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FROM PAPER MAPS TO PC: THE CITY OF GREENSBORO'S EXPERIENCE IN CONVERSION TO DIGITAL FOR WATER AND SEWER INFRASTRUCTURE SYSTEMS

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Abstract:

The City of Greensboro Water Resources Department (WRD) has converted its paper-based water and sewer mapping system to a fully digital geodatabase using ArcGIS. This significant project includes field GPS mapping-grade surveys to locate approximately 80,000 existing water and sewer features. Approximately 50% of the field data collection was completed by WRD staff in 2001–02 and the balance was completed by McKim & Creed in 2004. The new digital water and sewer system was designed to provide the following functionalities:

– Accurately reflect real-world locations of sewer manholes, lift stations, wastewater treatment facilities, potable water valves, storage tanks, booster stations, chlorination stations, blowoffs and water treatment facilities;


– Eliminate up to 6,000 paper maps currently in use as source documents;


– Provide department-wide access to digital water and sewer utility information and maps via intranet applications;


– Produce high-quality paper maps for other City departments, customers and consultants;


– Maintain an accurate and up-to-date inventory of water and wastewater features;


– Locate water and sewer features in the field using ruggedized tablet personal computers to be installed in WRD service trucks;


– Rapidly reflect real-world revisions to water and wastewater infrastructure features;


– Conduct technical, administrative and financial queries and produce high-quality reports;


– Facilitate GASB 34 and CMOM compliance;


– Perform extensive computer hydraulic modeling of the water distribution and sewer collection systems using McKim & Creed's software, FORCEMAIN©; and


– Perform accurate and reliable water quality modeling to facilitate conversion from free chlorine to chloramines for disinfection of public water supplies.


The new digital system is fully compatible with existing City GIS base-mapping layers and information. In addition, the system design provides for future integration with the City's Work Order Management System and water/sewer billing system.

The initial phase of the project began in March 2003 with a detailed evaluation of the existing water and sewer mapping process and WRD needs assessment, development of a phased mapping process solution, preparation of a Basis for Final Design report and development of an aggressive implementation schedule and project budget. The second phase of the project began in October 2003 and involved development of a prototype system to demonstrate system functionality and establish a process for full-scale implementation in 2004. The third phase, full-scale implementation, was authorized in March 2004 and was completed in September 2004. The final phase, hydraulic model development for both the water distribution and sewer collection systems, began in the fall of 2004. The potable water distribution system and water quality models were completed in April 2005. The sewer collection model is completed, but additional field work is currently underway to verify manhole and rim elevations throughout the system to provide the necessary degree of accuracy.

The tremendous success of this exciting and cutting-edge project is attributed to the successful partnership forged between the City WRD, City GIS Department, McKim & Creed, and Geographic Technologies Group.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/193864705783857207

Publication date: January 1, 2005

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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