Automation of the drinking water supply of Saanen/Gstaad

Successful cooperation for almost fifty years

Successful cooperation for almost fifty years

The example of the Saanen water supply in the Bernese Oberland shows how the 50-year-old SCHEIDEGGER Trinkwasser company, which is part of STEBATEC, has shaped the Swiss water supply landscape. The municipality of Saanen also includes world-famous Gstaad, Saanenmöser and the hamlets of Abländschen and Turbach.

The municipality’s territory is very large and extensive, and the use of water for tourism brings with it large fluctuations in consumption. A small anecdote from the «early days» illustrates how the monitoring of the outdoor facilities used to work. One of the reservoirs was only connected to the post office via a telephone cable. If the float triggered a water level alarm, a bell rang in the post office, whereupon an employee forwarded the alarm to the water supply by telephone.

«This way, the alarm could only be raised during opening hours of the post office».

The cooperation with SCHEIDEGGER in Saanen goes back to 1973, when the company’s founder, Paul Scheidegger, equipped individual parts of the system with his technology and installed the first cable network and an electromechanical control system. This control system remained in operation for forty years until 2013, when it was converted to a stored-program control system. For the automation of the drinking water supply, all system parts relevant to the supply were connected with cable harnesses, except for two remote outdoor installations; the two outdoor stations currently still communicate via the mobile network. In Saanen, the control system based on setpoint curves is in use.

Management via setpoint curves

The control system manages all processes in the widely ramified supply area and continuously records all relevant data.
The setpoint curve controller serves as the central intelligence for managing the water quantities. The curves are visually easy to read and facilitate the overview, while quite complex control targets can be set and tracked. The system allows several setpoint curves to be created, each of which is automatically applied at different times or conditions (e.g. fire event or system failure) if the criteria are met. Particularly with regard to the hygienic requirements that water in basins and pipes must not stand for long periods of time, the unique setpoint curve controller offers considerable advantages, because with appropriate settings, all system parts are used in a chronological sequence.

To ensure even flows, which UV treatment plants require, for example, the system is also used in combination with control dampers and frequency converters.

Arno Romang, the operations manager of the water supply, was able to state with satisfaction «the new control system allows a finer interaction of the system parts, which saves operating energy year after year.»

But water consumption is also declining. This is mainly due to the new pipes and the improved monitoring possibilities with the control system.

New groundwater pumping station

Today, Saanen covers more than 70 per cent of its drinking water needs from a total of twelve spring wells, but it also has two groundwater wells. One groundwater pumping station is brand new (status: 2021). It was built to meet the cantonal requirement for a redundant water supply. Three wells with a total of six pumps can pump up to 12,000 litres per minute, which would supply the entire community – even in the event of a power failure, thanks to a diesel generator. The four powerful pumps that feed the supply system are followed by valves to avoid possible pressure surges. The drive and control of these flaps also come from SCHEIDEGGER.

The quality of our drinking water will probably become much more important in the future, especially as the regulations on hygiene and maximum loads of pollutants are constantly being tightened. Saanen, situated at a high altitude, may be less affected by this, but the opportunity of the new building was immediately taken to also set up a test road on which the quality values are continuously recorded. Of course, these measured values can also be called up at any time via the control system.

Further information at


Products in use

Battery-supported damper operation in the event of a power failure - simply via UPS in the control cabinet!
Smallest electrical power, highest torque even with battery operation during mains failure. The Scheidegger damper drive with 24V DC power supply convinces with its ideal power transmission. A selection of adapter parts allows the actuator to be mounted on all commercially available damper makes. Available for all standard sizes from DN50 to DN1000.
Detect and localise drinking water contamination at an early stage with online measurements and combination measurements
Data recording, evaluation and alarming as an early warning system and for quality monitoring. In water supply operations, our ALLinONE system for monitoring drinking water quality offers the advantages of recording concentrations between sampling or laboratory analyses, limit value monitoring of individual parameters and the evaluation of combined measured variables / correlations, as well as targeted alarming with detailed alarm messages.
The process control system for drinking water suppliers with highest demands on safety, function and comfort.
The process control system optimized for drinking water suppliers enables the operation, management, monitoring and fully automatic control of drinking water supplies.
Individual automation for safe and efficient processes.
We support you with risk analyses, electrical, control and energy concepts and individual PLC programming in operation and in the realization of automation projects.
Secure separation from the Internet. High level of comfort.
We offer tailor-made, cost-optimized and future-proof solutions for an optimal demarcation of automation systems from the Internet, while maintaining access to the systems in terms of comfort and flexibility.
Development of automated processes for efficiency and safety
We are specialized in project planning, construction and service of critical infrastructures according to highest availability and security standards. Using complex control technology, algorithms and database-based intelligence, we also develop the optimal automation system for your process.


««"the new control system allows a finer interaction of the plant components, which saves operating energy year after year.»»
Arno Romang
Operations Manager of the Water Supply
Share this page …
Subscribe to our newsletter!

Let’s stay connected! Subscribe to our STEBAletter and receive regular news about our projects and activities.

Mattenstrasse 6a
CH-2555 Brügg

T +41 32 373 15 71

Heilbronner Straße 150
D-70191 Stuttgart

T +49 322 2109 3142

Follow us …

Copyright 2021 © STEBATEC