12-01-2008 Press Release

Midway City Sanitary District Logo

December 1, 2008

Contact: Ken Robbins, General Manager
Tel: 714.893.3553
Fax: 714.891.8624
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


(Westminster, CA) –  In 2008 the Midway City Sanitary District added SCADA to its sewer maintenance operations. The acronym SCADA stands for Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition.  In reality, the primary purpose of SCADA is to monitor, control and alarm all four lift stations from MCSD’s main office.  While override control is possible, it is infrequently utilized; however control set points are quite regularly changed by SCADA.

What makes up a SCADA system?
There are three main elements to a SCADA system, various RTU's (Remote Telemetry Units), communications and an HMI (Human Machine Interface).

Each RTU effectively collects information at a site, while communications bring that information from the various plant or regional RTU sites to a central location, and occasionally returns instructions to the RTU.

The HMI displays this information in an easily understood graphics form, archives the data received, transmits alarms and permits operator control as required.

Communication within a lift station will be by data cable and wire. The HMI is essentially a PC system running powerful graphic and alarm software programs.

Why is SCADA so popular?
The major attraction of SCADA to MCSD is the ability to significantly reduce operating labor costs, while at the same time actually improve lift station system performance and reliability.  Information gathering within a lift station no longer requires personnel to spend time at the site, and correspondingly the frequency of lift station inspections can be minimized.
Costly after-hours alarm call-outs can often be avoided since a SCADA system will indicate the nature and degree of a problem, while the ability to remotely control site equipment may permit an operator at home to postpone a site visit till working hours.  SCADA based alarming is also very reliable since it is in-house and tied directly to process control.
A significant feature of a SCADA system, often not fully appreciated, is the trending of data and nothing comes close for speed and ease of operation. When graphically displayed, accumulated operating data often will indicate a developing problem, or an area for process improvement. Reports can easily be generated from this data utilizing other common software programs.
It should be appreciated that while a SCADA system is often complex to configure - it is extremely easy to operate!

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The Board of Directors and Employees of Midway City Sanitary District work diligently to provide sewer and solid waste services to the residents of the District.