City of Washburn updates computer system

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

SCADA system was originally put in 12 years ago

The city of Washburn will soon get an updated computer system with a new computer.

Emily Arnett, Washburn city clerk, said the city decided to upgrade its 12-year-old system.

“It is recommend that the city upgrades every 10 years, so it was just time,” she said. “Mostly, it is just a big update with some new parts that go with it.”

Arnett said it includes the new windows computer, external hard drive and battery back up.

“It is called SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition), and it monitors our well towers,” she said. “It monitors wells No. 1 and 2.”

Arnett said with the new computer, all the equipment and set up, it costs about $8,000.

“We were using SCADA before, but this is an updated version,” she said. “We only update about every 10 years, so it is completely worth the $8,000.”

James Libertus, Washburn maintenance supervisor, said he uses the system the most.

“It basically gives me a picture screen that lets me know if the pumps are running and low levels,” he said. “It also has an alarm that will notify me at home in case of an issue.”

Libertus said there is a way to sync the system to his phone, so he can access it if he is at home or out in the field.

“It is nice to have that so even on a weekend or holiday I can see and fix any issues that may arise,” he said.

John Tiedeman, Washburn mayor, said SCADA collects data and if a problem with the well or the pump occurs, it will notify the water-waste water technician.

“We originally got SCADA in 2007 when we put well No. 2 in,” he said. “It was just time to update the system and the equipment.”

Tiedeman said there is a glitch in the old system that doesn’t allow it to send a notification via phone to Libertus so he can have remote access.

“The new system has just arrived,” he said. “Now, we are waiting on a technician from the company to set it up.”

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