Florida town deploys IP cameras to protect its water supply

St. Cloud's migration to IP video helped increased ROI, used less hardware than proposed analog solution


CHELMSFORD, Mass. – Jan. 12, 2010 – Axis Communications, the global leader in the network video market, today announced that the City of St. Cloud, Florida, has deployed Axis network cameras at its water and wastewater plants as a first step in modernizing its existing analog video surveillance capabilities.

St. Cloud’s most recent video surveillance project for the water and wastewater treatment plants was originally designed for analog cameras. However, after completing an ROI project analysis with security integrator SiteSecure, Inc., it was determined that St. Cloud could obtain superior monitoring capabilities and better fault-tolerance by implementing a fiber-optics IP-based system in a redundant ring configuration. Future on-camera analytics capabilities with third-party developers also allowed for a significant reduction in the number of cameras required to cover these facilities. In fact, the cost savings realized by purchasing fewer cameras combined with the minimal infrastructure wiring required and ability to remotely monitor the IP video allowed St. Cloud to essentially pay for the new network camera implementation.

Beginning in 2008, St. Cloud deployed AXIS 233D Network PTZ (pan/tilt/zoom), AXIS 221 Fixed Network and AXIS 223 Network Megapixel Fixed Cameras at numerous locations throughout the town to protect against intruders and remotely manage operations. In conjunction with selecting Axis fixed network cameras, SiteSecure also chose Genetec’s Omnicast video management system and four Dell servers with a mixture of on-board and attached storage.

To date, Axis network cameras have been installed at a new water treatment plant, a wastewater treatment facility and a water repump station. Moreover, SiteSecure has begun installing Axis video encoders at other sites throughout the city where analog equipment is currently being used to provide IP capabilities during a transition phase. Eventually, analog equipment at city hall, the senior center, evacuation center, marina and the police station will be replaced with network cameras from Axis.

In addition to discouraging vandalism and improving safety, St. Cloud will be leveraging the superior optical zoom and megapixel capabilities of Axis network cameras not only for capturing forensic evidence, but also for operational purposes such as reading metering equipment, checking water levels and monitoring hazardous chemical deliveries. The network cameras are part of an integrated alarm system, in which certain events can trigger alarms to improve operational efficiencies and alert operators of security incidents.

According to Bud Peck, CAD/GIS analyst for the city, “Axis network cameras provide higher video quality and increased reliability and redundancy, while providing faster access to archived material. Its encoders enable us to gain many of the benefits of IP systems today without having to immediately install a new system citywide. All told, we have obtained huge operational improvements at a significant cost savings with the new network camera solution.”

“Utilities and critical infrastructure like water plants, normally covering large areas and being remotely located, can benefit greatly from utilizing IP-based surveillance,” said Fredrik Nilsson, general manager of Axis Communications Inc. “The St. Cloud solution delivered by SiteSecure is an example of innovative use of network cameras in improving operations and the use of video encoders to provide a cost-effective and gradual migration to full IP capabilities.”