Ensuring that the water that comes out of our taps is pure and high quality is pretty serious business. Delivering high quality water – and treating our waste water – is essential to life, health and hygiene in every town, city or municipality around the globe. So, when our municipal water quality and waste water utilities are experiencing downtime in their facilities, there are some potentially serious ramifications.
One of the ongoing topics of discussion at this year’s WEFTEC Conference was the need to ensure that water treatment facilities are online and operating at all times.
The conference, which brought together leaders from municipal waste water and water quality utilities with the industry experts and equipment manufacturers that make specialized water treatment technologies, featured the best minds and more innovative technologies in water quality. And, at this year’s event, downtime was a major concern.
We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Nicole George, the product manager for pumping variable frequency drives at power management solution provider, Eaton, to talk all about the importance of uptime at water treatment plants, and the new technologies making downtime a thing of the past.
During our conversation, we asked about the role that power management plays in keeping plants operational, the emergence of Smart Water technologies and their impact on uptime and the exciting announcements that Eaton made at this year’s WEFTEC.
Here is what she had to say:
Modern Equipment Manufacturer (MEM): Can you tell our readers a little about Eaton? What products and solutions does the company offer to the waste water and water quality industry specifically?
Nicole George: We are a power management company made up of over 100,000 employees, doing business in more than 175 countries. Our energy-efficient products and services help our customers effectively manage electrical, hydraulic and mechanical power more reliably, efficiently, safely and sustainably.
We accomplish this by giving people tools to use power more efficiently, helping companies do business more sustainably and by encouraging each and every employee at Eaton to think differently about our business, our communities—and the positive impact we can have on the world.
MEM: Why is energy and energy consumption such a major issue in water quality?
Nicole George: Electrical energy costs are commonly the highest costs associated with water treatment and processing activities. Moving the needle even a little on energy savings can result in significant reduction of total cost of ownership, giving more financial flexibility to businesses and municipalities.
MEM: Why is downtime such a major issue for water treatment organizations? How do Eaton’s solutions help water treatment organizations reduce downtime?
Nicole George: Downtime in water treatment processes can have critical implications that cause widespread outages across the service area.
Reliable and safe access to clean water matters, and Eaton helps ensure this is possible through power distribution, control and reliability products such as panelboards and switchboards, motor control centers, variable frequency drives and digital metering. The electrical components within these assemblies are critical to keeping the promise of clean water alive.
Eaton’s Power Defense molded case circuit breaker provides advanced control and monitoring to protect critical equipment. Eaton’s PowerXL variable frequency drives deliver superior motor control while reducing the total cost of ownership.
MEM: In a recent interview with the Water Environment Foundation’s (WEF) Barry Liner, we talked about the evolution of Smart Water technologies and solutions. Is this a trend that you’ve noticed in the industry? What technologies are you seeing entering the waste water and water quality space that is making it “smarter?”
Nicole George: The water industry is quickly adopting smart technologies enabled by the Internet of Things (IoT). As more devices integrate the capability to network and communicate broadly, the importance of system integration grows.
IoT promises system efficiency, guaranteed uptime, cost-savings and predicative analytics, making the industry an exciting place to implement innovative solutions.
MEM: Eaton exhibited at this year’s WEFTEC Conference. Did the company have any exciting announcements at the event?
Nicole George: Eaton’s solutions are able to help lower costs, improve the management of systems and help meet energy efficiency requirements. At WEFTEC, Eaton showcased new products and real-world demonstrations of how its products impact each part of the water treatment process.