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Water & Sewer Authority Pumps Up Security

 

Securing any facility is no easy task. Standardizing and streamlining security systems and processes can be especially challenging for public utilities companies. Water and sewer services, for instance, are complex, multi plant and site operations across large distances. Establishing a network of plants and pumps is ideal to provide the best service to customers; however, the distances between each plant can make it difficult to ensure consistent management and monitoring of security.

 

For example, one water and sewer authority in the southeastern region of the United States set out to improve its ability to manage, document and react to possible security incidents throughout its operations. The organization had traditionally followed a model in which 25 water and sewer sites operated independently. These sites — spread across an 80-mile radius with more than 2,600 employees, relied on their own, disparate systems. Plant managers chose the systems they felt worked best, but the broader organization lacked the visibility needed to best optimize safety and security across the entire operation.

 

As such, the water and sewer authority sought to standardize its security systems and processes across all of its plants so it could monitor and manage safety and security from a centralized location. In addition to improving operational management, such efforts would also lead to other benefits, like improving efficiencies for printing and issuing ID badges—a critical benefit for an industry that sees high turnover, and frequently taps contractors for assistance.

 

To achieve its goals, the water and sewer authority devised a four-phased approach with the help of Honeywell. The improvements would enable the water and sewer authority to:

  • Establish a state-of-the-art central monitoring station to improve visibility and control across the organization’s sites.

  • Help individual plants and pump stations standardize their security systems under a common platform.

  • Enable the sewer and water authority to better identify and react to possible security incidents throughout its operations. 

Through these efforts, the water and sewer authority expects to improve responses to security or safety incidents by streamlining incident response time, standardizing response processes to ensure the use of best practices, documenting incidents to ensure compliance and establishing a common security system standard across all locations.