Digitization for Water Supply

Stadtbetrieb Bornheim AöR relies on standardized system from NIVUS

Initial Situation and Task

The Bornheim municipal utility is responsible for more than 200 km of branched sewer network as well as drinking water and waste water connections for almost 50,000 inhabitants on an area of around 83 square kilometres. Due to the discontinuation of analogue telephone connections, the networking of the substations had to be reconsidered and set up in a future-proof manner. A new control system with consistent telecontrol technology was to combine all structures and substations and at the same time, standardize the drinking water and wastewater sectors. In addition to the control functionality of the plants, the essential requirements included uniform monitoring, a documentation and reporting system approved by the authorities and, last but not least, service and user-friendliness. For the future-proof conception of the new control system and the plant networking, high standards were applied to IT security according to KRITIS requirements.


One central Control System

The NIVUS process control system NICOS in combination with the telecontrol products of the NivuLink Control series were able to ideally cover the requirements. One of them concerned user-friendliness, which was previously only given to a limited extent. For example, the staff involved in operational management access the same system as those involved in service and operational readiness. This is a significant advantage, particularly in extreme situations! In addition, the system is highly available - 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The simple visualisation and parameterisation, as well as the compact design of the NivuLink Control are very practical advantages that facilitate installation on the one hand and daily work in operation on the other. The stations are centrally monitored and controlled, which enables a quick overview of the distributed systems. In the event of a malfunction, the service is notified by the alarm server via the oncoming error message by email or SMS. The logging of the structures is done with the report server. The event reports are generated automatically and made available to the staff.


Versatile Telecontrol Technology

In addition to its function as an IoT gateway, the NivuLink Control also partially takes over the control of the systems. In addition to the network and fieldbus interfaces of the NivuLink Control, the sensors and actuators are integrated via various plug-in modules. In this way, even complex computing and control tasks can be programmed and displayed in a user-friendly way through extensive visualisations. A measurement value memory is available in the unit for storing the process data, which can be easily and securely expanded with an SD card as an option. 

The digital, analogue and special modules of the WAGO I/O system are used for expansion. The connection to the control system is made classically via existing lines or via mobile communication. A total of 42 substations and a pressure boosting system are networked with the control centre via DSL or GPRS. The compact design and secure communication make the NivuLink Control the ideal basis for networking the sensors and the operating level as well as the control station.

In combination with NICOS, the NivuLink-Control components result in a secure communication platform via which, for example, targeted remote diagnostics can be easily and quickly made possible by switching them on at any time and from any location.


IT-secure and future-proof

NivuLink Control meets the high cyber security requirements for KRITIS applications - infrastructure in Germany, which is considered crucial and thus to be protected with elaborated effort. Reliable IoT communication is ensured via MQTT and integrated IPsec encryption. In combination with NICOS, this results in a secure communication platform. Targeted remote diagnostics can be made quickly and easily at any time and from any location.

In addition to the high availability, remote access for operation and status queries as well as secure maintenance access to the waterworks are available at all times. All staff members have notebooks that are integrated into the existing IT security concept so that they can access the system from any location at any time.


A new control system with uniform telecontrol technology for 42 substations allows the Bornheim municipal utility to monitor and control the drinking water and wastewater sectors together. The highly available system provides an officially approved reporting system and automatically sends error messages to the on-call service. IoT communication is ensured via MQTT and IPsec encryption. The entire system fulfils the high requirements of KRITIS in terms of IT security.


Systems in use

Casy Study Prozessleitsystem mit einheitlicher Fernwirktechnik

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