Glossary

Thousands Have Lived Without
Love, Not One Without Water

– H. Auden

A component of a machine that is responsible for moving and controlling a mechanism or system (e.g. opening a valve). Other forms of actuators can turn pumps on/off, increase/decrease the speed of chemical dosing, or change pressure setpoints.

Notification of one or more conditions. XiO can send alarms on any XiO monitored value, including a combination of several values. For example, if a well called to operate draws no electrical current and the flow meter does not show water movement, XiO would send an alarm. Alarms may be sent via SMS/text message, email, phone call, or pager. Email and SMS notifications contain pertinent information about the nature of the alarm.

Each XiO alarm can send an email and/or SMS to one user or a collection of users and perform a relevant helpful action (like stopping the pump if there is no flow)

Examples of XiO Alarms:

  • Threshold (e.g. the tank level is too low)
  • Discrete (e.g. the pump did not start)
  • Communication (e.g. nothing was reported to the cloud server for “X” minutes)
  • Correlation (e.g. the pump is running even though the control system did not call for it meaning somebody left the switch on manual)

A powdered chemical that is injected before filtration to aid in Flocculation.

The variable signal within a range of values. It can be either an Input or an Output. An analog input signal is sampled periodically to record value at the time of sampling. Pressure, electrical current, voltage, flow rate, and turbidity are examples of analog signals. A 4-20mA is an analog signal measurement is typical for the water industry. An analog output would be to vary the speed of a device, such as a VFD (Variable Frequency Drive) for an electric motor, or the speed of a chemical pacing pump

An analyzer is a device that examines in detail the structure of the given data and tries to find patterns or relationships between parts of the data. The source of data sampling is usually some sort of chemical processes, such as determining the salinity or pH of the water. Analyzers that are connected to a process and conduct automatic sampling are called online analyzers.

A storage tank in which water is stored at “ambient pressure,” the pressure of the atmosphere at the location of the tank. Atmospheric tanks are designed to operate at pressures ranging from the pressure of the atmosphere itself, through 0.5 psig. The pressure measurement is taken at the top of the liquid. Typically, atmospheric tanks are vented directly to the surrounding atmosphere.

An electrical device connected between a generator and electrical grid power so that when the grid power fails, the energy load switches to the generator until electrical grid power is restored.

A body of permeable rock which can contain or transmit groundwater.

Increases low water pressure and flow in order to bring your water pressure to the desired level. A water booster pump provides pressure to move water from a storage tank, or throughout a house or commercial facility.

Controlling a pump’s intervals and motor speed with a 4–20 mA signal from a flowmeter in the stream to be dosed. This is also known as flow pacing.

A virtual server (rather than a physical server) running in a Cloud computing environment. Cloud servers are built, hosted, delivered, and can be accessed remotely via the internet. XiO Cloud servers securely store and analyze information collected from the universal controller. XiO Cloud server security and reliability far surpass traditional PLCs.

Uses sensors to sense various values that it computes based upon instructions, setpoints and what it sensed (using Supervisory Control). The response to sensing and controlling is to act, using Actuators to turn on pumps, open valves, increase the speed of a chemical dosing pump, etc.

Of signals or data expressed as a series of the digits 0 and 1, typically represented by values of a physical quantity such as voltage or magnetic polarization. (Google Snippet)

Digital Inputs allow a microcontroller to detect logic states.

Digital Outputs allow a microcontroller to output logic states.

A digital signal is a signal that is either turned on or off. Sometimes referred to as “Boolean,” digital signals can either be an Input or an Output. Examples of digital input signals are the status of a float in a tank or an electrical relay switch. Examples of digital output signals are a valve opening or closing, or a pump on or off.

Disaster Recovery involves a set of policies, tools and procedures to enable the recovery or continuation of vital technology infrastructure and systems following a natural or human-induced disaster. Disaster recovery focuses on the IT or technology systems supporting critical business functions, as opposed to business continuity, which involves keeping all essential aspects of a business functioning despite significant disruptive events. Disaster recovery can therefore be considered as a subset of business continuity. (Wikipedia)

The same as a Digital.

An electrically actuated relay switch that does not carry any electrical current.

The energy required for a pump to move a specified volume of water, typically expressed in kilowatt-hours (kWh) per thousand gallons.

Field Installable Unit that replaces a PLC and an RTU. The first-generation XiO FIU has 30 Soft Devices used to control and monitor inputs and outputs connected to the FIU. An FIU contains one Soft I/O Module (called “module” for short), a row of precisely labeled terminal blocks, and a 120 VAC power outlet.

A tank float valve allows purified water to fill up the open tank and be capable of shutting off the incoming water and RO (reverse osmosis) system when the topwater level is reached. The mechanism works just like the float valve in the toilet.

