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10 water asset management practices that hurt productivity

Kurt West
Sep 26, 2019 12:05:00 PM

Water system operators face many challenges managing their daily operations and maintenance  processes if they haven’t kept up with the current best practices of water asset management.

Water asset management

Utility Cloud has been working with water systems for over 7 years – helping them manage their water assets, and streamline their inspections and maintenance operations. 

Water asset management requires applying tools and software to help make these processes effective. Key steps for water asset management involve making an inventory of critical assets, evaluating their condition and performance, and developing plans to maintain, repair, and replace water assets. 

We’ve identified 10 areas in your water asset management system that can hurt day-to-day productivity.  

 

10 areas in your water asset management system that hurt productivity

Not being able to identify, track or locate assets in the field 

A lot of time can be wasted if you don’t have a centralized method for keeping track of your test sites.  For instance, paper-based water asset management systems can be lost or damaged and they are difficult to update and share. New employees may have difficulty finding sites if a centralized system isn’t used to document and identify the location.  

Properly completing inspections or maintenance tasks 

With the multitude of testing & inspections mandated by law, accurate recordkeeping is a required task in your water asset management system. If employees or contractors are not properly or accurately completing logs, it may require managers to repeat tests multiple times per day. In some cases, water department managers learn that inspectors were inspecting the wrong test site or not doing the inspections at all. 

Assigning manual work orders 

Completing paperwork orders can be a complex and wasteful practice -- they get lost, damaged or simply ignored. Handwritten work orders can especially be difficult to read, which leads to data entry mistakes. Updating these work orders into a spreadsheet or water asset management database is time-consuming and error-prone.

Manually managing outside contractors

If you are using outside contractors to conduct inspections, you know not every contractor has detailed recordkeeping systems. Keeping track of time schedules, work processes, and billing processes can be challenging if a consistent water asset management system isn’t being used. 

Completing paper-based compliance reports 

Compliance reporting for hydrant flushing inspections can be especially time-consuming when manually creating daily groundwater logs and compliance reports. This is one example of the many regulatory compliance reports that can be automated with asset management software. 

Not being able to share data 

Since logs need to be maintained for future audits, keeping a central paper-based filing system can be very labor-intensive. Keeping track of binders full of paper logs not only takes up a lot of room, but they are also difficult when trying to search for or find specific data. 

If you use a spreadsheet or a centralized, computer-based water asset management system, access often requires the administrator to be onsite or at least be able to access the report through a network server. 

Dealing with unscheduled work orders 

Emergencies and unplanned work can disrupt your day-to-day schedule, but due to their importance, these high-priority work orders must be handled quickly. If your department is short-staffed, these unplanned work orders can make it extremely difficult to keep your daily inspection processes on track.

Lack of visibility into operations

Everyone has those days when they can’t seem to keep up with all the duties required in water asset management. Especially if you’re trying to manage from the field or managing multiple projects and work crews at once. Managing the vital day-to-day operations can be extremely difficult if there isn’t a way to manage and view the total work process.   

Skipping inspection and maintenance tasks

Are your workers or contractors skipping daily tasks? Bad work habits can lead to a backlog of work that is too big to manage. Large backlogs can lead to sloppy work, incomplete work, or workers falsifying reports and documents. 

Inability to optimize inspection route planning

Planning and scheduling multiple hydrant flushing inspection routes in your can be a time consuming and aggravating process with a manual water asset management system for managing inspectors. Inefficient routes can result in traveling extra miles and consuming too much fuel.

How a cloud-based water asset management solution can improve your productivity

Using a cloud-based platform to perform inspections solves many productivity problems by providing a cost-effective water asset management solution for managing field inspections, viewing work processes, mapping and tracking assets, and automatically producing compliance reports.

A cloud-based water asset management solution can improve the recording of data and managing operations. It can also assist management with establishing planning goals and objectives to improve a community’s distribution system to stay compliant with state, local, and EPA standards.

Utility Cloud Operations Management Solution is built for the Water Industry 

Utility Cloud is a cloud-based operations management solution developed to specifically streamline public works, water, wastewater, and utilities processes. The intuitive system is easy for users to use, yet offers powerful integration and automation features such as SCADA and IoT integration. Utility Cloud has been deployed around the world, and has helped hundreds of water utilities optimize their flushing programs.

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