Fort Worth Water Department Sees Quick ROI after Deploying ITpipes Inspections Solution
By Darrell Gadberry, Regulatory and Environmental Coordinator and Mark Shell, IT Business Systems Coordinator
With more than 3,050 miles of sewer and eight closed-circuit television (CCTV) crews, Fort Worth Water Department (FTWWD) maintains two comprehensive sewer inspection programs. These programs—the Sanitary Sewer Condition Assessment (SSCA) Program and Interceptor Condition Assessment Program (ICAP)—include internal and external resources. With SSCA and ICAP, the utility inspects 284 miles of smalldiameter pipe and 36 miles of larger pipe, respectively, per year.
Finding a Break in Asset Inspections Each year, we produce 30 to 40 SSCA and ICAP reports. With all this data, we needed a robust system for inspection management and inventory. In 2008, our spatial model had break nodes at changes in diameter, material, alignment, and other items. This posed a major challenge with CCTV, which is generally tracked asset to asset or manhole to manhole. Due to our break-node spatial model, we could have several assets within one break or several breaks within one asset. This made it difficult to integrate inspection data with industrystandard applications. We also found it hard to have a clear understanding of how inspections, operations, and maintenance being performed related back to the GIS. In order to take full advantage of our spatial data, we would spend hours clipping out projects and editing each one. Producing those SSCA and ICAP reports translated to 700–900 of labor hours annually. In addition, our supervisor and assistant supervisor would have to invest significant time each week in transferring data to the office from inspection vehicles. Since projects were coming in at various stages of completion, this process also allowed errors and omissions. We estimate that we dedicated 600–800 labor hours to this process annually. With help from Esri’s team, we made a major move in our GIS from “trunk” sewer lines, which were only distinguishable by referencing stationing numbers along points ranging from grade breaks to manholes, to manholeto-manhole segments with independent names. We no longer require the cumbersome tasks associated with the stationing of upstream and downstream footage measurements.
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Direct Return on Investment
Implementing the Esri model for water and wastewater geodatabase design was quick. But perhaps even better, we were able to document our return on investment (ROI). FTWWD estimates that moving to the industry standard and integrating with partner solutions ITpipes GIS SendIT, ViewIT, and Sync applications will save approximately 1,300 to 1,700 labor hours annually. In addition, by displaying infrastructure and associated documents on any smart device through ArcGIS Online, we are saving a minimum of $150,000 in printing and distribution annually.