Jim Mimlitz, NRI

Ice Storm Preparations

When meteorologists are predicting an imminent Winter Ice Storm, it is highly recommended that the Water Utility perform certain preparations to minimize the potential impact to the production and distribution system.

free-vector-winter-cloud-snow-flake-clip-art_110633_Winter_Cloud_Snow_Flake_clip_art_hightFreezing rain and Ice Buildup on Antennas can cause temporary loss of radio telemetry communications. So it is highly recommended that all failover/backup settings are ready to go (e.g. pressure, timer, etc.).

It is also important to keep in mind that if ice buildup occurs on your radio telemetry antennas, and radio communications are subsequently interrupted, the condition is generally temporary, and almost always clears after the ice melts — typically after sunlight hits the antenna.

Navionics Research’s latest Yagi antennas feature a Txylan™ coating, whose black color and glossy surface enhance the ability of the antenna to heat up and shed ice under sunlight.  If your radio telemetry system presently has this type of antenna — great. If not, and you are interested in upgrading, let us know.

Freezing rain and Ice Buildup on Power Lines (and tree limbs in the vicinity of power lines) can lead to line breaks and extended-duration power outages.  We recommend that you run-test your generators, under load, in advance to make sure they are in good working order.  We also recommend ensuring that all generator fuel tanks are topped off.  It is also recommended to top off the fuel in all water utility trucks, cars, backhoes, etc.

Before an ice storm hits, we also recommend manually topping off all the water levels in your water towers and ground tanks to maximize reserve capacity.

Does your system contain electric-actuated valves?  If so, it is important to note and prepare for how each of these valves will react during a power outage.

Also, we encourage all present Navionics Research clients to include us as an integral part of your Emergency Operation Plan.

Questions?… Contact Us.

Do you have questions pertaining to preparation of your water utility against the effects of an imminent ice storm?  Give us a call, and we’ll be glad to discuss it with you in detail:


Telemetry, SCADA, & Controls Newsletter

Was this article helpful?  Would you be interested in receiving updates such as these in our occasional email-delivered newsletter?  If so, here’s our sign-up page:

Subscribe to Navionics Research’s “Telemetry, SCADA, & Controls Newsletter”

About Jim Mimlitz

Licensed Professional Electrical Engineer @ Navionics Research. Specialties: Radio-Telemetry / Controls / SCADA System Integration for Water Utilities, Flow Metering, Variable Frequency Drives, Motorized Valves, Electronic Circuit Design, Software Development.

Leave a Reply

Post Navigation