Emerson to Update Controls at Baxter Treatment Plant

Emerson Process Management announced Nov. 19 that it has been awarded a contract to automate the Philadelphia Water Department's (PWD) Baxter Water Treatment Plant. The contract, awarded by PKF Mark III Inc., calls for Emerson to replace the plant's existing outdated controls with its Ovation® expert control system.

The Baxter Water Treatment Plant, the largest of Philadelphia's three water treatment plants, processes 200 million gallons per day and provides drinking water to 60 percent of Philadelphia's population as well as portions of Lower Bucks County. Because the plant is so vital to meeting the water needs of area residents, there can be no disruption in plant operation. For that reason, installation of the Ovation system is taking place within a PWD-specified, four-year implementation schedule.

To ensure a seamless transition over the designated timeframe, the existing ABB INFI 90 system and Ovation system will run in parallel until all control functionality has been transferred to Ovation. When fully up and running, the system will monitor and control all major plant equipment and processes – including disinfection, coagulation, flocculation, sedimentation, filtration, and final treatment – as well as chemical usage. In all, Emerson will supply 13 redundant controllers and eight operator/engineer workstations that will manage roughly 3,100 I/O points.

Emerson's Power & Water Solutions division will engineer and install the Ovation system. Cut-over to the new system is scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2009 and is expected to be completed well ahead of the designated four-year implementation schedule.

"A state-of-the-art control system like Ovation can be expected to generate overall operation and maintenance efficiencies through improved data acquisition, process monitoring, and control," said Bob Yeager, president of the Power & Water Solutions division.