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In Seattle the customer is responsible for the sanitary sewer leaving from their house to its connection at the main line. Most homeowners are not aware of this, and they do not actively manage their side sewers. When they have a problem with their sewer line they may call Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) expecting them to fix it. SPU crews respond, but 87% of the time they find the problem is in the customer's side sewer. The customer is then on his own to find a plumber to address the problem. This causes delays to the customer in fixing the problem and it takes SPU crew time.

SPU conducted an analysis of options to both improve customer service in regards to their side sewers and to improve efficiency in management of the collection system. The objectives of the analysis were to:

Set the appropriate level of wastewater services provided to SPU's customers;

Optimize the efficiency of wastewater operational crews to reduce SPU's operational costs;

Reduce the total triple bottom line, life cycle costs of managing side sewers.

The results of the analysis were presented to SPU's Asset Management Committee for concurrence on recommendations. This presentation will describe the analysis conducted, the results and recommendations, and the status of program implementation. The paper is relevant not only in terms of the specific recommendations and design of a side sewer program, but also for its application of asset management techniques.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-01-01

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