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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 7, 2011 3:19 PM. The previous post in this blog was Cylviagate sleaze on parade. The next post in this blog is Feds to investigate Portland police. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Portland water already buying equipment for "new treatment plant"

Yesterday the Portland water bureau announced that it had fomally appealed to state environmental regulators to grant the city a "variance" from federal rules that would require construction of a spendy new ultraviolet light treatment plant up in the Bull Run reservoir facility. We wonder whether they're sincere in their desire to avoid building the plant -- they love big pork projects for their construction contractor buds -- and today a reader sends along a link that adds to our skepticism.

Check out this press release from last Thursday by a company called Telvent. It brags that the city is using it to create a fancy new water testing system, including "remote monitoring of the new water treatment plant." It seems rather odd to be designing and implementing a new testing system when the state of water treatment is still up in the air. But perhaps it isn't up in the air at all -- it's just being made to look that way.

Comments (20)

Grandma Millie likes the new technology measuring the broken-UV bulb, mercury laden, drinking water that can be expected. She'll be having Medicare paying her water bills at the nursing home.

Shocking considering they've been raising rates in anticipation for 3 years now.

There are two boondoggles pending: crypto treatment and unhooking the open reservoirs. This is about the first of those. Fireman Randy's doing the second one no matter what anybody says.

Remote monitoring??? Like from Germany or Brazil, or Cannon Beach, or maybe just from Randy's bedroom?

Like from Germany or Brazil, or Cannon Beach, or maybe just from Randy's bedroom?

All of the above, and more. The remote monitoring system will run through an app on Randy's iPhone.

I wouldn't assume that the Telvent system is specifically to help on the new water treatment function. This type of product is used with SCADA control systems, which are actually essential to managing and monitoring the flow of water across the system. Remote monitoring of facilities like this is a real requirement, given the miles of pipes and their inaccessibility.
I'm as sceptical as the next guy about many of the city's initiatives (and hope the state has the guts to approve an exception to the UV water thing), but I think you may be jumping to a conclusion that this is part of the whole water UV treatment deal.

Jack

SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) is the central computer system which enables our operators at the Water Control Center (WCC) to control Portland’s entire water distribution system including tank and reservoir levels, pump system flow rates and pump station operation on a 24/7 basis. The SCADA upgrade is unrelated to our LT2 compliance work and needs to occur whether we get the variance or not. The current system contains obsolete components, limited cyber security, no disaster recovery site, lack of support beyond 2012, and is incompatible with current standard workstations.

The upgrade project includes replacement of the system located at the WCC with a secure, windows based system. As part of the upgrade, a disaster recovery SCADA system is being added at our Lusted Treatment site. That will allow us to operate the Lusted site from the WCC and the WCC from the Lusted site if necessary. It will also include the capacity for control of a UV Treatment Facility (if we have to build one) without additional cost or having to reconfigure the core system.

The upgraded system will include improved system functionality, improved integration tools, management tools and security and will provide the Water Bureau with critical water supply monitoring and control for at least the next 10 years.

David Shaff, Administrator
Portland Water Bureau

No matter how you spin it David...there are those of us who will simply never believe anything anyone at the Water Bureau tells us.
And further more there is NO SUCH THING as a "secure, windows based system".
The citizens of Portland are being ripped off and some of us are mad as hell. However, we seem to be at the mercy of what appears to be a corrupt, and inefficient bureau run by a person of little or no integrity who is a bully and a liar.
I am sorry you have to work for a boss like that.
I wish better things for you in your future.

BTW, How's that new computer billing system workin' for ya????
You know the one that cost millions and you guys couldn't get out water bills to anyone for months, a few years ago?
So sorry Mr. Shaff, the credibility of the PWB just plain sucks!

I wonder what the estimated total real estate market value is of all those hillside reservoirs-with-a-view? Could build a lot of condos and streetcars, maybe a World Famous Convention Center Hotel...

Mr. Shaff, citizens are sniffing out CoP's misuse of "we are only 'studying' a proposal", or "considering options", and spending $millions to do so.

For example the Tram. Sam, even after we had spent $19 Million had the famous PSU Townhall with him saying "we need to consider whether we should go on with the project", while he met none of it. Now we have the Portland/LO Trolley, and the Council sayng "we are considering all options including no-build" while they really mean we are going to do it anyhow, anyway. Same goes for the Portland/Sherwood Lightrail line down SW Barber.

"Study" is a fools-gold expression around here.

How much is the Telvent system costing? Was it put out for bid? If the city gets the crypto variance, will the cost go up or down?

"SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) is the central computer system "

Gee, PWB has pretty good luck with computers, this should go smoothly. Maybe Mr Shaff should go back to HR where he knows somehting about what he's managing.

"study" at kiddie hall just means, "OOOH look at the shiny, new, very expensive thingy"..."screw the tax payers we're buyin' it!"

Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition Management System. If only we could come up with an acronym . . . .

its not quite an acronym but close

Super Con 'n Dam-ns

Since the PPD are already on board, save the taxpayers of this town some money just use Twitter to monitor what needs monitoring.

OK - so supposedly this system needs to be build and payed for by water rates.

SO - why the HELL are you people not seeking a delay in LT2 implementation? NYC just got a 28 YEAR delay!!!!!


We don't need LT2, but you dumb assess (or worse) have done nothing to fight it.

Of course that fact that you are so cozy with past WB employees that now are privateers has nothing to do with your motives- DOES IT?

Ralph,
Looks like Leonard, Council and PWB are doing everything they can possibly dream up to create debt, debt, and more debt.

That cozy relationship with privateers - is that why Council is laying down and no matter what they say but what they do will lead us down that road to privatization and loss of our water rights?

I, too, got a good laugh from Mr. Shaff's reference to a "secure, Windows-based system". When I need security, I switch over to the SuSe system to my right. His comment reveals a bit of insight as to why Portland computer system upgrades are so costly - and generally fail.


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