The Water Industry Telemetry Standards (WITS) group was formed in 2003 with the aim of helping water companies generate greater efficiencies by encouraging co-operation between water companies and with engineers and consultants in external supplier organisations. The WITS vision was simple:

“To harness the combined strengths of knowledge, skills and influence of the water industry through taking responsibility for the continuous improvement of telemetry technology and service, through shared developments on behalf of the UK Water Management organisations.”

The first task was to investigate the potential for standardising telemetry protocols for communications between Field Devices and Master Stations, in order to enable water companies to move away from being locked into a single supplier. The development of “plug and play” compatibility would be of enormous benefit to both water companies and suppliers. Water companies would benefit from increased product choice, reduced cost, simpler configuration, an ability to move away from bespoke one supplier systems, and improved data quality. Suppliers would benefit from more market opportunities and the potential to reduce development time.

Hence the WITS-DNP3 Protocol Standard was developed. This was based on the internationally recognised DNP3 standard which was already in use across the world. However in order to achieve the vision of ‘plug and play’, the functionality which the protocol embraced needed to be defined very specifically, and it also needed to meet the requirements of the UK water industry.

This was carried out by producing a detailed set of Application Notes which specify the required functionality of the Protocol, along with a defined testing regime.

© 2014 WITS Protocol Standards Association