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This paper presents recent experience implementing a cutting-edge, web-based information technology project for the Orange County Sanitation District (OCSD) in southern California. OCSD owns and operates two wastewater treatment plants and 650 miles of collection system, with an average daily flow of 272 MGD. The treatment facilities were built over the past 50 years under over 500 separate projects, with over 20,000 engineering drawings. Significant growth in the service area, and difficulties in managing engineering information, led OCSD to implementation of a Facility Atlas (FA) and Electronic Document Management System (EDMS) for the two treatment plants. Prior to the FA and EDMS there was a lack of easily accessible, accurate and consistent data for the facilities. The FA and EDMS provide OCSD with a consistent source of high-quality asset information, with a quantum-leap in information management efficiency, accuracy and cost savings.

The project is the culmination of a planning process that began with a Needs Assessment in 1994. The FA and EDMS are being implemented within an overall strategy for engineering information management that also includes investments in instrumentation and electrical data as separate projects. Application development began for the FA and EDMS in late 1999, the initial functional prototypes were completed in June of 2000, and implementation of the completed applications within OCSD's Engineering Department is scheduled for December of 2000. This paper presents benefits of the FA and EDMS to OCSD, with focus on project benefits and critical success factors. The approach presented for implementation of the FA and EDMS has widespread applicability to information management at other Publicly-Owned Treatment Works (POTWs) and similar facilities.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2000-01-01

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