In Buenos Aires, treatment and distribution of drinking water, as well as treatment of wastewater, are handled by AySA (Agua y Saneamientos Argentinos), a company co-owned by the public authorities and its personnel. The geographical area managed by AySA covers the city of Buenos Aires and 17 districts of the1st belt of the metropolis. This corresponds to about 1,800 km² where 10 million people live, one of the largest urban water and sanitation concessions in the world.
An industrial SCADA system for a complex network
The population currently served is 7.8 million inhabitants for drinking water, and 5.7 million for sanitation. Access to these services for populations who are deprived of them is a top priority for public authorities, and one of the most urgent tasks undertaken by AySA.
Drinking water production is mainly ensured by two large treatment stations using the water of the Río de la Plata: Belgrano and San Martín. The latter is one of the largest in the world (see photo) by its area – 28.5 hectares – and its production capacity – close to 3 million m3 per day. There is also a smaller treatment station, Dique Luján, serving part of the inhabitants of Tigre.
The complement is provided by ground water, representing less than 4.5% total water produced. Global daily production is 4.5 million m3/day, a value giving an idea of the size of the facilities. For wastewater treatment, AySA relies on four sanitation stations: Sudoeste, Norte, El Jagüel y Barrio Uno. These units ensure treatment of wastewater before rejecting it back in the Río de la Plata through pumping stations and outlets of 2 to 4 m diameter. The volume of water treated exceeds 2 Mm3/day.
Topkapi: a complete SCADA solution appropriate for network work
Topkapi ensures supervision and control of all treatment installations of AySA SA. For the entire system, this represents 60 work stations, including 47 networked and 13 standalone stations, for a total of about 300,000 basic variables controlled. Several Web servers provide access to the information most important for management supervisors, using a simple browser from any computer. The server stations located in the plants allow to control the process close to operating needs.
The central server stations ensure global resources management (MES). They receive information from different local Topkapi servers, or directly from production controllers.
Topkapi’s client/server architecture allows for highly effective meshed networking:
- Control-command of each plant is ensured by a local server, close to the process.
- Central stations ensure coordinated management of resources (dispatching)
- All stations, servers or clients can access all local applications and display their views. For example, a unit operator can view the availability of another unit before launching a maintenance operation. The workstation of the automation department has simultaneous access to the views of over 15 server stations in parallel.
Beyond the operative layer, Topkapi applications escalate production information to an Oracle database, integrated to the company’s ERP system(1). In this environment, AySA has applications completing and validating the data, then processing them with tools of the Business Object / Infoview type. On the level of the network infrastructure, AySA has links offering 1 to 10 Mbps rate, sufficient to ensure comfortable operation of Topkapi client/server links which require light bandwidth consumption.
A Long-lasting SCADA software
Since the first use of Topkapi 25 years ago, the system implemented has given full satisfaction and has grown constantly.
Among the last plants equipped with a TOPKAPI control system we can mention :
- Ezeiza arsenic absorption Plant
- Fiorito - Lomas de Zamora Processing Plant
- Juan Manuel de Rosas' Plant
- Virrey del Pino Reverse Osmosis Plant
- San Ignacio Osmosis Plant
- Glew Osmosis Plant
For Domingo TAVELLA, Head of Automation and Control Systems, the benefits offered by this architecture are:
- Broad autonomy in implementing local applications, facilitating maintenance
- Unicity of information ; a modification made on one server station does not require to be changed manually on other stations
- Lesser disturbance upon fault occurrence
- Easy access to complete information from any station in the network
In 2018, AySA operated nearly 100 Topkapi server licenses and more than 70 Netview heavy clients. All these licenses are under an annual maintenance contract: Aysa benefits from an optimal service from AREAL both in terms of technical support and the supply of functional enhancements via the new versions of Topkapi.
(1) Enterprise Resource Planning.