The action of chemicals that cause contaminants to stick together and either settle or float, thereby clarifying the water. Flocculation occurs before filtration and is used in drinking and wastewater.

Used in cases when AC Power is not readily available and instead implements solar power. FMU’s are particularly useful when you are trying to monitor a site that is not connected to the power grid.

The amount of chlorine available to sanitize contaminants.

Using multiple pumps that run in sequence is a common way to meet varying pump system demands. Cycling of the lead pump adds reliability by providing redundancy and increasing the lifespan of the system. In a traditional lead-lag system, the lead pump runs until the demand on the system is too great for the pump to meet, at which point the lag pump(s) initiates until demand is met.

Hach Company manufactures and distributes analytical instruments and reagents used to test the quality of water and other liquid solutions. (Wikipedia)

In telecommunications, a handshake is an automated process of negotiation between two communicating in between participants[…] through the exchange of information that establishes the protocols of a communication link at the start of the communication, before full communication begins.The handshaking process usually takes place in order to establish rules for communication when a computer attempts to communicate with another device. Signals are usually exchanged between two devices to establish a communication link. For example, when a computer communicates with another device such as a modem, the two devices will signal each other that they are switched on and ready to work, as well as to agree to which protocols are being used
Handshaking can negotiate parameters that are acceptable to equipment and systems at both ends of the communication channel, including information transfer rate, coding alphabet, parity, interrupt procedure, and other protocol or hardware features. Handshaking is a technique of communication between two entities. (Wikipedia)

Two primary means of data communications are used in multi-device called Point-to-Multi-Point SCADA systems. In a Polled or Master/Slave system, the master polls data (i.e., sends and receives data) to each slave in sequence. The slave unit responds to the master only when it receivers a request. This is called the half-duplex method. Each slave unit has its own unique address for identification. The other option is the Interrupt system or RBE [Report By Exception] system. In this instance, the Slave detects a limit change (to high/low or other value). The Slave then checks to determine that there is no other traffic on the network by analyzing the voltage of the transmission carrier – also called CS [Carrier Sense]. If no voltage is found on the transmission line, the Slave transmits its information to the Master. The SCAD [Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition] protocol consists of four parts. (Lockergnome)

Ladder logic is a programming language that creates and represents a program through ladder diagrams that are based on circuit diagrams. It is mainly used in developing programs or software for programmable logic controllers (PLCs), which are used in industrial applications. (Techopedia)

Control within modules that don’t require connection to XiO cloud servers.

Data mirroring refers to the real-time operation of copying data, as an exact copy, from one location to a local or remote storage medium. In computing, a mirror is an exact copy of a dataset. Most commonly, data mirroring is used when multiple exact copies of data are required in multiple locations. (Techopedia)

Added to drinking water to prevent the leaching of lead and copper from pipes and fixtures. The typical phosphate levels found in a liter of drinking water are about one hundred times lower than the phosphate levels found in the average American diet. For example, a person would have to drink ten to fifteen liters of water to equal the amount of phosphates in just one can of soda. (EPA)

A peristaltic pump is a self-priming pump that achieves pumping action by moving a system of rollers against a flexible tube. The pumped fluids (e.g., chemical feeds) are never exposed to the air or to the mechanical moving parts. The roller design prevents siphoning by providing a constant seal on the pumping tube. (Stenner)

A scale of acidity from 0 to 14. It tells how acidic or alkaline a substance is. More acidic solutions have a lower pH while more alkaline solutions have a higher pH. Substances that aren’t acidic or alkaline (that is, neutral solutions) usually have a pH of 7. pH is typically measured in conjunction with chlorine, as pH alters how chlorine reacts with bacteria.

A detailed diagram in the process industry which shows the piping and process equipment together with the instrumentation and control devices.
Superordinate to the piping and instrumentation diagram is the process flow diagram (PFD) which indicates the more general flow of plant processes and the relationship between major equipment of a plant facility. (Wikipedia)
XiO user interfaces show you your system’s P&ID for easy visualization of set-up, monitoring and control.

Mathematical formula originally used to gently correct a ship’s course towards a destination without overcorrecting. Pertaining to industrial controls and, more specifically, the water industry, PID Controllers gently change the speed of a pump to a target speed with a VFD.

First developed in the automobile manufacturing industry to provide flexible, ruggedized and easily programmable controllers to replace hard-wired relays, timers, and sequencers. Since then, they have been widely adopted as highly reliable automation controllers suitable for harsh environments. A PLC is an example of a “hard” real-time system since output results must be produced in response to input conditions within a limited time. Otherwise, an unintended operation will result.
(Wikipedia)

Pressure tanks, which also act as reservoirs for the home, are generally set to keep pressure within 20 pounds per square inch (PSI) of your starting and stopping parameters. For example, most homes have a pressure of 40 PSI to 60 PSI. If the pressure drops below 40 PSI, the pump kicks on and brings the pressure back to 60 PSI before cutting off again.

