Kane County Water Conservancy District - Master SCADA Plan

Kane County WCD had an integrator install them a system for controlling their wells and tanks in the Duck Creek Area. The area is covered in pine trees and is spread out. At first glance this seems like the perfect application for a radio installation and it might have been if they had chosen a VHF or even a UHF frequency. But the integrator chose 900MHz Spread Spectrum. It has been my experience in the past that the radio wave length of 900MHz is about the same length as the pine needles on all the trees in the area. Imagine millions of little antennas sucking up all the energy from the radio. They tried many different solutions but the system was never very reliable. The area gets a bunch of snow and many sites are just inaccessible during the winter and an unreliable system is just unacceptable.

The District then turned to Sunrise an asked what could be done. We sat down with our client and asked them what were their needs, both now and in the future. We took those needs, looked at the projected growth of the area and the existing infrastructure into account. Sunrise then with input from the District created a Master SCADA Plan for the area. The plan took their budget into account and broke the project into five phases. Unfortunately most of their existing control equipment couldn't be expanded to accommodate the new design, but could be phased out over time.

One of the requirements that the District has is to have a live video feed on demand and an archive video record of activities at each of the major sites. The data bandwidth needed to accomplish this ruled out VHF & UHF radios. Fiber Optic cable running Ethernet became the most cost effective solution. Two things help make this a cost effective solution. New water pipes were being added to the community and with the trenches already dug open, the cost to bury conduit for the fiber cable was minimal. The local phone company was area making upgrades to their system and combining resources of both entities lowered the overall cost as well.

When all five phases are complete there will be over 20 miles of buried fiber optic cable. The District will have an state of the art communications system as well as a control system that will expand to meet they need well into the future.