11,232 in annual overtime charges since weekend site visits were no longer necessary. The Mission equipment paid for itself in just a year and a half, Griffith said.

 "In five years, I saved $100,000 because of Mission. I think you guys have got the best product out there. Your reps and you guys provide spot-on service."