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The Littleton/Englewood Wastewater Treatment Plant Knowledge Management Initiative Using an On-Line Manual to Capture Knowledge

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For the past several years, Utilities across the United States have recognized significant common challenges facing the industry. These challenges include aging and retiring workforce, aging and deteriorating infrastructure, increased regulatory requirements and associated new technology and the increased cost of managing the utility while addressing these challenges.

The Littleton/Englewood Wastewater Treatment Plant (L/E WWTP) faces all of these challenges and for the past ten years has been planning and implementing programs to methodically address these challenges and position the facility for long-term success. The L/E WWTP is the third largest wastewater treatment facility in Colorado, serving a population of more than 300,000 residents in the cities of Englewood and Littleton and 18 sanitation districts in the southwest Denver metro area. Recently the plant completed a 114 million ‘Phase 2’ construction project which addressed infrastructure improvements, capacity expansion needs, and added a new process; denitrification, to address new regulatory requirements. While some of the regulatory and infrastructure issues were addressed as part of the Phase 2 project, workforce challenges were exacerbated.

With 25% of the L/E WWTP staff becoming eligible for retirement over the next 2 to 6 years, plant management recognized the opportunity to develop and implement an action plan to establish outstanding operational programs to ensure long-term facility success and meet the plant vision:

We will be recognized as an outstanding staff working on outstanding programs at an outstanding facility.

A four part initiative was launched to address performance management, career development, succession planning, and knowledge management. This presentation will provide an overview of the L/E WWTP initiative to capture the knowledge of its workforce, develop new Standard Operating Procedures for operating the new facility, and support on-going training programs to ensure knowledge transfer and long-term operational success. The focus will be on the development and use of an on-line operations manual to capture and store this information and demonstrate the system.
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Keywords: Brown and Caldwell; InfoNet; Knowledge Management Plan; Knowledge management; Littleton/Englewood Wastewater Treatment Plant; On-Line Manual; SOP; SOP development; Standard Operating Procedures; content development; icentive pogram; in-house certification; knowledge transfer; retirement

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-01-01

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