News from Mission Communications for Water and Wastewater Professionals
Issue 30, Spring 2018
Mission Offers Peace of Mind to Rural Water Operator
123SCADA Notification Rules Enhance Call-Out Convenience
As Cape Town Taps Out Water Scarcity Spreads

Mission Offers 
UA Gateway

The UA Gateway is a turn-key solution for current Mission OPC customers. It replaces the Mission driver with a more stable and secure software, which takes advantage of the latest OPC-UA technology.  

For current Mission Driver users, the UA Gateway will seamlessly replace the Mission driver without any SCADA HMI tag changes or remapping, except for renaming the OPC server. We plan to discontinue support of the legacy OPC connection on August 31, 2018.
If you need help making this transition, contact our OPC staff  at


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Week 3: Web Portal I-Unit Setup Options, Notification Setup Options, Alarm Groups, Website Tools 

Week 4: Web Portal II-Supergraph, Reporting, Volumetric Flow, and Advanced Topics

Week 1: Survey of Features

Week 2: Hardware, Instrumentation, and Installation

Week 3: Web Portal I - Unit Setup Options, Notification Setup Options, Alarm Groups, Website Tools

Week 4: Web Portal II-Supergraph, Reporting, Volumetric Flow, and Advanced Topics

Week 1: Survey of Features

Week 2: Hardware, Instrumentation, and Installation

Week 3: Web Portal I-Unit Setup Options, Notification Setup Options, Alarm Groups, Website Tools

Week 4: Web Portal II-Supergraph, Reporting, Volumetric Flow, and Advanced Topics

Week 1: Survey of Features

Week 2: Hardware, Instrumentation, and Installation

Week 3: Web Portal I- Unit Setup Options, Notification Setup Options, Alarm Groups, Website Tools

Mission Offers Peace of Mind 
to Rural Water Operator

For the better part of nine years, Vivian Shaw has been the operator of Chautauqua County Rural Water District #4 (RWD4) in Kansas. The utility distributes potable water to customers of Chautauqua and Montgomery Counties, as well as the City of Longton using approximately 275 miles of pipeline. Depending on the season, RWD4 provides anywhere from 50,000 to 80,000 gallons of water. Shaw carries the full responsibility of the utility on her shoulders--taking samples, managing water loss, detecting leaks, and more. As such, she has very little personal time available. If she suspects a leak in the pipeline, she must wait for nighttime to search for it, as customers using water often cause interference in small leak detection.
For the past three years, RWD4 has used Mission M110 remote terminal units (RTUs) to monitor the pipeline for leaks. The RTUs monitor three of their master meters, which track how much water is pulled from the water supplier, Public Wholesale #20. Mission streamlined Shaw's daily responsibilities, freeing up time and money while providing peace of mind.

Mission Removes Uncertainty from Leak Identification
Louis Funk, project manager and vice president for Bartlett & West Engineers, is the consulting engineer for RWD4. He has been involved with RWD4 since planning began in the late 1990s, and assisted in developing the three-phase construction plan that created RWD4.
Shaw poses with one of three solar-powered  M110 units in the RWD4 system. 
Photo credit: Rodney Shaw

