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Region of Halton, Ontario

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Business continuity and disaster recovery planning improve customer safety

Halton LogoBackground

The Region of Halton is responsible for operating and maintaining five water treatment plants and seven wastewater treatment plants. The region services about 500,000 residents in Burlington and three other communities west of Toronto.

Issue

The Halton Region is highly dependent on its SCADA system to maintain its water and wastewater service levels. A failure of any part of the system necessitates a prompt response. Therefore, Halton Region authorised the preparation of a SCADA disaster recovery and business continuity (DR/BC) plan.

Solution

The Region selected Westin to lead a team responsible for the following:
Policy & Procedures - The Team conducted a workshop to define the policy statement, the macro objectives, and the scope of the plan, and also to form a team comprised of the people most involved with the SCADA system.

Business Impact Analysis Methodology - A Business Impact Analysis (BIA) quantifies the impact of a system failure, including organization, production and equipment. The Westin Team conducted a workshop to define the methodology, approach and granularity of the analysis.

Business Impact Analysis - The team conducted BIA workshops for all of the Region’s facilities, analyzing each major component. These workshops established system availability, recovery time and recovery point objectives for the failure of each component.

Mitigation Plan - The Westin Team developed a plan for each component based on the availability objectives established as part of the previous BIA phase. The plan addressed solutions required to achieve the system availability objectives  and mitigate high priority issues.

Recovery Plan - The Team developed a plan for each major system component failure based on the recovery time and recovery point objectives established as part of the BIA: The plan included procedures for dealing with failures and disasters, a contact directory, an escalation procedure, a list of spare parts, and staffing and training to ensure 24 x 7 support.

Outcomes

As a result of the Westin team’s efforts, the Region of Halton now has a documented plan directing the SCADA recovery process in case of an interruption in service resulting from an unplanned system failure.

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