Smart Technology Helps Wastewater Collection Agencies Avoid Overflows

A San Rafael-based technology company XiO, Inc. has released a Lift Station Control System package designed to allow operators remote monitoring and control of pumps used to transport sewer waste through collection system pipes to wastewater treatment plants. The announcement comes as sanitary districts and collection agencies throughout the country have seen a surge in the volume of flushable wipes in sewer systems. Despite being touted as “flushable,” most wipes do not break down in water like regular toilet paper and end up clogging pumps and pipes, causing massive disruptions to collection agencies, and increasing the threat of sewer overflows.

“Collection systems play a key public health role in our communities. We are excited to offer true IIOT smart technology for sewer and stormwater collection systems as a way to improve operations,” says Malcolm Thompson, CEO of XiO.

XiO’s Cloud SCADA® (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) platform provides agency personnel visibility into collection system conditions so they can make critical decisions proactively. A true IIOT (industrial internet of things) solution, the system combines the patented Soft-I/O® Module, remote sensors, and cellular communication with the power of cloud computing. A private online user portal allows operators real-time visibility and full system control from any web-enabled device. SMS texts and emails alert operators when conditions fall outside predetermined parameters.


“During the recent wildfires in California, several water and wastewater operators in hard-hit areas were able to maintain their systems remotely, thanks to this platform.” 


Designed with operators in mind, XiO’s solution delivers actionable analytics at a glance, enabling staff to monitor pump efficiency rates and schedule predictive maintenance in advance of failure, extending equipment life and avoiding costly downtime. The feature-rich analytics dashboard shows pump runtimes and cycle counts, helping operators gain insight into the impacts of I&I (Influent and Infiltration) from stormwater runoff on their collection systems, which can lead to costly overflows during periods of rain.

The turnkey systems arrive pre-configured and ready for installation by an electrician in a matter of hours. XiO’s communication architecture bypasses traditional PLCs, servers, and RTUs, reducing the costs of software programming, support, and upgrades while providing far greater security from cyber threats. Migrating SCADA systems to the cloud is gaining popularity as agencies look for ways to make their systems more resilient in the wake of natural disasters and increased cybersecurity threats. 

The same remote functionality is helping agencies maintain social distancing during the COVID-19 Shelter-In-Place Order with little impact on operations.

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