Adell to update wastewater treatment monitoring software

by Rodney Schroeter
of The Review staff

ADELL — The SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) software, used to monitor statuses at the village’s water, will be upgraded.

The board met on Wednesday, July 19, a week later than the usual second Wednesday of the month because of schedule conflicts.

Director of Public Works Shawn Bigelow itemized the estimated $14,000 cost of updating the SCADA system.

Bigelow said, “The fact is, this computer is running off an old version of Windows.” He said the current computer and program often shut down and alarms are sent out. “Our system is not supported anymore.”

Clerk/Treasurer Kelly Rathke asked if a portable computer came with the upgrade, so alarms could be handled remotely. Bigelow said he could interact with SCADA through a smart phone.

Trustee Leighton Holtz asked how long ago SCADA had been installed. Estimates ranged from eight to 10 years.

The board unanimously approved purchasing the upgrade.

Schmitt said the system is “really quite amazing. On a computer screen, it will tell you what the water level is at the lift station, and notifies you if it’s getting too high or if a pump fails.”

Bigelow added that, without it, a warning light could come on where nobody is present, or go unnoticed. SCADA communicates with the people responsible for its upkeep by sending out alarms.

Bigelow offered to give residents a tour of the lift station.

• • •

The board tabled a decision regarding possibly requiring owners to connect their sump pumps to the storm sewer if a lateral is available to their properties, but the subject was discussed. Two residents questioned whether it was necessary.

“The engineering isn’t complete yet,” Village President Andrew Schmitt explained, which was the main reason for deferring a decision. “This water issue has become kind of tenacious. So, the reason this was all put together is to try to avoid the issues of where the water comes from in people’s back yards. The advantage of hooking up to a lateral is you’re going to get it out of your yard. It’s not going to come back into your house.”

“A lateral is a section of pipe that comes off the storm sewer,” Bigelow explained. When the section of Wisconsin Street was rebuilt recently, he said, a 4-inch lateral was extended to each resident’s property line. “So it’s available for them to hook up to.”

Schmitt said most subdivisions construct storm sewers with a hookup to a lateral available, “so the water doesn’t go back into the yard.”

The question the village will decide in the near future is whether or not to require owners to hook up to a lateral, if one is available.

Schmitt summed up, “What we’re trying to do is to get as much water out of everybody’s back yard, as we can.”

Bigelow said it is hoped the additional work on Wisconsin Street will be completed by fall.

• • •

Bigelow said the village’s pickup truck is badly in need of repair. Schmitt tasked him with writing up a matrix of options for replacing it, with vehicle age, expected lifespan and cost as variables.

Bigelow said he and Dennis Hartwig have just started reviewing plans for the plant upgrades to the Onion River Wastewater facility. Because of upcoming Department of Natural Resources (DNR) mandates, the facility will need to significantly reduce its output of phosphorous.

The board unanimously approved:

• A water relief request from Brenda Seigrist.

• Authorizing Arlo Neumann to spend up to $1,000 to repair the cooler at the park.

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