SCADA industry veterans launch new company, new technologies to enhance security of community water systems

May 12, 2005
Providing secure controls and monitoring for U.S. water supplies and meeting Homeland Security and EPA directives are among the goals of a recently formed company and its major product.
ENHANCING THE SAFETY and security of the nation's water supplies, Longwatch, Inc., a new company dedicated to serving the security and threat assessment needs of the Community Water Systems (CWS), has formally began business operations. As part of its public introduction, the company also announced the release of the Longwatch Surveillance System, a solution designed to deliver near real-time video surveillance of remote water facilities using existing CWS communications networks.“In the wake of 9/11, organizations tasked with managing and maintaining community water systems were forced to implement stringent new security procedures,” stated Don Simoneau, CEO of Longwatch, Inc. “Through the introduction of the Longwatch Surveillance System, we can dramatically improve their ability to detect, classify and respond to any potential security risk…all with minimal disruption and minimal investment.”The average CWS consists of an intricate array of pump stations, wells, tanks and processing sites that are located miles apart from each other and the customers they serve. These remote locations are generally unmanned and communicate via existing, low-bandwidth monitoring and control networks to a centralized office. Each remote location is typically fitted with some form of basic intrusion detection systems, but these systems can only communicate whenan alarm was triggered, not how it was triggered.New Homeland Security and EPA directives force each CWS to meet every potential security breach with an immediate investigation and evaluation, ensuring that the water supply or equipment has not been compromised. While this is crucial to ensure public safety, it also places a tremendous strain on the municipality and the emergency agencies that are typically called upon to respond. The vast majority of intrusions are false alarms triggered by environmental factors, such as animals, wind or other non-harmful entities, but each must be fully investigated.The ideal solution for such facilities would include remote video surveillance capabilities, enabling CWS professionals to identify the likely cause of an intrusion alarm before a response unit is deployed. The problem, however, is that a video signal typically requires a high-bandwidth connection.Both Longwatch and the company’s first application, the Longwatch Surveillance Solution, were created to address the unique security concerns of the CWS industry. Through a proprietary, patent-pending technology, Longwatch can send near-real time, full-motion video from remote locations to a centralized monitoring station using existing, low-bandwidth connections. The video feed is also fully integrated within existing SCADA screens. As a result, water professionals can utilize a single system for monitoring and controlling the performance and integrity of the entire water system. For those locales needing the separation of surveillance and water system monitoring, the Longwatch Solution can push the video signal to a separate monitoring station.For more information about the Longwatch Surveillance System, visit or e-mail [email protected].