Case Studies

SCADA SMS Alarming


City of La Crosse WWTP


The City of La Crosse’s Wastewater treatment facility was relying on a dialer and phone lines to communicate system alarms during “lights out” non-staffed times.  There were instances when the phone lines were out of service and critical alarms were not communicated to staff.  Wastewater staff was looking for a cost effective, redundant, and reliable method for communicating these alarms with additional details about the alarms that were not currently available with the dialer system, as dialers have a limited number of channels.


The wastewater treatment SCADA system is built on the Ignition platform, by Inductive Automation.  An SMTP profile was created for sending out Email to text messages using Ignition’s python scripting.  A vision window, a users SQL table, gateway scripting, and project scripts were utilized to create the active & unacknowledged alarm messages and to send these messages to the appropriate users through their specific cellular providers via the SMTP profile.  The text messages are created specifically with each alarm tag’s description as opposed to a dialer which consolidates many alarms together based on its limited available channels.  A user programmable “muting” schedule was also created, with security, to pause the SMS messages from being sent during testing, service, and troubleshooting events.   



The WWTP facility now has a redundant, reliable, and user programmable method for sending out system alarms.  In addition to the muting functionality, the new texting application can be expanded to include filtering of alarms based on priority, so only a specified level of alarms will be sent.  WWTP staff was impressed with the timely execution and low cost of implementing this application with Ignition.