Located in central Minnesota, Septic Check is a full-service septic company for residential, commercial/industrial, and municipal customers.

The problem: Tank pumping services are provided to two industrial clients whose tanks are located 40 miles away. These clients have large holding tanks for specialized waste streams that must be emptied as needed. Unfortunately, discharge volume varies dramatically based on production, so it is difficult to predict when the tanks need to be emptied. As such, a service technician is required to drive to the site to determine tank levels. It is not until the technician has arrived that they will learn how much to pump or worst case if pumping is even required at all. Septic Check was in search of a remote data-based solution to determine when and how much to pump.

The solution: The installation of the PointWatch system allows technicians to view real time tank levels remotely. This is done from their office or home via their phones or computers. In addition, alerting has been set up at specified levels so technicians can know automatically from the PointWatch system when it is time to pump. Septic Check is now able to shift their tank pumping model to pump when it is required by having real time insight into the tanks themselves. Additionally, they know the volume and are able to plan accordingly. Septic Check no longer spends wasted trips based on guesses.

Result: Thousands of dollars have been saved per year by reducing labor and travel. Specifically, more than 24 hours of technicians’ time and more than 550 vehicle miles have been eliminated per month. This allows Septic Check to optimize time, material and expense as well as have more control of their schedules. Their return on investment was a matter of months.

Bridgewater Center is a business and retail facility/strip mall near Indianapolis, Indiana. The facility has a single lift station for moving waste water to the public sewer system.

The problem: The lift station experienced frequent alarms. The alerts were local and required a passerby to notify someone that the system had a problem. If notified, SOS Services, the contract operator, would make a non-scheduled trip to the site to diagnose and correct the problem, as required. Before implementing a PointWatch system, the operator averaged two or more non-scheduled trips per month to keep the lift station in operation.

The solution: The PointWatch system was installed to provide remote monitoring and control of the station. Alerts automatically contact SOS Services when alarms occur. These alerts are customized to give specifics on the exact condition of the station. Monitoring of the pumps includes pump current, alternation and run time. Knowing and trending these key pump metrics can predict when a failure will occur. In addition to pumps, high and low liquid level conditions are monitored. PointWatch Systems control allows pumps to be activated remotely to manage and normalize water levels.

Result: SOS Services, now has an online real time view and control of the lift station. Notifications, when critical conditions occur, are sent to SOS Services that indicate that the station either has a problem or will soon. This optimization of the operations has eliminated many emergency, and all weekend service visits resulting in direct savings of more than $3600 per year.

The Village of Clarington, OH is a community of approximately 400 residents.  The village has a single Water operator who is responsible for the wastewater treatment system and the water delivery system. Their overall infrastructure consists of lift stations for wastewater collection, wastewater treatment and water distribution.

Clarington and PointWatch Systems LLC
The village was looking to optimize the operator’s time to free him up for his other duties. PointWatch put in place a system to monitor power utilization, runtime and alarms for sewage treatment blowers, sewage pumps, grinder pumps, well pumps and booster pumps. In addition, treatment plant power, treatment plant flow, and water tanks are also remotely monitored.

Customized alerts set for critical conditions at all the locations are sent to the operator’s cell phone and computer. All monitored conditions are remotely saved and graphed in order to provide an in-depth analysis of how the system is functioning as well as provide insight to problems that have occurred.

Result: The operator has said, “I know that in the 18 months we have had PointWatch it has already saved us more than $4800 per year.”

The operator reduced his overhead and streamlined the system to such an extent that he was able to take a worry-free vacation for the first time in decades!

The success of the initial phase (water tank, wastewater treatment plant and booster station) led to PointWatch being placed on the remaining four lift stations the town maintains and operates. PointWatch will be used not only for monitoring and alerting but also for remote control. Based on their experience in phase one with PointWatch, the new stations are expected to pay for themselves within one year. Per the operator “it’s like having another employee!”

The problem: A Northeast coastal town in Delaware had lift stations equipped with systems for remote alert notification that had limited capabilities. The town wanted to expand their ability to be alerted to problems before they became costly.

The solution: The PointWatch system was installed on 28 lift stations. The monitoring included pump current, alternating, run time and seal fail, as well as high and low liquid level.  

The results: Alerts were frequent in the first months after installation, as many operating deficiencies were discovered through real time monitoring. Examples at four locations included:

  • Warning that pumps were not alternating. This allowed staff to investigate malfunctioning floats and controllers allowing them to be replaced before excessive pump wear occurred. 
  • Excessive pump run alarm. This allowed staff to pinpoint a bad float that would cause the pump to keep pumping after the tank was empty, thus avoiding costly repair for premature pump failure.
  • High Water alarm and level monitoring. Being a coastal town, it is common for some stations to have difficulty keeping up with the incoming flows from surges during storm events. The operator is now able to monitor flows remotely during storms. This saves money and time that used to be required to have someone continually stopping by the station to check on it.
  • While monitoring amperages, an anomaly in the amperage readings became apparent when the pump was cavitating. The PointWatch system produced an alarm to notify staff when the pump was cavitating. This allowed the staff to save the pump until the source of the cavitation could be found and corrected. 

The precision monitoring helped operators correct the deficiencies as they were identified. The operators estimated that the PointWatch system saved the town about $20,000 in labor costs and $65,000 in equipment replacement costs in the first year after the system was installed.

The issue: Northeastern Land Lease community in Delaware had issues with periodic clogging of pumps that were related to the increased use of “flushable” wipes. This issue required frequent unscheduled visits to the station to reverse the pumps and clear the clog. 

The solution: The PointWatch remote monitoring and control system was installed. The system monitors, charts, and alerts levels, pump alternations, pump amperage and high liquid levels. In addition, the PointWatch system was set up to enable remote reversing of the pumps.

The results: The first weekend the system was running the pumps started to clog. The operator received an alert on the condition of the pump operation. The operator was able to verify tank levels, then stop and reverse the pumps clearing the potential clog without having to  leave home. Operation efficiency was immediately improved and has continued.  

In the first week of operating with the PointWatch system they saved approximately $700 in on-call fees for after hours work.