North Star Systems is a hardware and software developer in Saskatchewan, Canada that manufactures Tattle Systems, a tool that supports business operations. Tattle Systems capabilities take technology to the next level. Real-time remote location, level, and data reporting define Tattle Systems. In our North Stars Systems Technology Tuesday series we will be exploring the business, culture, and impact of the technology industry. In our latest article, North Star Systems shares information about IoT applications for water waste management.
IoT-enabled water management delivers better service, better returns
People depend on water and sewer service to run reliably and continuously, and operators must know the status of each element in their widely dispersed systems to make it happen.
It’s a perfect application for the Industrial Internet of Things (IoT). IoT is the interconnection of sensors embedded in the tools professionals use every day, linked via the Internet to computers that can crunch the data.
Public and private utility operators are beginning to harness the power of IoT to enhance the safety and efficiency of their systems, while strengthening their bottom lines and delivering superior service to their customers.
For water and sewer systems, this can include sensors to measure variables such as fluid levels in tanks, flow rates in distribution systems, and status of critical elements such as pumps. GPS systems track the location of water and sewer tanker trucks. With these data flowing continuously via the Internet, operators can manage their services from anywhere via smartphone or tablet.
In cottage country, customers are spread out over a large geographical area. Typically, they call septic services when tanks are nearly full and they need them emptied right away. This means the septic service must make a dedicated trip, often during the weekend, as this is when cottage owners are enjoying their properties.
With IoT, tank sensors monitor how full the tank is and makes this information available to the septic service right to their smartphone or tablet. Similar sensors on septic trucks tell operators how much capacity is left in their tanks.
This technology changes the conversation. Instead of customers calling for service, the septic service can proactively call customers.
Also, with on-board truck tank sensors, operators no longer have to make a dedicated run for each customer. Instead, the IoT system can calculate how many customers can be served in a single trip. This means the septic service can move to pro-rated service pricing depending on how full a tank is, rather than just charging a flat fee per visit benefiting both the business and the client.
The septic service can also use the data to anticipate which tanks need to be emptied, allowing them to plan service for the upcoming work week and keep their employees’ weekends free.
North Star Systems clients set up with TATTLE systemsTM or septic service businesses report that IoT makes their operations much more efficient and easier to manage. Their superior service also gives them a significant edge over their competition.
IoT also lends itself to managing drinking water supplies. For water delivery services, it offers the same advantages as septic services, but it can also be harnessed for municipal water systems.
Water level sensors in facilities such as water towers and standpipes allow utility operators to monitor water supplies, reducing the need to send personnel to check levels manually on-site. This frees staff for more critical tasks.
Sensors can also be added to key pieces of equipment to monitor their activity. This allows operators to optimize operations. An example, is a small community municipal water installation that uses standard TATTLE components augmented and customized with sensors and hardware. This allows operators to monitor the water supply but also key pumping equipment.
With this knowledge, operators can get advance notice of a problem in the system if, for example, the pumps are suddenly running longer than usual which may indicate a leak. This allows municipal authorities to issue a water advisory earlier to help keep residents safe.
Unusual pump activity can also indicate that the equipment itself is in need of attention. With this early-warning information, operators can plan maintenance and repair to minimize service interruptions.
IoT solutions for water systems evolve, driven by the needs of customers. While many of these can be managed with off-the-shelf TATTLE systemsTM elements, North Star Systems builds upon this foundation with custom hardware and software to deliver solutions tailored to the priorities of private and municipal customers.
North Star Systems leads in the creation of innovative technology, including the Industrial Internet of Things. We pride ourselves on outstanding service and our TATTLE Products provide solutions to streamline the operations of your business.
If you would like to know more about how North Star Tattle Systems can help you reach out to our team today!