remote monitoring control

MWEA 96th Annual Conference Featuring “More Than a Pretty Map” increasing public safety & budget savings

June 27, 2021

The Michigan Water Environmental Association (MWEA) is hosting its 96th Annual Conference, June 27-30.  This is a virtual/in-person hybrid event with options for virtual participation or in-person attendance at the beautiful Boyne Mountain Resort.

The conference will feature sessions on Collections, Climate Resiliency, PFAS, Utility Management, Residuals and Biosolids, Watershed and Stormwater Management, other important topics, and fun activities, including a golf scramble water activities, receptions, exhibitors (outdoors in tents), and more.

SCS Engineer’s Remote Monitoring Control specialist, Brett Heist, is co-presenting on “More Than a Pretty Map – GIS Covers Your Assets” (Session 1A: Collections, Monday, June 28 at 1:00 pm)

Click here to view this session recording!

We have a GIS map; now what? This presentation will highlight how to utilize GIS platforms and expand on them in new and creative ways to help leverage functionality and maximize the availability of information. For 2D (horizontal) assets, there are some unique methods to plan for capital improvements and streamline data storage and access. Below are a few examples that are being implemented in the City of Zeeland:

Like most major cities and townships, the City has a comprehensive GIS map for its Storm, Sanitary, Water, and Streets. This map includes information about each asset within the system: material, size, inverts, condition, business risk, and even televised inspection videos for some of the storm and sanitary lines.

This information was combined into a comprehensive capital improvement map that the City uses to plan for 5-year improvements, significantly improving planning and budgeting efficiency while ultimately providing the public with safer infrastructure.

The televised inspection videos are immediately attached to the respective asset once uploaded to a cloud-based storage system from the field. All of this information is accessible at the click of a mouse, available anywhere with an internet connection.

For 3D (Vertical) assets, you can access entire buildings in the same manner as horizontal assets inside a 3D online viewer. Some examples that this presentation will highlight include:

  • The Zeeland Clean Water Plant RAS Building: AutoCAD data was used to create a 3D GIS viewer of this building and its assets. Asset information, such as blower and pump sizes and O&M tasks, can be accessed at the click of a button without having to sort through shop drawings and as-builts.
  • Another example of implementing 3D GIS data like this was for MobileGR who uses a 3D GIS model to store asset data and maintenance tasks for every one of their nine parking ramps in downtown Grand Rapids.

To summarize, utilizing GIS platforms to their maximum potential enhances the efficiency of maintenance/inspection activities and improves the reliability of physical infrastructure throughout a community, leading to increased public safety and financial savings.

The MWEA Conference covers a wealth of other important topics on water management.

 

Posted by Laura Dorn at 12:00 am

SWANA WASTECON® – Music to one’s ears

July 6, 2018

 

See you in Nashville! SCS Engineers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 1:42 pm

Getting an Air Monitoring Plan Off the Ground – Cost Effectively

May 17, 2017

Oil and gas processing facilities, federal and local governments, landfills, land developers, contractors, industries with industrial hygiene plans can spend too much money for too little information if they don’t have an understanding of the limits and capabilities of their equipment and methods before the development of their Air Monitoring Plan (AMP) . That’s before considering the risk to their employees and to public health.

Even if you can’t afford a dedicated air monitoring group, you can eliminate the health risks, overwriting a plan, or overburdening your budget. A cost-benefit analysis and integrating stakeholders’ goals can help provide the guidance you need to develop a balanced air monitoring plan.

Start with this list of considerations when developing an Air Monitoring Plan (AMP). The list is followed by tips and suggestions which are helpful under specific circumstances.

The development of an AMP requires the following:

  • Understanding the monitoring objective(s).
    • Compliance Monitoring for Specific Compound(s)
    • Employee Health and Safety
    • Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) Monitoring
    • Fence-line Job Site Monitoring
    • Active Dust Control
    • Source Related or Regional Monitoring
    • Determination of highest concentrations expected to occur
  • Identifying the spatial scale most appropriate for the monitoring objective(s).
    • Sampling Site Density
    • Upwind and Downwind Monitoring
    • Background Monitoring
  • Determination of the required temporal scale of the monitoring objectives:
    • Time-averaged Sampling and/or Real Time Monitoring
    • Desired Averaging Periods
    • Grab Samples
  • Determination of most appropriate monitoring equipment to be utilized.
    • Desired Detection Limits
    • Data Logging Required
    • Site Access Limitations
    • Power Availability
    • Real-Time Alarms if Needed
    • Meteorological Parameters

The information required for selecting the number of samples (5) and the sample locations include isopleth maps, population density maps, and source locations. The following are suggested guidelines:

  • The priority area is the zone of highest pollution concentration expected to occur in the area covered by the network; one or more stations should be located in this area;
  • Close attention should be given to densely populated areas within the region, especially when they are in the vicinity of heavy pollution;
  • The quality of air entering the region should be assessed by stations situated on the periphery of the region; meteorological factors (e.g., frequencies of wind directions) are of primary importance in locating these stations;
  • Sampling should be undertaken in areas of projected growth to determine the effects of future development on the environment;
  • A major objective of compliance monitoring is the evaluation of progress made in attaining the desired air quality; for this purpose, sampling stations should be strategically situated to facilitate evaluation of the implemented control strategies; and
  • Some information of air quality should be available to represent all portions of the region of concern.