The initial plan did not include any type of smart control or monitoring, but by the time they began the third phase of construction, Shaw expressed the  need for an easier way to find leaks on their existing phases. Funk said, "I recommended that we go into their existing  pressure reducing valve, or PRV, vaults and convert them to a tandem meter setter because these were small, two-inch valves. I suggested that we put positive displacement meters in-line with those PRVs and then take the signal from the meter to a Mission box and use cellular communication to be able to monitor it." In remote, rural areas, it is often difficult and expensive to run the power and phone lines that would be necessary for traditional SCADA and monitoring systems. They installed three solar-powered M110 units. Funk explains that the Mission system was the best option for RWD4 due to ability, simplicity, and the low price point.
Prior to implementing Mission, Shaw's job was much more cumbersome. "B efore I got Mission RTUs, I was reading my master meters every day. I had to go out there and physically read it," she explained. The meters are spread throughout the area, and she was traveling more than 40 miles per day on gravel roads to check each of them, sometimes taking up to an hour and a half.
Additionally, the master meters only showed the previous day's total usage, without timestamps to indicate when the water was being used. If the usage was particularly high, she had to determine whether it was a leak or a customer using more water than average. Now she simply accesses the web portal on her phone to check the flow, making it much easier to determine if she is actually dealing with a leak. "With Mission, I can see what happened during the night. I can see what those meters are doing every 15 minutes--all day and all night. And I can really look at them and study what I think might be going on," she explained.
Shaw reported that the water loss for RWD4 has been in the 5-7% range since the Mission system was installed. This means, of the total water RWD4 pulls from Public Wholesale #20, only that range is lost in the average year. Shaw explains that this is nearly unheard of for rural water districts because of the expansive amount of pipeline. Lower water loss allows RWD4 to keep their water price low, saving money for the utility and customers alike. She said, "I would recommend that any rural water district use this system to lower their water loss."
Ease Your Mind with Mission
Determining whether there was a leak used to be a frustrating process that involved a lot of guesswork. Shaw shared one particular story that occurred before her Mission RTUs were implemented. A high-pressure pipeline had just been installed, and it split open. The pipe lost several hundred thousand gallons as water shot 50 feet in the air. Luckily, a passerby saw the leak and called it in. Otherwise, the leak would have gone unnoticed until it completely drained the Public Wholesale #20 reserves. Shaw said, "The whole district would have been without water. But now that I have Mission, as soon as it had split open, Mission would have called me, and I would have gone on my web portal immediately to see what happened." Shaw explained that the district encapsulates up to a dozen towns and about five water districts. In situations like this, quick response time is crucial. Knowing the Mission system will notify her to issues as soon as they occur, Shaw can rest easy in her downtime.
Overall, Shaw's job is simpler and more efficient with the addition of Mission. She explained, "It just makes your life a lot easier, and you have that peace of mind. If something goes wrong, it's going to call you and tell you right away. Then you don't have to worry about going out every day to read that meter. You can carry on with the other stuff that you need to do to operate your system."
To learn more about our applications and how Mission can serve your utility, please contact or visit our website at

RWD4 Expands Mission System
Photo credit: Rob Gravatt

In the past couple of weeks, RWD4 officials further expanded their Mission system with the addition of a MyDro 850 remote terminal unit (RTU) at their booster station in Montgomery County. This image shows Louis Funk (left) describing the capabilities of the MyDro RTU to RWD4 board chairman, Edwin Bowman (right). 

123SCADA Notification Rules  Enhance 
Call-Out Convenience

Our 123SCADA web portal makes the Mission system easy to use and intuitive to configure. Setting up notifications on the old site was cumbersome, and many options required a call to technical support. The interactive and visual interface of 123SCADA is simple to navigate and allows you full control of your system--making it effortless to efficiently organize call-out destinations, schedules, and notification rules.

Drag and drop staff contacts and delays to configure your call-out parameters.

Before configuring your notification preferences, it is a good idea to establish your workflow. Setting up your call-out destinations allows you to define the contact list for your staff members. As with the legacy web portal, methods of contact include voice call, text message, email, page, and fax. You should enter multiple methods for each destination to ensure you never miss a notification. You can edit, test, and delete your destinations at any time.
Use the paint brush tool to customize shift schedule hours for days, nights, and weekends as it best suits your organization. The scheduling interface displays your weekly schedule as a color-coded grid, making it easy to recognize when each shift is active. Drag and drop destinations and delays to define the call-out priority for each shift. You can make adjustments to your on-duty staff at any time. Notifications will not be sent to destinations that have been disabled.
Create and customize Notification Rules in 123SCADA, which allow you to structure your call-outs in nearly any manner that is helpful to your team. Different groups can be assigned unique rules, determining who receives call-outs for certain types of notifications. You can receive call-outs for specific groups of RTUs, select particular individuals to receive the call-outs, and designate what type of notifications they will receive from these units (alarms, pump starts, wiring faults, etc.).
For a step-by-step tutorial on how to configure notifications in 123SCADA, you can watch the "Notification Basics" video on your web portal. We also discuss notification setup options during our webinar on the third Wednesday of each month. To view the schedule and register for our webinars, visit our website.

