Madison, Wisc., Looking at Surveillance for Water System

Madison, Wisc., is moving one step closer to protecting its water utility system. The town's Board of Water commissioners has recommended the City Council approve a $485,00 contract to install surveillance systems at 32 remote water utility wells and related sites.

If approved by the City Council next week, the security integrator would be Michigan-based RepLogix. RepLogix proposed to offer Madison water board a surveillance system that uses technology from Longwatch. Longwatch's systems are typically designed such that recorded video stays at the remote site, and based on triggered alarm data, video clips are sent to security, police or the monitoring agent. RepLogix proposed to transmit the video and security data over the utility's existing radio network; part of Longwatch's claim is that its technology is very effective at minimizing bandwidth usage and is designed to work with a utility's SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) systems.

The burden of the system's cost won't be entirely paid for by Madison. The town received a $388,000 grant from the Department of Homeland Security that could be used to recover costs.

The City Council is expected to vote on the recommendation for the security system next week.

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