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Asset Management for a Growing Community – Leveraging Technology to Improve Performance

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This paper highlights the asset management program implemented by the Delaware, Ohio Department of Public Utilities to better manage growth pressures on its water and wastewater utilities while controlling costs and maintaining a high level of customer service.

The City of Delaware, OH is at the center of one of the fastest growing areas in the region and is experiencing increasing demands on its water, sewer and storm water systems from new housing and commercial developments. The Public Utilities Department is responsible for planning and implementing maintenance and capital programs for all water, sewer and storm water infrastructure. Delaware has taken a very proactive approach to implementing an overall asset management program within the Public Utilities Department, including the development of key performance measures, updating the City wide GIS and installing a new computerized maintenance management system (CMMS).

The presentation will discuss how the City evaluated and ranked over 100 key service levels in the areas of internal performance, customer service, cost control and regulatory compliance. Ultimately, 21 service levels were selected as most closely aligned with the strategic direction and overall goals of the City and the Public Utilities Department. Performance measures, with data collection and reporting requirements, were then developed to track performance against the service levels and to guide the implementation of the GIS and CMMS tools.

The presentation will cover how the City completed a comprehensive evaluation of its existing GIS for both coverage and quality of information available on the water, sewer and storm water systems. The coverage evaluation determined the extent of total buried assets currently in the GIS. The quality evaluation determined any gaps in attribute data necessary for an effective maintenance program. In total, over 30 feature sets and 250 data attribute sets were evaluated. The GIS was also evaluated for technical architecture including hardware, software and network user access. Ultimately, the GIS was converted from coverage to geo-database format. Updates to the existing water, sewer and storm networks were digitized from a combination of reference drawings and atlas sheets. A field GPS program was also established to verify existing information and to update the GIS in the future.

The Department of Public Utilities was utilizing two separate CMMS products, one for the wastewater plant and one for the water plant. Neither product could meet the needs of all four Divisions. The presentation will include a discussion of the approach to interviews and workshops conducted to reach consensus on the overall needs across the complete Public Utilities Department while also considering the needs of other City Departments. From a shortlist of potential CMMS products, Delaware selected the Cityworks CMMS from Azteca, which was implemented to provide overall asset inventory, work order management, cost accounting and customer service response.

By updating the GIS and standardizing on a common CMMS platform, the City of Delaware Public Utilities Department is better able to schedule and coordinate maintenance activities, monitor costs, track and respond to customer needs and plan for capital replacement and renewal of its critical assets. The presentation will outline the City's plans for the phased expansion of the GIS and CMMS to other departments in the future.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-01-01

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