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Like many utilities, the Virginia Beach Department of Public Utilities (VBDPU) and its consultants performed manhole inspections and closed-circuit television (CCTV) inspections of gravity sanitary sewer mains for traditional evaluation and rehabilitation projects. Manhole and CCTV inspection/rehabilitation reports were generated, used for any applicable rehabilitation, and filed for storage. Consequently, inspection results tended to accumulate in difficult-to-use basement libraries, stacked floor-to-ceiling with binders or boxes of data. VBDPU wanted an alternative to store this information so that it could more readily use the information for innovative purposes.

VBDPU also wanted to more efficiently utilize its existing investments in information technology, namely Geographical Information System (GIS) and a Hansen Infrastructure Management System (IMS). To accomplish this goal, VBDPU first had to establish data standards. Instead of developing its own unique set of standards for pipeline inspections, VBDPU chose the standards established by the Pipeline Assessment Certification Program (PACP) by the National Association of Sanitary Sewer Companies (NASSCO). PACP is a national program developed to standardize how pipeline CCTV inspections are completed. Ultimately, VBDPU wanted to store appropriate information in its GIS system for mapping assets and the IMS for generating work orders, both of which are essentially large databases. VBDPU determined that a majority of the PACP standard data could be maintained with little modifications to these databases.

After several attempts to refine the process, VBDPU successfully implemented a program to store inspection information in the IMS and utilize this information to update GIS. Not only does storing the inspection data in the IMS and GIS eliminate the warehouse of old CCTV inspection reports, it allows VBDPU to use the data in ways not previously feasible. VBDPU can mine the data for items such as the following:

Update GIS mapping with field results

Map inspection data and use GIS tools for system wide prioritization for rehabilitation/replacement

Identify trends, such as rates of sewer main deterioration

Use IMS and GIS to rank sewer assets for accounting purposes, including GASB 34 requirements

System wide condition assessment to meet the intent of CMOM guidelines for proactive management of assets
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2004-01-01

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