Pool plant room operations are becoming increasingly automated, driven by the idea that measuring things reliably and automatically means you can identify key performance indicators for benchmarking a pool’s performance. This could be for compliance (eg free chlorine values’ deviation from the set-point), cost management or energy use.
It is important, however, that the remote monitoring is overseen by someone who understands what the numbers mean –whether they are within range – and can spot early signs of a technical issue (including problems with the remote monitoring itself). Here are four benefits of remote monitoring – there are more. Real-time data is available on all operating parameters – disinfectant, pH, temperature, TDS, pump operation, power consumption, filter pressure etc.
Data analytics identify trends or patterns in data that indicate an issue that needs to be addressed – eg pump speed, chlorine dosing, UV systems. Alerts via SMS or mobile app (to site staff and service provider) are triggered when values are out of range, or when an action is required. Auditing and compliance of technical operations supports management reviews and external scrutiny. Data can support the operator if there are any concerns about the pool as a potential source of contamination.
One manager can oversee a number of sites. Remote monitoring does not replace manual pool tests, regular attention to sensors in automatic controllers etc and more than daily visits to the plant room to check on leaks etc. The Internet of Things (IoT) has led to platforms are being developed which bring together data from a number of devices in the plant room to provide information on water chemistry, chemical dosing, filter pressures, circulation rate, water meters, day and balance tank water levels, pump energy use and energy used in heating pool water.
This should allow operators to quantify and manage chlorine wasted on contamination and evaporation, leaks, backwash effectiveness and energy efficiency. Remote monitoring is often provided by the supplier of an automatic controller as a subscription-based service or incorporated into a service contract.
The agreement should provide the customer with details of such things as level of service (eg what happens if the network is down), ownership of the data and how long the data is stored before being discarded. The latest PWTAG technical notes are available in full to members as are other benefits – see website www.pwtag.org