The City of Albany Department of Water and Water Supply’s mission statement includes to “deliver a reliable and high-quality supply of water to customers, to collect and safely convey wastewater to treatment facilities and comply with all regulatory requirements and conditions.”
A key regulatory requirement for Albany is the 2013 Sewage Pollution Right to Know (SPRTK) Act, which requires untreated and partially treated sewage discharges to be reported by publicly owned treatment works and publicly owned sewer systems within two hours of discovery to the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and within four hours of discovery to the public and adjoining municipalities.
The City of Albany is addressing SPRTK reporting mandates by deploying SmartCover remote realtime monitoring systems within its sewer supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) program. After initial deployment of two test systems at key Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) locations in early 2017, the City has now expanded its SmartCover network to 15 systems, with another planned for 2019.
According to William Simcoe, Deputy Commissioner for City of Albany Water & Water Supply, “Prior to using SmartCovers, the department had been trying predictive modeling to estimate spill activity, but that approach lacked the real-time, quantifiable data necessary to fully comply with SPRTK> In contrast, with SmartCover we can determine exactly when the overflow started and stopped as well as an accurate calculation of the amount of overflow.”
In addition to meeting the specific Right to Know regulatory requirements for spill reporting, the City’s widening deployment of SmartCover systems is also helping build a data-driven process for assessing overall sewer system capacity. This is particularly informative for planning purposes, such as evaluating the system impacts of proposed new developments as part of the building and permitting process. The SmartCover systems have also improved the ability of the City of Albany to coordinate operational information with Albany County, which operates the sewer intercept lines and treatment plants.