By David Kanoy and Christopher Little
Ocean Isle Beach is a small island community on the southeast coast of North Carolina. Only about five-hundred people live there year round, but during the summer months its beautiful beaches draw almost ten times that number. This poses unique challenges for the town's wastewater utility who must handle this extreme seasonal spike in usage.
David Kanoy is president of Kanoy & Kanoy Inc., a systems integrator based in Supply, NC. "The sewer system in Ocean Isle Beach was installed about thirty years ago. It's a conventional gravity-fed system made up of thirty-seven lift stations and one major pumping station. Everything is pushed to a central collection station on the island and then forced under the inter-coastal waterway to a town-owned tertiary level treatment plant about two miles away."
In this article, Kanoy describes the supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system he developed for the town and how it is already saving money by collecting accurate usage patterns, identifying unseen mechanical problems and freeing staff to do proactive maintenance.