Read through the headlines related to water pumps and you will see a lot of them filled with stories of emergencies and tragedies. Most stories, in fact, are related to unexpected pump failures which lead to citizens forced to buy up local stores’ supplies of bottled water, or to rising flood waters destroying homes and offices. We rely heavily on water pumps in this country, and throughout the world. However, not every story has be riddled with talk of emergency crews, boil notices, or forced evacuations.
One headline, amidst those troubling ones, gave a bit of hope that there are those out there listening when engineers and HVAC professionals speak about the advantages of sensors and controls. With the right sensors and controls in place, water pumps can actually communicate (in a sense) with the technicians and maintenance teams tasked with keeping them running. Problems can be detected before they become full-scale emergencies, before the drinking water runs dry, and before the flood waters swallow city streets.
The story that we reference was one issued by a small local paper about the city pump station, which was operating as one would hope. Rather than waiting for emergency to strike, a potential problem was detected (thanks to the installed sensors and controls). The maintenance teams quickly diagnosed the issue and recognized the need for a replacement. Because of the alert sent up by the system controls, there was enough to time explain the situation calmly, get a budget passed, and hire a company to manage the water pump replacement. In this case, the pump was meant to keep streets dry, and it was in a very high-risk area, where flood water commonly threatens homes and office buildings. With it properly replaced, and the new pump in good operating order, the city is better defended against heavy rains and rising waters.