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MAINTENANCE EXCELLENCE: AN EFFECTIVE COST-CONTROL TOOL FOR WATER AND WASTEWATER UTILITIES

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The requirements of municipal water and wastewater treatment facilities are changing rapidly. Problems created by the prospect of privatization, the constant demand for higher environmental standards, and dwindling funding are forcing public utilities to rethink and re-engineer facility processes involved with Water and Wastewater Treatment Systems.

When focusing on budget and performance issues, historically, management seldom looked to maintenance as an area with the potential for significant gains. However, with these additional pressures and with the advent of CMOM, Asset Based Management and Environmental Management Systems, utilities will be forced to develop maintenance management systems. This paper provides background information, industry-wide statistics and facility specific data from actual assessments from within the water and wastewater industry that should place maintenance in its proper place for management's commitment to serious levels of maintenance system improvement.

There are some alarming statistics for maintenance costs and effectiveness in the public water and wastewater treatment community. Comparing those statistics with “Best Practice” figures dramatically illustrates the potential gains, in terms of environmental goals, total costs and percent of budget reduction that are possible. Maintenance improvement initiatives such as the development of a maintenance management system can, and have produced snowballing effects in overall improvement of treatment plant operations and across the board budget performance. The maintenance system model known as “Maintenance Excellence” will be illustrated and described in overview. Descriptions of an example from Charleston CPW's treatment plant will demonstrate how a good maintenance management system resolves those problems to focus on plant reliability rather than plant repair issues.

To illustrate the achievability of the potential gains considered, the paper moves on to data obtained from maintenance assessments (audits) performed at actual water/wastewater treatment plants that have implemented Maintenance Excellence. The audit data will provide the before and after measures of performance (operating, environmental and cost associated) for these plants. The paper concludes with an overview of the approach to implementing a maintenance management system.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2004-01-01

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