By Charlie Schwindamann, Wastewater Tech

ublic water and wastewater

utilities are important assets to

any community. Water and

wastewater facilities protect public

health. These utilities are also essential

to public safety and welfare. It is

critical that public utilities take

necessary steps to ensure the security

of these facilities. 

Yes, security is affordable and

necessary for all communities. Still,

many small communities have the “I

can leave my door unlocked –nothing

ever happens here” attitude. This might

be true to an extent. A small

community in the center of Kansas is

not likely to be the target of an

international terrorist. Instead, it’s the

more local vandals who may be

A small town in

Kansas purchased

eight (8) cameras

that monitor

different locations

and display those

sites on a single

monitor. The

security camera

package only cost



July 2018



looking for a quick dollar by stealing

and scrapping metal. 

I was at a small town in northeast

Kansas a few years ago and

accompanied the assistant

administrator to check the sewer

treatment facility. He then told me he

also had something he wanted me to

see at the city's lake. We drove up to a

power pole where vandals had cut the

ground wire off the power pole from

the ground level to about six feet above

ground. They had done this on several

poles. I was perplexed due to the value

that could be obtained for such a small

amount of copper wire. It would not

have even paid for the gas to drive out

to the lake. Thieves are becoming

bolder as many communities find air

conditioning or other units vandalized

for the purpose of someone obtaining

scrap metal. 

Recently I stopped by to check on a

sewer project; I met with the

wastewater superintendent. We went

into his office. I noticed a monitor with

eight screens from a recently installed

camera surveillance system. We

reviewed the city’s present wastewater

improvement project. I asked about the

security camera system as I found it

very interesting. The superintendent

had researched security systems and

found what he was looking for online.

The system with eight cameras, the

recording device and wiring was

available for only $250! In the options

available at the time of purchase, either

outdoor or indoor cameras or a

combination could be selected. This

city purchased five outdoor and three

indoor cameras. 

The system with 

eight cameras, the

recording device and

wiring was available 

for only $250! 

These photos show a camera for outdoors and the other is for an indoor