Because the tank acts as a reservoir, it allows water to be drawn from the tank without the pump cycling on and off each time the water is turned on. This ultimately protects and prolongs the lifespan of the pump. Pressure tanks also reduce instances of water hammer as they reduce air in the pipes and control the pressure of the water.
(Gould)

Helps control the pressure of the water system while pushing water forward.

The energy intensity that is relative to the pump specification. Maximum pump efficiency is reached when you achieve the highest amount of water pumped per unit of energy.

RPO is defined by business continuity planning. It is the maximum targeted period in which data (transactions) might be lost from an IT service due to a major incident.
If RPO is measured in minutes (or even a few hours), then in practice, off-site mirrored backups must be continuously maintained; a daily off-site backup on tape will not suffice.
Relationship to Recovery Time Objective
Recovery that is not instantaneous will restore data/transactions over a period of time; the goal is to do so without incurring significant risks or significant losses.
RPO measures the maximum time period in which recent data might have been permanently lost in the event of a major incident; it is not a direct measure of the quantity of such loss. For instance if the BC plan is “restore up to last available backup”, the RPO is the maximum interval between such backup that has been safely vaulted offsite.
Business impact analysis is used to determine RPO for each service; RPO is not determined by the existent backup regime. When any level of preparation of off-site data is required, the period during which data might be lost often starts near the time of the beginning of the work to prepare backups, not the time the backups are taken off-site. (Wikipedia)

RTO is the targeted duration of time and a service level within which a business process must be restored after a disaster (or disruption) in order to avoid unacceptable consequences associated with a break in business continuity.
In accepted business continuity planning methodology, the RTO is established during the Business Impact Analysis (BIA) by the owner of a process, including identifying options time frames for alternate or manual workarounds.
In a good deal of the literature on this subject, RTO is spoken of as a complement of Recovery Point Objective (RPO), with the two metrics describing the limits of acceptable or “tolerable” ITSC performance in terms of time lost (RTO) from normal business process functioning, and in terms of data lost or not backed up during that period of time (RPO) respectively. (Wikipedia)

Residual chlorine is the low-level amount of chlorine remaining in water after a certain period or contact time after its initial application. It constitutes an important safeguard against the risk of subsequent microbial contamination after treatment—a unique and significant benefit for public health. (ALS Environmental)

A remote terminal unit (RTU) is a microprocessor-controlled electronic device that interfaces objects in the physical world to a distributed control system or SCADA system by transmitting telemetry data to a master system, and by using messages from the master supervisory system to control connected objects. Other terms that may be used for RTU are remote telemetry unit and remote teleI’m -control unit. (Wikipedia)

Supervisory Control & Data Acquisition. An integrated hardware-software systems that industrial organizations us to:

  • Control industrial processes (onsite and remote)
  • Monitor, gather, and process real-time data
  • Directly interact with system devices such as sensors, valves, pumps, motors, and more through human-machine interface (HMI) software
  • Record events into a log file
  • Supervisory Computers
    The core of the SCADA system, these computers gather data on the process and send control commands to the field connected devices.
  • Remote Terminal Units
    RTU’s connect to sensors and actuators in the process and are networked to the supervisory computer system. They often have embedded control capabilities such as “ladder logic” in order to accomplish boolean logic operations.
  • Programmable Logic Controllers
    PLCs have more sophisticated embedded control capabilities than RTUs, and are programmed in one or more programming languages. PLCs are often used in place of RTUs as field devices because they are more economical, versatile, flexible, and configurable.
  • Communication Infrastructure
    This connects the supervisory computer system to the remote terminal units (RTUs) and PLCs, and may use industry standard or manufacturer proprietary protocols. Both RTUs and PLCs operate autonomously on the near-real time control of the process, using the last command given from the supervisory system. Failure of the communications network does not necessarily stop the plant process controls, and on resumption of communications, the operator can continue with monitoring and control. Some critical systems will have dual redundant data highways, often cabled via diverse routes.
  • Human-Machine Interface
    This is the operator window of the supervisory system. It presents plant information to the operating personnel graphically in the form of mimic diagrams. While most SCADA human-machine interfaces need to be on-site, XiO offers this interface on any internet-connected device through its revolutionary technology.
    (Dzineia)

A level sensing device is designed to measure the level of flow substances including liquids, slurries, and granular materials. There are also continuous level sensors; however, these sensing modules can only detect the level of flow of a substance with a specific range.
A water sensor is a device used in the detection of the water level for various applications. Water sensors are of several types that include ultrasonic sensors, pressure transducers, bubblers, and float sensors.
(Azo)

A value that determines when a system should start or stop. These are commonly used to control pumps in water systems.

