Precision Pumping Systems Helps Feedlot Feed Millions

Precision Pumping Systems helped Simplot develop a water and wastewater regulation system for one of the largest feedlots in the United States.
  •     InduSoft Web Studio was used to create a water/wastewater regulation system for a 600 acre feedlot.
  •     The application  monitors levels, pressures, flows, and pump status. It also allows users to adjust the process set points in the PLCs in all locations.
  •     Simplot reduced power consumption from 30% to 70% depending on the time of day and the current weather conditions. Water requirements of the lot have been reduced by as much as 90%.
The United States is a major exporter of food, particularly beef. Feedlots, like the Simplot Land and Livestock feedlot in Grandview, Idaho is where much of the livestock within the United States is finished for domestic use and export. At the feedlot, cattle and other livestock are brought up to the proper weight for slaughter. Weight based pricing formulas are generally used to determine the worth of livestock when they are sold from the lot, meaning that ensuring the health of the animals will help a feedlot keep acceptable profit margins.

With so many animals to feed, shelter, and provide water for, it’s no surprise that feedlots have some rigorous requirements that must be met, particularly in regulating the water and wastewater of the facility. The Clean Water Act, under the authority of the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) regulates all animal feeding operations in the United States. Feedlots require large amounts of safe, clean water for the livestock on site. In addition, depending on the season, the number of livestock present on a lot can change dramatically from one month to the next, necessitating careful allocation of resources so that there is less waste of the available water in the times where fewer cattle are being kept.

The Simplot Land and Cattle Feedlot is a 600 acre commercial livestock facility in Grand View, which is located only 60 miles southwest of Boise. Grand View hosts the largest holding capacity for livestock within the United States, with upward capacity of over 150,000 head of cattle. Feed can be distributed to pens holding anywhere from 100 to 1000 head of cattle. The temperature of the area is moderate throughout the year, and the site is protected by natural rimrock, making it an ideal location for this enterprise.

In order to help regulate water use and help automate other things like dust control pumping and cattle cooling, Simplot contacted  Precision Pumping Systems in Boise, Idaho.  Precision Pumping Systems chose InduSoft Web Studio as the ideal SCADA software solution in monitoring this facility. Thanks to previous experience with InduSoft, PPS( Precision Pumping Systems) was assured a quick and easy development of the application, and a seamless connection with the hardware used for the site.

The feedlot presented some unique challenges for Precision Pumping Systems. Depending on the market environment, the site may house as many as 130,000 head of livestock at one time. During periods of low demand, there may be fewer than 40,000. This huge variation in head of cattle means that water requirements throughout the year may shift in correlation to the current capacity of the lot. With temperatures ranging from zero to 106, the water requirements of the animals also vary by current temperatures. Because of animal waste controls, no water may be discharged from the site, making it critical not to expend more water than necessary during operations.

In addition, Simplot needed a reliable water recycling option to further eliminate waste. The efforts in the water pumping system designed by PPS had to be highly coordinated and automated for maximum efficiency. The system also had to be flexible enough to accommodating the shifting patterns of livestock needs and weather.

Before Simplot contacted PPS, the site was allowed to discharge excess water, and the wells were run at all times using manual coordination. Simplot needed a new system that would eliminate this discharge, save water, labor, and power use.  Precision Pumping Systems was able to meet all these requirements using an application developed in InduSoft Web Studio v7.0.

The application developed for the feedlot monitors and controls a wide variety of equipment. PPS also configured the InduSoft Web Studio application with a wireless LAN connection that offers Simplot control and monitoring of everything from the main pond pump system to the remote wells and turbine pumps. The application developed by PPS monitors levels, pressures, flows, and pump status. It also allows users to adjust the process set points in the PLCs in all locations.  Fault conditions from the sites are recorded in the log and sent through text message or email to the system operators.

The application was developed using the latest version of InduSoft, and is installed on a PC running Windows XP. This PC is located within the pond pump station panel, for easy access. The application communicates with the pond pump PLC through a serial connection, and uses a wireless Ethernet network using the Modbus TCP protocol to communicate with the remote PLCs in the remote wells and storage tank control panels.

This complex system monitors and controls a large network of equipment. The main pond pump site, where the PC with InduSoft resides, has a three million gallon water storage reservoir. The main pond system includes two 100 horsepower turbine pumps, a 75 horsepower turbine pump, a three inch dump valve, a six inch pressure reducing valve (PRV), a chlorination injector, three flow meters, and two pressure transducers. The remote storage tank is a mile and a half away, and must be monitored for level and flow. The six remote wells all include monitor pressure transducers, well level transducers, flow meters, cabinet temperature sensors, and VFD motor controllers. The remote turbine must be monitored, along with two turbine pumps, a pressure transducer, flow meters, cabinet temperature transducers, and VFD motor controllers.

Without control and oversight of these critical indicators, it would not be possible to regulate water flow, power use, or pump status with the degree of finesse required for such a large operation.


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