The Connected Utility: Sedarū® Enables Real-time Communications

Serving approximately 21,300 accounts, the Indio Water Authority (IWA) in Indio, California, operates in the flat, arid desert of the Coachella Valley. Together with the common challenges to conserve and account for the precious resource it provides to its customers, IWA is faced with overcoming the limitations associated with little elevation difference in its service area. To this end, IWA has sought innovative ways to maximize its water resources, leverage its water infrastructure investment, and maximize operational efficiencies across its distribution network.

Those efforts began when Luis Cardenas, PE, IWA senior water engineer, collaborated with Paul Hauffen, founder and CEO of IDModeling, to develop what would become Sedarū® (See Data Run) software.

“Upper management was simply not getting the information they needed to make well-informed decisions,” explains Cardenas. “It was all there, but they’d have to search for it. There was no smooth way to tie it all together.”

IWA general manager, Brian Macy, PE, detailed the situation adding, “If we wanted to look at the SCADA system, we would log into SCADA, and if we wanted to direct valve maintenance, for example, we would turn to our Cityworks® Server AMS. If we wanted to detect leaks at certain meters, we would go to Neptune’s AMR (automatic meter reading) software.”

According to Hauffen, the team aimed persistently to unlock and apply valuable information from IWA systems, systems that posed access challenges. He added that the need for planning drove the innovation: the where and why of pipe placement, along with the quantifying of needs and benefits of a given project. This, in turn, would help set priorities for capital investment.

See Data Run

How could all these functions be brought together, allowing IWA to make better, more informed decisions? Macy and his team asked IDModeling for a solution: one that would enable real-time, interdepartmental communications among management, engineering, operations, maintenance, and customer service.

The goal was clear: to assimilate the information maintained in IWA’s various data centers—Cityworks, Esri® GIS, SCADA, and AMR—and make it readily available in a comprehensive, easy-to-use, open, and configurable format. The goal also included making IWA’s data visible, giving drive analysis to more people and enhancing real-time communication to better run the organization.

Enter Sedarū 

Sedarū’s ability to coordinate data, communications, and personnel proved itself right away. In the office, Sedarū’s incident alerts allow managers to see at a glance whether a valve is open or closed. With Sedarū’s real-time analytics and communications, IWA knows where staff and assets are located, where they are performing well or where they are in trouble and how they can efficiently respond. In the event of an emergency, such as a main break, the office team is notified from Cityworks, SCADA, or Neptune real-time alerts. A valve shutdown work order can be triggered by Cityworks, propagated through Sedarū for hydraulic model support, where work is then assigned to the appropriate field crew for immediate, connected, informed response.

Sedarū and Cityworks have even helped rule out a main break. Cardenas recounted a situation where system operators observed SCADA alerting high flow rates at one of the booster stations. Using Sedarū to view alarms against the current maintenance activities in Cityworks, it showed that hydrant flushing operations in the vicinity were generating the high flow. Though the information was available before, Sedarū is able to combine such information and drive analytics to help managers quickly assess situations and make faster, more accurate decisions, saving valuable time and labor.

Sedarū is a water utility management software designed for ease-of-use and has a main objective: to become the one location where people and data connect, communicate, anticipate water operations, understand impacts, and solve problems. Enhancing communications between the office and the field, Sedarū empowers proactive decision making across departments. From engineering, to operations and maintenance, to customer service, real-time information is made available to support analytics and key performance indicators, driving efficiencies across the organization. With easy-to-use touchscreen Tile-Bars®, drag-and-drop startup implementation, and lightweight configuration, Sedarū can be setup for any user in minutes. In the office or in the field, its technology works seamlessly with Cityworks GIS-centric Asset Management System, and on today’s device of choice—including laptops, tablets, and smart phones.

The Positive Impacts of Interoperability

Hauffen calls Indio Water Authority (IWA) one of the most forward-thinking utilities in the country. And through its role in the development and implementation of Sedarū, IWA is making it possible for thousands of other water utilities to take the next step to achieve interoperability.

“Information is more powerful when it’s current, shared, and acted upon,” says Hauffen. “Too often in the past, utilities would be limited to learning certain information after the fact, if at all. At IDModeling, we appreciate that having the latest, accurate data in-hand promotes better decisions, as they are needed. Sedarū and Cityworks are helping water utilities do just that and most importantly, ensure the health and safety of their customers.”

HIGHLIGHTS

• To share data, plan pipe placement, and prioritize capital investment, IWA and IDM worked together to create Sedarū in December 2011.
• Sedarū enables real-time, interdepartmental communications across the utility.
• Sedarū brings SCADA, GIS, asset management, and AMR data together in one location.
• Office personnel can see instantly on GIS map overlays system/asset conditions (e.g., valves turned on or off).
• With real-time information, IWA can respond immediately, finding the closest field crew and quickly moving them to work areas.

By Paul Hauffen, President – CEO, IDModeling, and Kevin Koshko, Sedarū Product Director, IDModeling, and
Brian Macy, General Manager, Indio Water Authority, CA

About Sedarū®
Sedarū utility management software is powered by IDModeling, Inc. Sedarū connects water industry professionals to communicate, predict water operations, understand impacts, and solve problems across the utility—in the office or in the field—distributing current, relevant, and analyzed information in real-time, across laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
Phone: (626) 244-0700
Email: info@idmodeling.com
Website: www.idmodeling.com/sedaru

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