North Burnett Regional Council – Network Upgrades

North Burnett Regional Council is responsible for Water and Sewerage assets covering the areas of Gayndah, Biggenden, Mundubbera, Eidsvold and Monto. North Burnett Regional Council has around 100 RTU units across these areas monitoring and controlling everything from small sewerage pumping stations through to full treatment plants.

The Region is particularly difficult geographically with hours of travelling time to move between towns.

Objective

Given the geographical challenges it was imperative that operations staff have the capability to view all regions of the system no matter where they are located in the network. The objective for North Burnett was to centralise the SCADA system for operations and reporting, modernise the control of some sections of the plants and pumping stations as well as implement new systems where telemetry did not exist.

Equipment Used

There are various types of RTU and PLC equipment used across the North Burnett Region and this has been all integrated into a single ClearSCADA system without the need to replace everything. Equipment includes:

  • Elpro RTU Hardware
  • Radtel 3000, 5000 and 8000 equipment
  • Various Radio Networks including Tait, GME and Trio.
  • ClearSCADA Software

Methodology

  1. A functional design was carried out first identifying the different communications networks, RTU and PLC technologies as well as SCADA platforms and providing a migration strategy to ClearSCADA as a platform.
  2. Ageing PLC’s were replaced at some of the Treatment Plants and some of the ageing RTU hardware upgraded as required. Some of the pumping stations were converted to include PLC control from smart RTU platforms while others remained as determined by the more critical sites.
  3. ClearSCADA software implemented across the existing platforms and commissioned including access from a central SCADA point.

Result

North Burnett Regional Council has successfully managed to implement the latest technology SCADA software and reporting without the need to replace all the ageing hardware. With the help of ClearSCADA and Radtel Engineering all the different communications hardware, protocols and systems were able to be integrated together.