As Cape Town Taps Out 
Water Scarcity Spreads
Taps are quickly running dry for four million residents of Cape Town, South Africa. Experts blame the water shortage on climate change, years of record dry spells, mismanagement, inefficient planning, and wasteful practices. Cape Town officials have imposed strict conservation standards and water restrictions that limit residents to 13 gallons of water per day. No water can be used for swimming pools, parks, or lawns. Water rationing stations are even guarded by police.
Cape Town is not the only area facing a serious water shortage. Similar scarcities caused by drought, waste, and pollution have occurred in Brazil, India, Beijing, Cairo, and Moscow. Water scarcity is a global problem exacerbated by growing populations and water mismanagement on a planet that only has 3% freshwater reserves. 

Pollution is one of the primary contributing factors to clean water scarcity.

The United States is not immune to the water crisis, as arid conditions plague many regions. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported over 80% of productive agricultural land was impacted by drought in 2014. In 2015, officials with U.S. Drought monitor, 24/7 Wall St. identified nine states running out of water. They were California, Nevada, Utah, Oklahoma, Oregon, Colorado, Arizona, Kansas, and Texas. NASA officials expressed concern following a drought study when they said, "Droughts in the U.S. Southwest and Central Plains during the last half of this century could be drier and longer than drought conditions seen in those regions in the last thousand years."
A shortage of water is widespread in California where droughts happen frequently and pollution is a problem. Seven hundred miles of canals, pipelines, dams, and reservoirs are threatened as warmer temperatures and a lower Sierra Nevada snowpack indicate depleted reserves. In low-income areas of the Central Valley of California, farm workers in unincorporated towns are forced to drink bottled water because household wells are filled with arsenic, uranium, nitrates, and disinfectant by-products from farm and industrial runoff.
Drought, pollution, and waste are not the only culprits. Antiquated water systems also threaten the U.S. water supply. "It's a huge problem nationwide," said Erik Olson, director of the health and environment program at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in a news article. "A lot of the water infrastructure is now 100 years old or more. We haven't been taking care of it."

Image provided by National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC) the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA)

U.S. water shortages are not abating in 2018. In January, 10% of the continental United States showed signs of severe to extreme drought conditions, according to statistics gathered from the Palmer Drought Index by the National Centers for Environmental Information (NOAA). This figure reflects a 3% increase over December. At the first of the year, 27% of the continental U.S. reported moderate to extreme drought conditions.
Monitoring is the Key to Saving Freshwater Supplies
Proactive infrastructure planning, conservation, and reliable monitoring are the best ways to mitigate freshwater crises. Water preservation and reuse are also essential for drought-prone areas. "Real-time monitoring and information about water systems can be useful, especially in times of severe stress," explains Dr. Janice Beecher, Director of the Institute of Public Utilities at Michigan State University.
Utilities must have a transparent way to do proactive planning, system audits, and equipment repair to preserve freshwater reserves. Water capture and storage must be practiced during rainy seasons. Market-driven price incentives are also a good way to reduce waste, according to Steven Greenhut, Western Region Director of the public policy think-tank R Street Institute.
"The real solution is not to chip away at long-held water rights, but to reinforce a system of rights and markets so that water users are incentivized to use water in its most economically appropriate way," says Greenhut. "Water is no different from any other commodity. If there's a drought, the price should reflect its scarcity, which will convince people to use it more wisely."

Real-time monitoring gives utilities a reliable way to measure rainfall, water usage, and equipment performance. This heads off shortages and improves infrastructures. Reliable monitoring is essential to water conservation. For more information on how Mission can assist your utility, contact or visit

"Water links us to our neighbor in a way more profound and complex than any other." 
~John Thorson  

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