The liquid form of chlorine for treating water that may have bacteria. Highly corrosive and contained in special drums. NaOCl is injected with a pacing pump that injects a measured amount of chemical-based on the flow of water. State requirements of contact time before water is consumed are followed by water operators.

A logical software device that stores input or creates an output within the Soft I/O Module. A well pump, for example, uses 7 soft devices to operate.

A type of control sensor that senses pressure. The controller then uses that to compute based upon what it has been instructed. What it has normally been instructed is a set point. I don’t want the tank to go below this level, the controller computes what is sensed. It will then act, and it acts, will an actuator.

Submersible water pumps are devices that operate underwater and work by pushing water to the surface. Since submersible pumps do not experience pump cavitation and are highly efficient, these pumps one of the most popular types of pumps on the market today.
(WaterPumpsDirect)

Monitors the state of a binary input (on/off).

The collection of measurements or other data at remote or inaccessible points and their automatic transmission to receiving equipment for monitoring. The word is derived from Greek the roots tele, “remote”, and metron, “measure”. (Wikipedia)

Sectioned slots where two or more wires are secured together or terminated.
XiO FIUs contain a center row of terminal blocks to account for 30 I/Os within a small space.

A device that converts one form of energy into another. For example, a pressure sensor converts pressure into an electrical signal that may be read by an FIU.

A measure of the degree to which the water loses its transparency due to the presence of suspended particulates. The more total suspended solids in the water, the murkier it seems and the higher the turbidity. Turbidity is considered as a good measure of the quality of water.
(Lenntech)

Ultrasonic cleaning is a process that uses ultrasound (usually from 20–40 kHz) to agitate a fluid. The ultrasound can be used with just water, but the use of a solvent appropriate for the item to be cleaned and the type of soiling present enhances the effect.
(Wikipedia)

The user interface (UI), in the industrial design field of human–computer interaction, is the space where interactions between humans and machines occur. The goal of this interaction is to allow effective operation and control of the machine from the human end, whilst the machine simultaneously feeds back information that aids the operators’ decision-making process. (Wikipedia)

XiO’s cloud user interface provides 24/7 views and management of your entire system from any internet-connected device, including desktop, laptop, tablet, and smartphone.

A device that provides battery backup when the electrical power fails or drops to an unacceptable voltage level. Small UPS systems provide power for a few minutes; enough to power down the computer in an orderly manner, while larger systems have enough battery for several hours. (ComputerLanguage)

Reports indicate water usage, typically reported in gallons (gal), gallons per minute (GPM), or gallons per day

A Variable Frequency Drive is a type of motor controller that drives an electric motor by varying the frequency and voltage supplied to the electric motor. Other names for a VFD are variable speed drive, adjustable speed drive, adjustable frequency drive, AC drive, microdrive, and inverter.

Frequency (or hertz) is directly related to the motor’s speed (RPMs). In other words, the faster the frequency, the faster the RPMs go. If an application does not require an electric motor to run at full speed, the VFD can be used to ramp down the frequency and voltage to meet the requirements of the electric motor’s load. As the application’s motor speed requirements change, the VFD can simply turn up or down the motor speed to meet the speed requirement. (VFDs)

Vertical turbine pumps are centrifugal pumps specially designed to move water from an underground well or reservoir. They’re also known as deep well turbine pumps or line shaft turbine pumps. (EngineersEdge)

Volume pumped based on fluctuations in levels. By using our Cloud technology to monitor how much water is coming in/out of a certain tank, as well as the specific dimensions of that tank, XiO calculates the flow rate (gpm) of a tank without a physical water meter needing to be installed.

An instrument for recording the quantity of water passing through a particular outlet. Usually measured in gallons per minute (gpm).

A well is an excavation or structure created in the ground by digging, driving, or drilling to access liquid resources, usually water. The oldest and most common kind of well is a water well, to access groundwater in underground aquifers. The well water is drawn up by a pump or using containers, such as buckets, that are raised mechanically or by hand. Water can also be injected back into the aquifer through the well. Wells were first constructed at least eight thousand years ago and historically vary in construction from a simple scoop in the sediment of a dry watercourse to the qanats of Iran, and the stepwells and sakiehs of India. Placing a lining in the well shaft helps create stability, and linings of wood or wickerwork date back at least as far as the Iron Age.

One of the FIU’s that XiO sells. Controls a well pump with a relay and monitors currents as well with a current transducer.

The amount of water that is in a well. Usually measured in feet (ft.).

The device that monitors the height of a well and provides an accurate reading on the well level.