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IMPLEMENTATION OF AN AUTOMATED SEWER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM IN WINNIPEG, CANADA – AN ENGINEERING PERSPECTIVE

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Aging infrastructure, coupled with regulatory changes and growing public expectation have left many communities scrambling to meet service requirements while coping with growing risk and liability. Infrastructure owners and operating agencies are faced with increasingly difficult decisions on where and how to invest in system maintenance and renewal.

With a population of over 680,000 people, the City of Winnipeg is the eighth largest city in Canada. Faced with these growing challenges, the City's Water and Waste Department (WWD) retained UMA Engineering Ltd. to enhance current sewer maintenance and rehabilitation practices, and provide a sustainable, defensible approach to system investment decision-making. In addition to establishing guidelines for condition assessment, rehabilitation and maintenance management, the Sewer Management Study called for the City to assess baseline condition for the entire sewer system using closed circuit television (CCTV) technology; this information would be used as the starting point for an optimized global maintenance and rehabilitation program.

The Study determined that recommended operational changes would create the need to effectively manage the large volume of data generated through the large-scale CCTV initiative implemented by the City. A way to streamline the data analysis and use in evaluating system condition, rehabilitation and maintenance requirements was also needed.

In the absence of a viable commercial solution, a custom “Sewer Management System (SMS)” was developed around the City's technical, analytical and information management requirements. Initially rolled out in 1998, the system, commonly referred to as the “SMS”, has been used to support the planning and management of over 3,000,000 ft of sewer inspection, 7.5 million Canadian dollars (CAD) of maintenance and 50 million (CAD) of capital works; during this period it has encountered and overcome numerous technical and functional challenges.

This paper highlights the findings of the Sewer Management Study, examines the concepts and automation incorporated into the design of the SMS support application, and discusses the engineering challenges encountered through SMS implementation, and evolution over a sevenyear period. Plans for future enhancement and growth of the management framework and supporting application are also discussed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2005-01-01

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