Environmental Protection

Birmingham Integrates ADT Security System

Birmingham Water Works, the largest water utility in the state of Alabama, has assembled a security system with network-based video and access control to help safeguard its water supply, according to a Sept. 15 press release from ADT Security Services.

The system includes more than 300 cameras monitoring the exterior and interior of the district's 18 locations and about 600 access control cards for its employees, vendors, contractors, and consultants.

Video from cameras is sent via to a security command center, which is operated and staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When a person or object comes in contact with the electronic fences surrounding district facilities, pan-tilt-zoom cameras from opposing angles are activated and send live video to the command center as well as video five seconds prior to and after contact. This allows security personnel to fully assess the situation and determine what triggered the alarm.

Work on the advanced system was started after 9/11 when the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) required all water districts serving more than 100,000 people to assess their vulnerabilities and implement a plan to address those issues.

To complement the district's Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition management system, the cameras provide live visual verification of system function and performance as well.

Founded in 1951, Birmingham Water Works serves more than 600,000 customers in the Jefferson, Shelby, Blount, St. Clair, and Walker counties. It draws water from surface sources in the Black Warrior and Cahaba river basins and maintains a system of some 3,900 miles of transmission lines.

ADT Security Services, a unit of Tyco International, is the largest provider of electronic security services to nearly six million commercial, government and residential customers throughout North America.

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