As the director of water/wastewater solutions for Gray Matter Systems, I spend a ton of time on the road.
You know that Johnny Cash track, “I’ve Been Everywhere Man”? That’s my theme song, accompanying me on my travels throughout Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and more.
And what keeps me going, aside from a great cup of coffee and good tunes on the radio, is the constant reminder that I’m doing some of the most important work you can imagine.
The road ahead leads me to the next opportunity to help keep our nation’s utilities safe from cyber attack, their systems moving and online, and the water flowing to customers’ homes clean and clear.
Every year, we highlight a portion of this great work in the form of
presentations at PIB 2015 — Gray Matter’s annual automation event in Put-in-Bay, OH. This year’s event is held August 4-6 – it’s coming up soon. Learn more here.
PIB 2015 is a solution-focused, three-day event for professionals interested in solving today’s biggest data-driven challenges.
The event, held annually in Put-in-Bay, is designed to inspire conversation, spotlight challenges, offer solutions, and showcase innovative technologies.
Our annual event includes success stories and presentations from a wide array of industries including water/wastewater, manufacturing, food and beverage, and many more.
This year – like nearly every year – the Ohio Environment Protection Agency (EPA) has approved each of the sessions in the water/wastewater track for continuing education credits for water operators in Ohio.
Just think about that. The Ohio EPA thought enough of the presentations our customers in place like the City of Cincinnati, North Ridgeville, OH, or Orlando, FL, are doing that it allows us to offer credit toward operators’ licenses.
That’s something I’m proud of, without a doubt. So what are some of the highlights from this year’s automation meeting?
Flexible Design Concepts for Water/Wastewater Automation Systems at the French Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant
I’ll be helping out on this presentation about how North Ridgeville addressed the concept of employing a flexible design approach to automation, monitoring, and data acquisition systems in the French Creek WWTP in Sheffield Village, OH.
Corey Timko, superintendent at French Creek WWTP, will present how, through the application of flexible design concepts, this utility will be able to accommodate changes in computing and control standards as they arise, essentially future-proofing the system and enabling scalable solutions that will endure.
It’s an example of how Gray Matter is helping utilities realize the benefits of technology.
Maximizing the Conveyance and Treatment Capacity of Wastewater Collection Systems and Reducing Wet Weather Overflows at the Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati
By now, nearly everyone knows The Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati, Ohio (MSDGC) is under two federal consent decrees to reduce wet weather overflows.
As one of the top five Combined Sewer Overflow communities in the U.S. in terms of overflow volume, MSDGC, with the help of Gray Matter Systems, has introduced innovative approaches to reduce the massive cost of these improvements.
This session, hosted by MSDGC’s Melissa Gatterdamn, will show one of the district’s key strategies — to incorporate sophisticated operational controls during wet weather that maximize the conveyance and treatment capacity of its existing wastewater system. Operators will learn how MSDGS partnered with Gray Matter and GE Intelligent Platforms to provide the technology platform for a comprehensive watershed-based Wet Weather SCADA System.
The really cool thing we’ll be showing off is how this system has improved MSDGC’s decision-making capabilities, which has resulted in efficient reduction of overflow, and is being developed to incorporate automated coordinated control of wet weather assets.
Automating Work Order Management at Orlando Utilities Commission
This is a really cool presentation. We have a couple of our best friends and most veteran water professionals, Lee Marshall and Jerry Farina, coming all the way from Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC). Marshall and Farina have more than 50 years of combined experience in water treatment. They’ll present how OUC is using technology to automate standard operating procedures and avoid dangerous situations from things like chlorine leaks.
It’s worth repeating — chlorine leaks are a pretty serious, pretty dangerous thing for utilities. It’s far, far worse than getting a whiff of the chemical at your local pool – a chlorine leak at your local water plant can incapacitate a person in a matter of seconds.
That’s not to mention the tons of necessary paperwork required for regulatory compliance that comes from this kind of event.
Marshall and Farina will show how OUC used technology to automate response and ensure accuracy in reporting. It’s a fascinating session.
Cloaking and Securing Your Critical Infrastructure and Devices
Malicious cyber attacks that devastate critical infrastructure are the thing of blockbuster movies. Most recently – and realistically — high-profile cyber attacks have been leveled on Target, Home Depot, or even the Federal government.
But the threat of attack is a very real thing for the country’s public utilities.
For over 10 years, Rob Goss has been addressing the security challenges facing critical infrastructure environments across a variety of segments.
At PIB 2015, he’ll highlight examples of common network architectures that have high-risk exposure and offer solutions to these occurrences. These examples are often driven by needs common to public utilities like remote connectivity; employee, vendor, and contractor access; and integration with untrusted networks such as cellular, ISP, and shared infrastructure.
This timely presentation is meant to arm water/wastewater operators with cyber-security strategies by referencing various standards, architecture documents, and best-practice recommendations that, together, align to provide a powerful model for advanced network security for industrial environments.
Ohio operators can get up to seven credits for the water/wastewater track at PIB 2015. (Michigan credits are pending).
These are just a couple of the sessions we’re covering at PIB 2015. There are 28 total, covering all kinds of topics from process control to big data and analytics to the changing face of the factory.
Join us for the show. Check out more here: