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Did you know that every year, 35% of water violations are inaccurately reported, or not reported at all? Water and wastewater asset management has seen much improvement in the past 20 years, from fewer (reported) compliance violations to elongated asset lifetimes, but there’s still a need to grow and improve.
Across all utilities, reporting is often an uphill battle -- from MOR and DBPR to MS4 and LCR -- and while many organizations think they’re solving this problem through digitalization, this can bring its own set of problems and obstacles between utilities and compliance reporting.
There are many best practices to avoid regulatory violations in water and wastewater, and they’re a good first step to reduce violations. But what about after you’ve covered the basics, and your organization is still facing the same difficult challenges?
Every year, 9% of community water systems violate at least one health-based quality standard -- impacting over 21 million people.
In our 2020 state of water survey, only 57% of water utilities reported using technology in compliance reporting, while ¾ reported using technology in work order management -- revealing a large opportunity for organizations to integrate technology and solutions to manage compliance reporting and reduce violations.
While over half of water and wastewater utilities use have digitalized their compliance reporting, that percentage should be significantly higher considering it’s 2020. But even with technology in place to manage this, the process still has pitfalls.
Integrated utility asset management solutions for compliance have a lot of upsides, including:
Oftentimes, the software or technology itself is the ultimate downfall of compliance, regardless of intention. Automating and digitalizing your compliance reporting might seem like a good idea, but most organizations use separate systems for asset management and compliance reporting.
Too many siloed systems create data errors, inconsistent reports and burdening management processes. Using multiple different platforms across water asset management leads to confusion, lost data and decreased accountability across the teams -- making it easier to blame the software, or altogether missing errors.
Now, there are systems that integrate compliance reporting and asset management within one environment, making water utilities’ operational management consistent and consolidated. That way, users can collect and query data from different roles and functions within one place, improving data quality and therefore reducing the amount of incorrect or missed compliance violations.
Another error many water utilities organizations struggle with is the old-fashioned manual processes traditionally found in the industry. While this is certainly doable, it’s not timely, efficient or productive use of resources.
The right solution should include sampling and compliance reporting workflows that use field data to auto-generate and publish reports, meeting industry standards and generating reports without doing additional work and making sure there are no errors.
Across industry and vertical, organizations have developed automation solutions for nearly every aspect of life. The automation and streamlining processes that once burdened crews and employees now means your employees can reallocate the time saved from data entry and manual processes.
There’s long-term ROI in upfront investments in shifting technological ecosystems, making your organization sustainable both now and in the future.
If you’re beginning to develop a modernized new asset management plan and you’re not sure where to begin, you can use our guide to water utility asset management and create your plan. And if you already know you’re ready to make the change, you can find the right solution for your organization with this buyer’s guide.