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An RTU upgrade has increased South Australia’s water asset security with a highly secure data network and monitoring…

Utilities: Water 


New RTU technology was applied at more than 500 sites at treatment plants, pumping stations, storage, tanks and cathodic protection. SA Water now enjoys a more secure data network and better status monitoring capability for data communication. 


Remote telemetry units (RTU), Network communication, water asset security, data management


Metro and Outer Metro Adelaide, South Australia


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The control and monitoring of SA Water’s water assets is done via a widespread telemetry network. This is central to ensuring the security and ongoing operation of the water network.

SA Water sought to renew ageing and obsolete Remote Telemetry Units (RTUs) with devices that would meet their current standards for SCADA and renew their analogue radio network with digital radio network. This would provide a more secure data network with greater bandwidth and better status monitoring capability for data communication.


SAGE Automation was engaged to undertake the upgrade at over 500 sites used for system control and monitoring throughout Adelaide’s metro and outer metro regions.

The technology was applied at treatment plants, pumping stations, storage, tanks and cathodic protection.

The hardware deployment also incorporated standardized template based configurations and hardware arrangements.

The upgrade included: 

  • Implementation of digital radios, NextG modems and SCADAPack RTUs at remote outstations
  • Supply, program, install and commission all hardware;
    - RTU cabinet design and manufacture
    - Install outstation RTU and communication device
    - Install antennas, cabling and antenna supports
    - Configuration of the RTU, radio and NextG modem
    - 12VDC Power Supply
    - Battery - backed power supplies for critical hardware
    - Field instrumentation and control wiring
  • Decommission and disconnect redundant hardware
  • Equipment procurement and supply
  • RTU, radio and modem configuration and programming
  • Site audit, installation and cut-over procedures
  • Factory Acceptance Testing, Commissioning and Site Acceptance Testing
  • High compliance project documentation and validation records including data sheets and construction drawings


SAGE was able to deliver an advanced development of SA Water’s RTU and radio standard configurations.

During it's involvement SAGE simplified and provided stability to the client base code, refining the definition of the standard products and simplifying the maintenance of the established installations.

The best engineering solution was actively pursued for SA Water, including identifying and communicating improvements to the standard template and delivery practices.

The team also communicated a number of enhancements to the standard work templates that provided logistical (and forwarded financial) benefits to the client.


RTU water asset management


The project demanded a number of innovations to achieve the best results on time and in budget.  

The large number of elements and scale of the project encouraged changes to the project delivery, including:

  • integrated testing and validation of the system design
  • refinement of our manufacturing process
  • the review of processes and templates focused on site installation and completeness.

These innovations provided better efficiency, quality and cost benefit to SA Water.


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