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Overcoming the Roadblocks to Implementing an Effective Asset Management Program

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Toho Water Authority (TWA) provides water, wastewater and reclaimed water service to approximately 75,000 customers in Kissimmee Florida. About 2 years ago they began implementing parts of an asset management program for their over 500 million dollars worth of water, wastewater, and reclaimed water assets. Unfortunately, implementing these systems without being sure how to achieve a comprehensive asset management system has set them back from going live with the linked systems. This paper outlines how TWA has refocused their planning efforts to move forward with an overall asset management program and some key lessons learned along the way.

The first action that Toho has taken to move the asset management program forward was to hire an Asset Manager to be responsible for the program and its implementation. Previously the CMMS system responsibility was delegated to the Assistant Director of Operations and the GIS system to the Assistant Director of Engineering. The next action item was to take a step back and take a look at what work had been accomplished and what items needed to be immediately addressed. This involved readdressing the asset hierarchy, the definition of an asset and how pipes were split in GIS, and creating some basic procedures to add, change and retire an asset.

In addition the Asset Manager has begun facilitating many meetings to identify asset criticality and consequence of failure. A pilot program to assess the condition of treatment plants, lift stations, and gravity piping systems is being performed and will include the establishment of levels of service, further refine consequence of failure ratings and establish a tapping coupon program for pressure pipe evaluations. The goal of this program will be to assess the condition of assets with a high consequence of failure rating within one year. Overall, Toho Water Authority plans on evaluating the condition of all assets over the next five year period. To accomplish these programs and improvements, budget items have been prepared for additional staffing as well as consulting help to move the program towards completion. Some of the positions will include additional GIS and asset inspection personnel.

Lessons learned during the first two years of this program include: Implementing software does not make an asset management program. Comprehensive asset management programs require specific staffing. Condition assessment data is required and takes time and the help of contractors for timely collection. Sometimes it may be hard to refocus a program that is moving forward but in the end it can be worth it. With the changes and actions described above, Toho Water Authority is well on its way towards having one of the best asset management programs in Florida.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2008-01-01

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