If you go a tad deeper into the infrastructure of proper sanitation, i.e. water supply and wastewater handling, new perspectives appear. These systems are operated by people who also live with a risk of contagion and these people must do everything in their power to keep it from happening. If the entire staff of the water supply falls sick, who then will keep the vital infrastructure running?
The answer to this question is automation.
Some countries have introduced three-shift-operations to make sure the waterworks are always operated and monitored to enable a quick response if needed. This requires many people in the same room, operating the same buttons, turning the same handwheels or pulling the same handles, all adding to the risk of spreading disease. If an employee falls ill, a substitute must be found to work in his stead, and this adds an additional strain to costs.
If the facilities are automated, with the right configuration, it is possible to control and monitor the water supply or the entire wastewater treatment facilities from a laptop which can be placed anywhere. A prerequisite is of course that information is collected from the right places in the network or the wastewater treatment plant. If a damage occurs, the operating staff must know where to go mend.
In other words, automation allows for entire plants, whether waterworks, pumping station or a wastewater treatment plant can be operated remotely. This reduces the risk of contamination of the facilities which in turn increases water safety which increase staff safety. Automation also allows for constant monitoring of vital areas to ensure a quick and efficient response in case of emergency.
Automation pays off in the long run.