One of the best utilizations of technology is the discovery of information through sensors. The City of Rancho Cordova is starting to embark on the use of sensors throughout the City to monitor its stormwater conveyance system.
The City utilizes SCADA technology to operate and monitor six stormwater pump stations with sensors that feed capture information about water levels and pump status. SCADA which stands for Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition – operates with coded signals over communication channels, allowing for control of remote equipment. The collected information is viewable on a dashboard by City Staff at their desk. This software also analyzes patterns that can be utilized for forecasting and long-term asset management. Staff can see when the peak energy hours are and ensure that the pumps are only running when they need to and during off-peak hours.
The greatest wear and tear on a pump station is not the running pump but the constant turning off and on of the pump. By monitoring the levels of the drainage basins staff can better plan when the pumps turn on and off so they are not operating reactively constantly shutting off and on.
Staff is working with SMUD to add variable frequency drive (VFD) technology to the pumps, which will increase energy efficiency with reduced energy usage.
This information is vital as flooding can stop a city literally in its tracks by encroaching on roadways, damaging utilities as well as private property. With this technology flooding can be prevented by turning on pumps during rain events. The pumps work to convey stormwater efficiently through underground drainage infrastructure, keeping water levels down and people safer.