Water authorities play a pivotal role in the Netherlands, which is also reflected in the Rijnland water board’s slogan ‘Dry feet, Clean water’. The water board’s key activities include providing protection against the sea and flooding, maintaining the correct water level in polders and urban areas, and ensuring clean and healthy water in lakes, canals and ditches.
Another important task they perform is the treatment of domestic and industrial wastewater in their operating area, which covers Wassenaar, IJmuiden, Amsterdam, Gouda – in short: large parts of the provinces of North and South Holland. With a catchment area with over 1.3 million inhabitants, the Rijnland water board is the largest water authority in the Netherlands.
René Smit, Environmental Manager in the IPM team (Integrated Project Management) of the Rijnland water board: “Just over seven years ago, the water authority identified a suboptimal performance level of the process automation in a number of Rijnland’s wastewater treatment plants. With the end of their technical life cycle soon approaching, several hardware components also needed to be replaced. At the same time, there was a need for a more centralised, i.e. remote, control and coordination system for the signalling and operating panel for all 15 wastewater treatment plants and 70+ pumping stations. ”
And so the idea was born to develop a high-tech Control Room – or Central Processing Room (CPR) – located at Rijnland’s head office.’’
– René Smit, Rijnland water board
Building software like LEGO blocks
Michiel Bonnema, Project Manager at the Rijnland water board (contracted through project management consultancy agency Balance): “The decision to design and configure the Control Room was prompted by increasingly stringent requirements for reliability and cybercrime prevention, as well as the need for more convenience and improved control of energy efficiency. In addition, wastewater treatment plants must comply with strict regulations and standards. Efficiency will also increase significantly, for instance, due to a decrease in the need for local and partially manual operation. All these factors combined and the water authority’s wish to upgrade the process automation across all wastewater treatment plants, made this project a great challenge.’’ René Smit adds: “We first launched a pilot project at our Haarlem-Waarderpolder wastewater treatment plant.”
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