Wastewater Treatment Control System Upgrade

New automation control systems help two wastewater facilities prepare for the future.
Challenge Faced with aging equipment, a lack of documentation and more, a pair of wastewater facilities implement modern systems so data and results flow more freely.

From field-documenting each wire to developing new panel drawings for easier future reference, Vertech’s integrated solutions help calm troubled waters.

Client Two wastewater facilities owned by the same operator provide a critical service to the community, and therefore, need critical care.
Requirements We were tasked with replacing aging PLC equipment and software without shutting down the plant.


The client had two active wastewater treatment facilities running on aging Allen-Bradley SLC-500 PLCs and Wonderware InTouch. Operational requirements made it impossible to shut these plants down so upgrades had to be performed without interrupting plant operation. Documentation did not exist for many of the existing control panels, and the client had no faith in the drawings that they had. Communication was a challenge as well with two systems integrators, an electrical contractor, a mechanical contractor, the owner, and multiple suppliers involved in the project.


1 New RIO Panel Provided
10 PLC Panels Upgraded
1,284 I/O Points Rewired


  • Rockwell ControlLogix PLCs
  • Hach Analytical Instrumentation
  • E+H Radar Level Instruments
  • Xylem Ultrasonic Level Instruments
  • Intempco Capacitive Fuel Level Instrument
  • Allen-Bradley PM5000 Power Monitors


All panels were meticulously field documented wire-by-wire, including all field wiring out to the instruments. New drawings were developed for each panel incorporating the upgraded controllers. Cutovers to new controllers were staged one at a time and performed at night when inflow to the plant was at a minimum. I/O cards were pre-wired in our shop to reduce on-site time even further. Each cutover was performed in a single night.

Converted, pre-tested PLC code was loaded by the second integrator, and I/O checkout was jointly performed in the same night. Communication between all parties was handled in a weekly meeting to keep the project on track, and when required, more frequent meetings kept the project running smoothly.

As a result, the owner successfully upgraded the automation in two wastewater treatment facilities to modern controllers that will see them through the next 20 years. The upgrade was performed with no interruption to either facility, and the project finished on time. The 10 upgraded panels and one new remote I/O panel provided are accurately documented, which will be a huge benefit to maintenance and operations moving forward.


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