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AIMS: Asset Management Application for a Large Municipal Wastewater Agency

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The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) realizes that a Capacity assurance, Management, Operation and Maintenance (CMOM) Program is good business practice for decisions on all of itsassets. MMSD further recognizes that any gains from a comprehensive CMOM program require a solid Asset Management (AM) Program to sustain the CMOM program. In 2002, the MMSD formally initiated aCMOM implementation program and project, including a complimentary asset management program. Fromthe outset, MMSD insisted that the CMOM project be conducted in an innovative fashion — applying the CMOM review process to all of its systems: wastewater collection, wastewater treatment, and watercourse management across the entire service area. Part of the asset management program involved building a tool — an asset management software application — that would bring such diverse anddistributed asset information to decision-makers. This paper discusses the design and compositionof the asset management software application, called AIMS.

To make sure that a proper AM strategy could be developed, MMSD established an Asset Management Work Team (AMWT). This team would interface frequently with the consulting team. The first key step for developing the AM strategy involved evaluating MMSD in approximately 80 functional Asset Management (AM) practice areas. This process is called the Asset Management Program Evaluation (AMPE), and it closely matches the process identified in the International Infrastructure Manual developed by utilities in Australia and New Zealand.

As part of the AMPE process, the AMWT established immediate, near-term, and long-term goals for the AM program, which have been documented in the AM strategy. One of the highest priorities, andone specifically mentioned in a Stipulation Agreement between the MMSD and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, was developing a capital asset information tracking system. Together, the consulting team and the AMWT developed a vision for this information environment and titled it the Asset Information Management System or AIMS. The Vision included several specific requirements: 1) use existing data sources, 2) make asset information available to a wide MMSD audience, and3) ensure consideration of the asset's criticality as a key decision-making element.

AIMS uses a data warehouse to store information from currently disparate databases, allowing datato be made available through a browser to a wide MMSD user audience. Sources include two computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) for treatment plant, conveyance, and watercourse assets; the Geographic Information System (GIS); the capital project database from Primavera; and several financial information system data sources. The data warehouse receives frequent updates from sources to ensure decisions are made on current information.

To make use of this data, the consulting team recommended an "asset class" approach to organizing and analyzing asset-related data. Doing this required the AMWT to establish asset classes for the wastewater collection, wastewater treatment, and watercourse management assets of MMSD - a process which led to some 160 asset classes. Asset classes represent assets that have very similar characteristics with respect to cost, criticality, and service. Next, forprioritizing AM activities and improving asset information (such as condition monitoring), the AMWT developed a Risk Management Prioritization Number (RMPN) for each of these classes. The RMPN is calculated from three other factors: Consequence of Failure Prioritization Number, Redundancy Number, and Probability of Failure Prioritization Number. Working with the consulting team, the AMWT established the categories for determining each of these numbers within an asset class. These assessments will allow MMSD to prioritize AM practices, such as asset replacements, condition monitoring, and business case evaluation of capital projects.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2006-01-01

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