 

The primary monitoring objectives should be determined before any data is collected.

 

Location of the monitoring site is initially dependent on the monitoring objective. For example, once it is known that there is a requirement to monitor for peak ambient H2S at a microscale site, it reduces the monitoring site location to specific areas. Hence, the first task when evaluating a possible site location is to determine the scale for which a candidate location can qualify by considering the following:

1. Location and emissions strengths of nearby sources, especially major source;
2. Prevailing wind direction in the area;
3. Nearby uniformity of land use;
4. Nearby population density.

To select locations according to these criteria, it is necessary to have detailed information on the location of emission sources, the geographical variability of ambient pollutant concentrations, meteorological conditions, and population density. Therefore, selection of the number, locations, and types of sampling stations is a complex process. The variability of sources and their intensities of emissions, terrains, meteorological conditions and demographic features require that each network is developed individually. Thus, selection of the network will be based on the best available evidence and on the experience of the decision team.

Developing an Air Monitoring Plan (AMP) can be a daunting task. There are many decisions to make that have downwind ramifications relative to budget, logistical constraints, and labor requirements. In addition, there may be competing goals in regards to the project stakeholders. SCS has the experience developing and implementing air monitoring plans and systems to meet these challenges; including developing site specific and network-wide AMPs for various monitoring objectives. SCS also understands the costs and demands of the implementation of AMPs on industry and government.

 

Performing a cost-benefit analysis is a crucial step in the AMP development in order to assure that the required data is attainable within the budget constraints.

 

If you need to perform Air Monitoring or are in the initial steps of developing an AMP please contact for expert advice and guidance specific to your region and industry. We have robust programs and experts nationwide. We can also incorporate the use of remote monitoring controls and monitoring by our FCC authorized drones.

Author: Paul Schafer, SCS’ National Expert Ambient Air Monitoring

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

Dave Hostetter of SCS Engineers Receives the Society of American Military Engineers Honorable Award for Outstanding Contributions by a Young Civilian Member

February 9, 2017

“Dave Hostetter sets the example of how an honorable, dynamic, and experienced engineer acts at SCS,” said Paul Mandeville, Senior Vice President and Director of SCS’s offices on the east coast. “Dave serves as a model of what young professionals and students should strive to become in their professional careers; we are very proud of him.”


Dave Hostetter, SCS Engineers Senior Project Professional

Dave Hostetter, a recent graduate of the SAME DC Post’s 2015 Leadership Lab was honored to receive the Society of American Military Engineers Honorable Mention for Outstanding Contributions by Young Civilian Member. Dave is a registered professional engineer, a LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP) through the U.S. Green Building Council, and a Certified Energy Manager (CEM) at SCS Engineers.

Throughout his career he has focused on three things: using his engineering skills to make a difference in the world, serving his clients wholeheartedly, and mentoring others. These guiding principles have led him through many fields of engineering from HVAC and plumbing engineering to energy engineering to landfill gas engineering to controls system engineering.

From 2012 to 2013 Dave was the site project manager for a large retro-commissioning project of two hospitals in the Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) 3. More than 1,500,000 square feet of building space were retro-commissioned. Throughout this project, he worked diligently to identify hundreds of issues with the building HVAC systems and create recommendations for each one. His recommendations were projected to save the VA approximately $200,000 / year and have an average payback period of approximately 0.2 years.

In 2016 Dave engineered and installed a unique environmental monitoring system for a client at a port in New Jersey. The client had an air monitoring program which required them to monitor the air quality at six different points around the port on a daily basis. Their original process was time-consuming and was, therefore expensive. Dave engineered and installed a system of wireless sensors which communicate air monitoring data back to an online database. This online database allows the client to view current and historical data, it automatically generates a daily summary report, and it sends out alarms when one of the measured parameters exceeds its alarm setpoint. This new system has reduced the client’s expenditure on labor, saved costs and resources, and increased their ability to understand and respond to the results from their environmental monitoring system.

Dave mentors other young professionals at SCS by involving them in real life hands-on engineering projects. These projects include some sort of equipment installation or troubleshooting work which allows the young engineers to actually see how things are installed, ask good questions on how things work, get face-to-face time with a senior level engineer, and learn valuable lessons on risk and safety management in specific situations.

Dave’s expertise was developed as the result of SCS professionals taking the time to mentor him in the same manner, and his goal is to pass the learning technique and knowledge on to others.

Dave lives the SCS Engineers mission statement to:

  • Adopt our clients’ environmental challenges as our own
  • Provide an opportunity for all our employees to succeed, and to be rewarded for performance and commitment
  • Protect and improve environmental quality, conserve resources, promote sound waste management, and encourage efficient use of energy — all in a sustainable manner.

Clients trust him for his honest and comprehensive approach to their challenges. Dave takes ownership of his work and puts in the time and effort to deliver excellent results and maintain a great relationship with his clients.

Congratulations, Dave!

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 3:00 am