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As one of the largest wastewater utilities in the nation, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (District) confronts many of the same challenges as private business: enhance customer service and increase operational effectiveness while providing rewarding opportunities for employees. Changing regulatory requirements regarding oversight of industrial discharges to Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW) add to the challenges facing utilities.

The Industrial Waste Division (IWD) of the District's Research and Development Department (R&D) is responsible for the enforcement of the District's Sewage and Waste Control Ordinance, Pretreatment, and User Charge Ordinance, including the compilation and presentation of data pertaining to industrial wastes. Over the past two decades, multiple computer applications have been employed by the District to address various aspects of IWD's needs. Although serving the District well for many years, upkeep of these separate systems has proven to be challenging in light of evolving business needs coupled with advancements in automation and information technology.

This paper presents a case study of the District's specification, evaluation, and implementation of a Pretreatment Information Management System (PIMS) to leverage information technology for improved pretreatment program administration. PIMS provides a single, consolidated solution allowing members of IWD access to a centralized database as controlled by configurable security profiles. PIMS addresses the needs of all sections of IWD, resulting in time savings and error reduction through elimination of redundant data entry and business functions arising from the use of multiple, disparate systems.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2001-01-01

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