In the age of COVID-19, the outbreak is pushing companies across America to act to prevent the spread of the virus. Many businesses have shuttered temporarily, instead opting to have workers work from home. And like most workplaces, this has included water treatment plants and other utilities.
While most utilities are confident they can remain operating, many of them are concerned about the impact that absenteeism has had on their ability to run day-to-day. While all this is happening, changing consumer habits are creating other challenges – like clogged sewers and an abundance of materials that aren’t meant to be flushed.
Fortunately, advancements in technology in the past few years have made managing things a lot easier. Enter digital control panels. These systems allow utility workers to keep an eye on facilities and worksites without actually having to be there. This allows employers the ability to be more careful in how they manage and distribute their employees in a given day. In addition, It’s meant that employees only have to be in certain places when they’re desperately needed there, creating a more efficient, easier space for us to all be in.
Many utility CEOs are pushing water utilities to rapidly expand their remote communications technology and use more off-site digital monitoring control panels. These technologies have reduced the risk that personnel are exposed to the virus and increase the backbench staff they’ll need when it’s necessary to maintain a plant’s operations.
And don’t think that these digital technologies are just there to help identify clogs and wear and tear. Some are even identifying issues like the growth of legionella bacteria and other germs; indicating when it’s safe and not safe for a utility worker to work at a certain site. In a very weird way, this pandemic has helped make things safer for water utility workers.
While many states have effectively opened their economies, many organizations are choosing to continue practicing the federal guidelines of practicing social distancing and other policies that mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Remote monitoring tech has helped water utilities keep their employees safe and operate more efficiently, thereby making it much easier to withstand the pressure that COVID-19 has put on their bottom lines.
Digital control panels aren’t standard across the industry yet, however this pandemic may push many utilities who’ve settled on analog features for far too long, to reconsider whether or not its time to step into the digital age.