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Wastewater Treatment Facility

Weather Monitoring at San Luis Obispo & Albany-Millersburg Wastewater Treatment Plants

Meteorological data can be a critical tool for water utility managers to make intelligent decisions. Facing challenges such as climate change, revenue fluctuation, staff turnover and tightening regulations, water utilities are recognizing advanced technology as a way to give staff the best possible access to information.

The data can help empower sound and timely decision-making related to multiple operations: remote pumping stations, wastewater collection, water distribution, sewer diversion, irrigation and wet-weather flow management.

The City of San Luis Obispo's Water Resource Recovery Facility and the Albany-Millersburg Water Reclamation Facility utilize weather stations for critical plant operations and wastewater system resiliency.

City of San Luis Obispo Water Resource Recovery Facility (WRRF)

“Weather has a huge impact at wastewater treatment plants,” Patrick McGrath, Water Resource Recovery Facility Supervisor at City of San Luis Obispo (CA) recently shared with us. “Rain impacts the flows we receive but is hard to account for within our database.”

When considering a solution, he said, “We wanted something that would be automatically collected that we could point to and say, ‘this is why flows were elevated during this time.’”

“The biochemical processes that occur within our treatment system are impacted by temperature,” Patrick continued. “The better we can track temperature, the better we can forecast/respond to changes in weather. Air quality and safety are a high priority. Knowing which direction and how strong the wind is blowing can ensure adequate response in the event of an emergency.”

The City of San Luis Obispo’s Water Resource Recovery Facility treats 4.5 million gallons of wastewater daily in central California.

A Pulsar 700 Weather Station was recently installed at the plant as part of a major facility upgrade that will help improve overall efficiency and wastewater system resiliency. “It’s up and running and we love it!” Patrick added.

The city chose Columbia Weather because of “price, durability, services offered and recommendation from our Control Systems team.”

Albany-Millersburg Water Reclamation Facility

The City of Albany (OR) Public Works Department purchased an Orion 420™ Weather Station to replace aging mechanical equipment. Their weather monitoring system includes a Weather Display console, Weather MicroServer™, and Weather Master™ Software.

According to Matt Budiselich, Facilities Automation Analyst, “Our Orion device is located at the Albany Water Reclamation Facility, and its rainfall data is combined with values collected from additional rain gauge sites throughout the city to provide a basin profile for meeting regulatory requirements.

"The data is primarily used for determining storm event ratings when high rainfall conditions result in discharges at our permitted sanitary sewage overflow sites.

“Daily temperature values are used to determine if our remote telemetry enclosure sites are operating within high or low temperature standards. The remotes sites have internal temperature monitoring and use internal heaters and fan induced ambient air for cooling.

"The Orion temperature data is used as a base value to determine if a site repeatedly exceeds its temperature threshold and requires additional heating or cooling to meet specifications.

"This is particularly critical for remote telemetry sites with automated sampling systems where high or low temperatures can affect the sample quality.”

We took advantage of their proximity to visit and learn more about water/wastewater treatment. Thanks to Christopher Burr and Aaron Budiselich of the Facilities Automation team for showing us their operations!


Give us a call at 503-629-0887 or email info@columbiaweather.com to find out how we can help make weather monitoring easy for you.

Patrick McGrath Headshot

“The better we can track temperature, the better we can forecast/respond to changes in weather. Air quality and safety are a high priority.”

Pulsar 700 weather station installed at wastewater treatment plant

A Pulsar 700 Weather Station is installed at San Luis Obispo's Water Resource Recovery Facility.


Aaron with WeatherMaster Software

Aaron monitoring met data with WeatherMaster™ Software at Albany-Millersburg Water Reclamation Facility.

Orion Weather Station

Orion™ Weather Station installed on roof.

Wastewater treatment plant

Chris explains the process of wastewater treatment.


Links for additional information:

5 Reasons Smart Water Utilities Need a Weather Station

Orion 420 Weather Stations

Pulsar Weather Stations Page

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