ABB cyber security extends support to San Jose wastewater treatment plant

A wastewater treatment plant in San Jose, USA protecting public health and safety

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The San José-Santa Clara Regional Wastewater Facility deemed the largest advanced wastewater treatment on the West Coast, United States, is responsible for cleaning up Silicon Valley's wastewater round the clock while protecting public health and the environment and supporting the economy. The facility has been implementing innovative solutions and advanced technologies as part of its modernization drive to provide clean water and a sustainable future to its residents.

ABB was selected by the wastewater treatment facility to modernize the systems and solutions and implement a solid cyber security infrastructure while optimizing the water purification process. 

The Facility, which is jointly owned by the cities of San José and Santa Clara and is managed and operated by the City of San José's Environmental Services Department, treats on an average 110 million gallons of wastewater per day (mgd), with a capacity of up to 167 mgd.

The wastewater first undergoes advanced tertiary treatment that leads to 99 percent purification. After the tertiary treatment, about 80 percent of the treated water is piped to the outfall channel. From here, it flows to Artesian Slough, through Coyote Creek, and eventually into the South San Francisco Bay. The remaining 20 percent of the treated water is sent to South Bay Water Recycling and used to irrigate food crops, parks, schools, golf courses, street medians, and business park landscaping.

Main facts

Industry Power and Water
Customer Wastewater treatment facility, City of San Jose 
Country USA

Central management for large, distributed system

The San Jose wastewater treatment facility consists of over 80 servers and workstations where ABB helped modernize the legacy DCI controllers to Symphony Plus (HPC800) controllers and implemented ABB Ability™ Cyber Security portfolio offerings to build a centralized solution that will manage geographically distributed workstations throughout a site.

The site had an ambitious scope to deploy all the security controls, apply more than 2000 security patches and conduct a cyber security assessment within five days. Two ABB cyber security engineers were dispatched to work alongside the customer's team and a local ABB field service engineer.

ABB customized the cyber security solution for the facility while enabling the customer to protect its systems and solutions from malware and other cyber threats. An efficient cyber security solution protects and ensures a seamless water treatment process allowing the customer to be energy efficient with minimum downtime. 

Matthew Virostek, ABBs Industrial cyber security expert
“We only had a week to deliver the project. Our cyber security team customized the solution as per the customer's requirement and completed the project within five working days.”

Paving the way forward with secured systems

ABB's experts collaborated with the customer team and developed a solution based on foundational cyber security controls.

  •  ABB Ability™ Cyber Security Updates that ensured the automated deployment of validated Microsoft security updates to nodes in the system.
  • ABB Ability ™ Cyber Malware Protection enables automated deployment of validated McAfee updates to nodes in the system
  • ABB Ability™ Cyber Security Backup & Restore provides a commercial backup solution configured to safely take backups from the DCS system.  

The customer also chose to deploy ABB Ability™ Cyber Security Fingerprint to get a report of the current cyber security posture of the system, detect any gaps in the protection, and have a baseline for future reference.

Process Automation plays a key role

ABB’s Process Automation people, processes, and technology play a key role in providing sophisticated solutions in the wastewater treatment industry, including a wide range of cyber security offerings. ABB's expertise in implementing sustainable and secure solutions along with deep knowledge in project management play a crucial role in producing clean water and protecting public health and safety in the region.

Jerry Au, Network Engineer, City of San Jose Wastewater
“In our pursuit to innovate and implement cutting-edge solutions to improve efficiency at the wastewater treatment facility, ABB has been a trusted partner enabling us to continue in our journey to protect the environment, public health, and safety of our citizens.”

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