SCADA & UV Upgrade

Wastewater...Preparing for Growth!

February 25, 2016


In 2000, the Pine Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) went through an expansion, which included implementation of the Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) system, which is a tool for monitoring and controlling the plant. Pine Creek WWTP was Prattville’s first SCADA installation.

This initial upgrade also implemented Prattville’s first ultraviolet (UV) sterilization system. UV sterilization wasn’t new, but it was still in its infancy and most cities were still using chlorine to disinfect their effluent. Unlike corrosive chemical approaches to water disinfection, UV light provides rapid, effective inactivation of microorganisms through a physical, as well as scientific, process.

After 16 years of continuous service (24/7), the UV system was worn out. Maintaining this aged system was time consuming, energy inefficient and becoming cost prohibitive.

Over the past few months, we have conducted an upgrade to both the UV and the SCADA systems.

The new Trojan UV system provides the latest technology in light sterilization. This new UV light system automatically increases UV light intensity as more flow comes into the plant. It also monitors water clarity and adjusts power as needed, resulting in a decrease in electricity costs at the plant.

The update to the SCADA system allows operators to monitor the plant remotely, when necessary. It provides full display graphics and features that our operators have not previously had available to them.

installingnewUV2016     newUV2016
On the left, the area is being prepared for the wall to be poured so the new UV light system can be installed, as shown on the right.
In the top left corner of the photo on the left, you see some "boxes". Those house the old UV lights; 160 of them to be exact.
On the right, you see a rack of 48 new UV lights. Those 48 do all the work of the old bank of 160.
This new technology is extremely efficient and effective!

This project was budgeted and cost $788,415.22, which was paid out of cash reserves in the Wastewater Enterprise Fund Account. Effective management of the Wastewater Division of Public Works through the Wastewater Enterprise Fund Account has made it possible for projects like this to be implemented without incurring debt.

“I’d like to thank the Mayor and City Council for the foresight in presenting and approving the Enterprise Fund Account for our department,” stated Plant Manager Sam Russell. “Prior to this positive change in fiscal management, this project, and others, may not have been possible.”

City Wastewater personnel being trained to maintain the new systems by a Trojan representative.

“I appreciate the hard work of Plant Manager Sam Russell and the plant operators in accomplishing this massive undertaking,” stated Public Works Director Dale Gandy. “These new systems are expandable and implementation of them supports the Phase I plant expansion being considered by the City Council.”

Pine Creek WWTP services the east side of Prattville, which has realized the most growth over the past two decades. Currently, this plant operates at approximately 80% capacity. To continue providing service effectively and in considering future growth to this area, we must take steps now to upgrade and ready our plant for additional volume.

“After viewing The Crumbling Infrastructure of America and holding tabletop exercises on potential disaster scenarios, the importance of an efficiently working wastewater system became even more evident,” stated Mayor Bill Gillespie, Jr. “Our wastewater system must be efficient and effective for successful growth. The health and welfare of Prattville depends upon it. One of the roles of government is not only to provide an environment for private enterprise to flourish, but to also protect and provide core services to its residents.”

Wastewater Committee Chairman, and Council President Pro Tempore, Albert Striplin has submitted a Phase I proposal to the City Council for consideration. We provided that information in a recent article, Wastewater...Past, Present, & Future. If you’ve not had an opportunity to read it, please do so here.