November 21, 2022

Booster System Control Upgrade in Central New York Expands MetroCloud Expertise to the Northeast

MetroCloud Expansion in New York Adds Cloud SCADA Expertise to the Northeast

Today, it’s difficult to find things that aren’t connected to the internet. From vehicles and appliances to toys and TVs, everything seems to connect to something else. Sometimes, this can seem a little obnoxious or even unnecessary, but connectivity also serves an important purpose, even — or maybe even especially — in the world of water supply.

After the town of Schaghticoke, New York experienced an issue with their booster pump system and the lease line failed to provide necessary alerts, the importance of connectivity quickly surfaced. However, this unfortunate experience also presented two opportunities. First, it gave Schaghticoke a good reason to assess its water infrastructure and plan for necessary upgrades to the aging system. Second, it offered Emmons Metro, an extension of Metropolitan Industries, the chance to demonstrate their capabilities with the MetroCloud system.

An Alarm That Failed to Sound

When a watermain issue led to low suction pressure within Schaghticoke’s triplex booster system (a Metropolitan Industries design that’s still running strong after 20 years), the pumps shut down, just like they’re designed to do. The problem was that no one was notified of the issue. The dialer failed to connect and alert the operations team, delaying their efforts to make necessary repairs. A new modem and line were added as a quick fix in the short term, which gave the municipality time to explore a modern upgrade with more reliable communication methods for receiving notifications with additional access to real-time insights.

While the Illinois-based Metropolitan is used to crossing state lines to help customers across the United States, we also know there’s value in a local presence. Local relationships go a long way, local service speaks volumes, and with Emmons Metro in Albany, New York, our definition of local has expanded to include New York state and parts of New England.

A History of Service and a Strong Local Name

Emmons Metro has been serving upstate New York and surrounding areas for over 30 years, meaning they’ve developed considerable expertise in the industry and strong relationships in the market. So, when the dialer failed in Schaghticoke, Emmons Metro got the call, and they were able to be on-site quickly to assess the issue and better understand the needed upgrades. Of course, because no two applications are exactly alike and budgets needed to be sorted before work could begin, the Schaghticoke project still required a fair amount of up-front planning before new equipment could be installed.

As the team in Schaghticoke worked to secure funds from the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act., Emmons Metro worked with the Metropolitan team in Illinois to design a more modern solution while also remaining in close communication with the town should any unforeseen events occur. When it was finally time to change out the drivers with more modern equipment, Metropolitan was ready to assist as needed while Emmons’ on-the-ground team was on-site and ready to work.

The project was relatively straightforward, but nothing is ever really a true one-to-one, in-and-out replacement. In this case, there were two small challenges that required workarounds:

  1. First, the new control panel was larger than the old and had to be installed on the existing skid.
  2. Second, the old system relied on an aftermarket flow meter that had been added to the original equipment after its initial installation. To bring that component into the new MetroCloud system, a custom program modification was necessary.
MetroCloud-Connected Control Panel for Booster Pump System

Newly installed control panel and VFDs customized to fit with the
existing booster pump system equipment.

Fortunately, these challenges were identified in the design stage, and Emmons planned for its integration. When the system was brought online for the first time, however, the value of both a local partner and a reliable, cloud-supported notification system were thrust into the spotlight.

At startup, a check valve failed and MetroCloud, quickly detecting a suction issue, alerted the system. Having just upgraded from a failing dialer, this was an obvious improvement. Thankfully, because the Emmons team is local and was on-site in Schaghticoke to ensure a smooth start, they were able to pull and clear two check valves and replace a third without needing to book flights or schedule a service call.

The entire experience left Emmons Metro fully prepared to sell, install, and service our MetroCloud platform. And, equally as important, Metropolitan as a whole officially realized what we’ve known all along: adding a Northeast arm to our growing company and expertise allows us to better serve our customers from coast to coast and everywhere in-between.

Custom Control Panel CAD Drawing for Booster Pump System

CAD drawing of customized panel components for custom-fitting with the existing booster system.

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