Articles & Case Studies

Highland Spring - pure control

Posted: Monday 28th April 2014

From deep beneath the surface of the protected 1,000-hectare catchment area in the Ochil Hills in Perthshire, Scotland, boreholes collect naturally filtered water for Highland Spring, the leading UK produced brand of bottled water.


Today the Highland Spring bottling plant operates 24/7 producing 90,000 bottles an hour. In total, the Highland Spring Group produces in excess of 350 million litres of water a year. To ensure a continuous flow of the highest quality of water from borehole to tank farm on the bottling site, Highland Spring requires 24/7 monitoring and control on the boreholes. Keeping the tank farm ‘brimful’ is essential to the continual bottling processes as it provides production storage of water for the bottling plant.

The Solution

Since 1992, the crucial monitoring and control of the boreholes has been made possible by the application of advanced telemetry provided by Wood & Douglas. The initial deployment of a PACSNET 3000 UHF radio network was established to monitor two boreholes and further extended to monitoring four. In 2009, OPENNET 6000 base station technology was introduced to offer advanced configuration capability and upgrading of the radio outstations.

Wood & Douglas’ wireless link monitors the SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition)feed from the bore holes located three miles from bottling plant. Data relating to flow rate, water level and conductivity is then fed via the base station located in the main plant to a central PC display for process monitoring and control.

The Wood & Douglas network provides a range of interfaces over SCADA for data communications and monitoring to observe the condition of the pumps. Via a web interface onto the IP network, operators can log in from any internet connected device to monitor SCADA feed from the boreholes and initiate control of the pumps with on/off switches at the boreholes. This enables the management of water flow through the pipeline and of the valve control station at the factory and at the tank farm.

This immediate, flexible control allows Highland Spring to manage and monitor abstraction, making sure that it effectively spreads the load across the hillside thereby absolutely minimising environmental impact.

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