“Before Samara it was all a surprise. In one instance, we came across a dry well that was completely full of raw water. It corroded all of our equipment and cost us over $70,000 to repair.”
Roel Garcia, Operations Manager at City of Jersey Village
City of Jersey Village partnered with Samsara to deploy SCADA with alarms and notifications across their network of lift stations to improve visibility, response times, and to begin to identify system issues before equipment is damaged.
Alarms & notifications on lift stations mean operators are proactive in addressing issues and preventing equipment damage
Time-series data included with alarms helps operators narrow scope, diagnose issues, and deploy the right response in a fraction of the time
Multi-protocol support, analog, and digital I/O made it possible to bring City of Jersey Village's legacy systems online with less integration time
Meet City of Jersey Village
Jersey Village is a small, suburban city located in the greater Houston metropolitan area. Roel Garcia, the City’s Operations Manager is responsible for overseeing the maintenance and operation of the City’s wastewater treatment plant and six lift stations. With over 20 years of experience, Garcia is intimately familiar with the challenges of managing a wastewater system. With no alarms set up across the city’s lift stations, Garcia and his team had no forewarning of issues prior to on-site visits. This ultimately led him to deploy Samsara for SCADA.
A proactive approach to lift station management
Prior to engaging with Samsara Garcia and his team had no advanced warning of lift station issues until they made the journey on-site. “Before Samara it was all a surprise. In one instance, we came across a dry well that was completely full of raw water. It corroded all of our equipment and cost us over $70,000 to repair,” Garcia said.Now with Samsara alarms and notifications, Garcia and his team can rest assured that they will get an early warning to prevent incidents like flooding in the future. “This was one of the deciding factors for us in implementing Samsara as our SCADA system,” said Garcia.
“We set up alarms on high and low levels that indicate when there may be an issue, and so when there’s an alarm or a level that looks off, we make sure to hit that site first in our schedule and start addressing the problem immediately.”
Furthermore, because historical data is fully integrated into Samsara dashboards, Garcia is also able to track how lift station levels are trending over time. This data is paramount in aiding preventative maintenance efforts. If levels are trending low it could indicate that there is a leak, that the well walls have been compromised, or that an electrical issue is preventing a pump from shutting off. If the levels are trending high it could indicate the beginnings of pump failure. Prior to Samara, these changes may have gone unnoticed until there was a serious issue at hand, now Garcia and his team are equipped to get ahead of the problem.
Value in ease of use
What I like about it is the fact that you don’t even have to be an experienced operator to understand it.
In selecting their new SCADA system, City of Jersey Village wanted to make sure that it was easy for every operator to use. “Samsara is very friendly–anyone can understand it. We have the map view pulled up on a display in our break room in the Public Works Building so any operator can see where our lift stations are located. What I like about it is the fact that you don’t even have to be an experienced operator to understand it. It’s simple, a red indicator lets you know there’s an issue, and you can see exactly where it is on the map to address it.”
Improving response times at the wastewater plant
In addition to lift station monitoring, Garcia is also working with Samsara to gain better visibility into the city’s wastewater treatment plant. Acting fast when there is an issue at the treatment plant is critical for ensuring the community’s safety, protecting local aquatic life, and for maintaining compliance with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
"When there’s an issue, we’ll be able to quickly narrow our scope in diagnosing the issue and improve our response times.”
“Eventually, we’ll be using Samsara at our wastewater treatment plant as well. We’re setting up the Samsara system to give us improved visibility and alarms for our levels at the plant as well as visibility into flows and which blowers are being utilized. This way when there’s an issue, we’ll be able to quickly narrow our scope in diagnosing the issue and improve our response times.”
Bringing legacy systems online
In his search for a solution, easy installation was a top priority for Garcia. “Samsara was quick to get set up,” said Garcia. “Some of our equipment required upgrading prior to bringing these systems online, and scenarios like these are always a cause for concern.
With the Samsara, we just wired it in, and it was good to go. It was awesome.”
“Our long-term goal is to merge Samsara with our existing SCADA system and ultimately fully transition over.” At half the cost of upgrading their existing system, this phased approach proved to be the most cost-effective solution for City of Jersey Village.