Grants Pass water filtration plant updates 'critical' software program

The City of Grants Pass said the SCADA software system has been outdated for about seven years. They're working to finish software updates within the next couple of days.

Posted: Nov 19, 2019 3:50 AM
Updated: Nov 19, 2019 7:41 AM

GRANTS PASS, Ore. -- The Grants Pass Water Filtration Plant is finishing a 'critical' software update that helps people get safe drinking water. The software has been out of date for about seven years, according to the Grants Pass Public Works Department.

The city is updating the water plant's SCADA, or Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition, system. The software is essentially a set of eyes that watches different filters and pumps to make sure they're working. This helps workers monitor and fix any problems. The SCADA system also records and saves data each day. 

"If there is a hiccup and the system is unable to recover from that, we would have no way to control the plant nor see what's going on with the distribution system," said Public Works Director Jason Canady. "From that perspective, it is probably one of the most critical aspects of the plant operation." 

The software update will cost the city a couple hundred thousand dollars. 

Building a new water filtration plant

The City of Grants Pass also plans to build an entire new water filtration plant by 2023, said Canady. 

The current plant was built in 1931. Some parts of the plant look similar even 80 years after they were built. 

The city decided to build an entirely new water filtration plant after conducting a study. That study said some parts of the building are just too old and could cause problems in the future. 

"We are the oldest continually operated water treatment plant in the state of Oregon right now, which is pretty impressive," said Canady. "It is in need of a replacement. The city has been working on that for a couple of years now. Hopefully, we're getting closer to that every day."

That new water filtration planw ill cost about $80.1 million. 

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