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Sewer System Master Planning in Difficult Financial Times: A Newark, NJ Case Study

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Sewer system master planning can serve many important purposes and goals. One of these is defining the current condition of a sewer utility and the level of investment necessary to reach its desired state of operational and financial stability. Sewer system master planning can provide an opportunity for self-examination and re-structuring. It can break the inertia of a “business-as-usual” mode of operation and can open a dialogue with elected officials and the general public on the investment needed for infrastructure improvements. It can highlight the consequences and risks associated with these needs and present the rationale for investing in the sewer system, even when facing tough budget choices. This article describes how established concepts in asset management and master planning were applied to the wastewater and stormwater assets of the City of Newark, NJ. It discusses the issues confronted in assessing the existing condition of the sewer infrastructure and the successful approaches implemented to identify the capital investments needed to sustain the sewer utility at a high level of performance.

Keywords: asset management; capital improvements planning; collection systems; master planning; renewal and replacement; strategic initiatives

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2011

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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