Presentation Alert: PA-AWWA Annual Conference (Virtual), May 25-26, 2021


On Tuesday, May 25th, from 9-9:30 am, Keystone's Director of Automation/ Associate, Heather Heltzinger, and one of our Partners, Paul Lacon, P.E. will be giving a presentation on "What is SCADA? A Guide to The Importance of Controls in the Water Industry" at the Pennsylvania American Water Works Association's (PA-AWWA) First Virtual Conference.


We interviewed Heather and Paul on what to expect from the conference, their backgrounds, and the importance of learning about SCADA.

Q&A with the Conference Speakers: Heather Heltzinger, Director of Automation/Associate and Paul Lacon, P.E., Partner


Q: Can you tell us what to expect from this presentation?

A: This presentation will review the basics of what a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) System is, from the major components, equipment, and instruments, down to the software and how to manipulate data in order to obtain important information about your Water or Wastewater system.

Q: Where and when are you presenting?

A: We will be presenting at the Virtual PA-AWWA Conference on May 25th at 9:00 am. Registration details and technical session information is available on PA-AWWA's website.


Q: Who should attend this conference?

A: Anyone who works in the Water Industry and would like to learn more about the basic knowledge of instruments to PLCs, programming, and data collection in the system to understand equipment failures, historic trends of flow and other data, communications, and trending.


Q: Can you give us a little bit of background on who you are?

A: Heather Heltzinger, Director of Automation at Keystone Engineering Group, Inc. I have been with Keystone for a little over 10 years with 17 years of experience in the industry. I graduated from Millersville University with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Applied Engineering with a focus in Control Systems. I started in this specific industry by designing SCADA control panels, becoming a Project Manager, and working my way up. The industry is forever growing and evolving with all of the new technological advances there is always something new to learn which keeps everything exciting.


Paul Lacon, Principal at Keystone Engineering Group. One of the four founders of Keystone in 1997. Working in the Water/Wastewater industry since 1985. I hold a Mechanical Engineering degree from Spring Garden College and earned my PE in Control Systems Engineering in 1990. I have worked on both the manufacturing side and Engineering Design side of Systems Integration projects. I have always been thrilled to work and learn in this great venue of ours and always enjoy sharing my experience both good and bad with others about the application of the technologies we deal with every day.


Q: Why is this topic important to learn more about?

A: We use water and produce wastewater every day of our lives, and it’s important for us all to know how best we can efficiently assure the proper treatment of both Potable and Wastewater to meet all the regulatory requirements that our industry requires. Additionally, Understanding how the basic I/O from various instruments and motor controls wired into PLCs that collect and control data can help Operators understand how systems operate, fail, and collect data for future understanding as well as reporting for governmental agencies.