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MISSION COMMUNICATIONS -- Newsletter
Header2
News from Mission Communications for the Water and Wastewater Professional
Issue 1, Winter 2010/11
CONTENTS
Inaugural Issue Welcome
New Map Control Released
Pontotoc MS Saves Thousands
Reliability Requires Redundancy
Inexpensive Addition Prevents Failure
Remote Water Sales Tracker

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Average
Realtime RTU
Connection Uptime

Last 30 days:
99.893%


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Inaugural Issue Welcome

   Welcome to the inaugural issue of The Mission Monitor, the newsletter of Mission Communications.  Every few months we'd like take a few minutes of your time to point out a new feature at Mission Communications, and maybe introduce you to some old features that can make your job easier.  In each edition we plan to have just a handful of short articles -- example topics include...
  • New Web User Tips
  • Installation, Setup and Maintenance Hints
  • Recent Feature Enhancements
  • Featured Customer Spotlight
  • Advanced Applications
  • After-Hours Response
  • Statistics
We hope will be helpful to you, and value your feedback.  A survey link is included below for your comments.


New Map Control Released

    Mission engineers have been working for months on a new method to visualize your water system status at a glance.  The new map screen is shown immediately after the user logs in, and it has all of the same features as the old map display.  However, because it uses HTML5 technology instead of Flash, it is compatible with a broader range of viewing platforms and will be easier for us to maintain going forwards.

   Our new map
has the most up-to-date street data available, and it gives the user the ability to change views (zoom in, zoom out and pan), and to add or remove overlays (such as the most recent weather radar image).  Another new feature requested by several customers is the ability for the user to easily reposition the site icon for greater accuracy.  One final major feature, another customer request, is the ability for the user to add "pushpin" icons to the map (to indicate future sites, for example).


update map
 
   We are aware that some people just don't like "change," so we went to some trouble to make sure that users who were familiar with the old map will find the new map "same only different."  The icon shapes and color codes are the same.  The "marching ants" indicating pumps running is the same.  When the mouse is moved over the site icon a pop-up comes up with the same information as before.  Hopefully you will find this a change for the better.

   As always, we welcome your feedback. 



Potonoc, Mississippi Saves Thousands of Dollars


   The small city of Pontotoc, MS (population 5,943) was spending almost $1600 per month on phone lines alone just to track water usage and pump station alarms. With the installation of six Mission M-800s, their SCADA bill dropped by over 75%.
Mayor Jeff
Click Image to View Video

   When reporter Wayne Hereford in nearby Tupelo MS heard about the municipality reducing their expenses by such a large amount, he and the WTVA news crew came to town to investigate.
 

   Regional Manager Matt Crousillac was on hand to train the operators on the use of the website.  He pointed out that, "The operators commented that they can now be more efficient with their time, as Mission can alert them to potential problems."

   In addition to the tremendous savings provided, Mayor Jeff Stafford was also amazed at ease of installation and operation of the Mission RTUs.

  
Redundancy and Reliability
   Cellular telephone networks create one of the most reliable forms of data transmission available today.  In fact, cellular networks survive natural disasters better than landline phone lines because any tower in range is just as good as any other tower in range.  With a landline, if any pole between your site and the switching center goes down, or any phone pole between the switching center and your headquarters goes down, you are "off the air."

   Mission servers are located in a facility which takes its network feeds in from multiple sources.  Multiple backup power supplies power multiple servers to store the data on redundant disk drives.  Mission also deploys multiple programs that monitor every connection we have, automatically contacting both our engineers if there is a problem.

   We do this for the same reason that there are two pilots in the plane, or two pumps in the bottom of the wet well -- because we know that failures will happen, and we want to be prepared.  Mission systems are so comprehensive, they often detect area trouble even before cell carriers do.

Inexpensive Switch Prevents Pump Failure

Glenn Cooper
Glenn Cooper
   Glenn Cooper of J.H. Wright & Associates, Inc. offers this simple tip for customers who have above ground self-priming pumps.

   Pump specialists know that seal and bearing failure can occur when a pump runs dry and overheats.  A simple temperature switch epoxied to the pump housing (volute) can save the rotating parts of a pump from damage due to overheating. 

   Glenn recommends an inexpensive switch (less than $10) with a fixed set-point of 160°F.  Depending on the customer's desires, the switch can either be wired as an alarm into the RTU (where the alarm function will dispatch a technician), or it can be wired directly to the control circuit to automatically turn the pump off.

   Newer pumps can often be ordered with an integral temperature sensor installed.

Remote Water Sales Tracking Solution

   Germantown Water Utility in Germantown, WI sells bulk water to area construction and commercial landscaping firms, and wanted a simpler way to track and bill sales. 

   Their personnel installed a off-the-shelf
RTU Simplifies Bulk Water Sales
Mission M-800 RTU at the water distribution site, and connected it to a standard flow meter and water valve.  Customers start the operation by driving their trucks up to the site, and connecting their water hose.  Once this is done they then use their individualized Mission electronic access key on the RTU.  A data message is sent to Mission servers in Atlanta, and within seconds the built-in relay on the M-800 closes, opening the water valve and delivering a tanker truck full of water.

   The system includes a flow meter to accurately record the gallons obtained by the client, and has fail-safes to shut the water off after a maximum number of gallons, or a certain period of time has elapsed.  The Mission system generates a billing report for each client automatically at the end of every month. 


We never know the worth of water till the well is dry.  ~Thomas Fuller, 1732
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