Analyzing fiber-optic cabling in wastewater treatment plants

In a wastewater treatment plant, cable choice is particularly important because of the uniquely harsh environment.

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In a wastewater treatment plant, cable choice is particularly important because of the uniquely harsh environment. Shown here is an industrial LSZH cable (loose tube, gel-free, double-jacketed).

Cablinginstall.com's sister publication,WaterWorld, has published a technical article by Martyn Easton, market development manager for Corning Optical Communications' Private Networks division, entitled Smart Wiring: Analyzing Optical Fiber Cabling in Wastewater Treatment Plants.

"As wastewater treatment plants are built, expanded and upgraded, optical fiber is becoming an essential part of the communications infrastructure," writes Easton. "The main use of optical fiber in a wastewater treatment plant is for the interconnection of the distributed control units back to a central control room."

See: LSZH industrial fiber cabling system features 'crimp and cleave' connectivity

The article recounts how, in a system deployed in Montreal, Canada, fiber connects switches at 13 remote control locations. Each one is dual-connected with redundant cable routes looping 900 meters around the facility.

At another facility in Washington, D.C., in addition to the networking of the distributed controllers to the central and area control centers, there are 60 process cameras that connect back to the facility's main center to visually monitor critical operations in unattended areas. The plant-wide fire alarm system is also connected back to the center. This anecdote is used to exemplify how perimeter control and security is also a growing concern for plant operators.

As (pungently? -- Ed.) noted by Corning's Easton, "It is unpleasant enough when residents' toilets back up -- let alone an entire city plant backing up due to the misdeeds of trespassers."

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