Leveraging Existing Data to Develop a Robust Asset Management Program

Last Modified: Feb 26, 2015


  • Sean FitzGerald - Hazen and Sawyer

For Sanitation District No. 1 in Kentucky, we developed and implemented an innovative Continuous Sewer Assessment Program, based on the principles of Asset Management, that uses historical data to develop basin-wide priority scores for structural and service conditions.

Many utilities throughout the United States are facing the reality that their underground sewer assets are deteriorating and many have reached the end of their useful lives. In addition, many are struggling to reduce overflows caused by excessive I/I, and blockages from roots and grease. Utilities struggle to understand how much to spend, where to spend, and when to spend (beyond the initial, more obvious targets).

By taking an asset management approach and using powerful asset management tools to leverage existing data, utilities can develop a framework and a plan of action to develop a dynamic understanding of system condition, then prioritize where activities should be focused first. The asset management approach, which is a risk-based approach, enables a utility to adapt its spending and priorities based on the ever increasing base of system knowledge. A true asset management approach is a flexible and adaptive framework for developing and refining budgets, providing a valuable measure of continuity and adaptability to the planning process and allowing the process to do more than create plans that sit on shelves.

This presentation, originally given at the 2015 SCEC conference in March, illustrates how to utilize existing data – and how to efficiently target new data – to successfully implement an asset management approach. The success of this approach is demonstrated through a couple of case studies. One is the Continuous Sewer Assessment Program for Sanitation District No. 1 of Northern Kentucky which was developed in 2007 and started implementation in 2008. This program was developed maximizing existing data and recent data has been used to develop their Business Risk Exposure (BRE) combining concepts of Probability of Failure (PoF) and Consequence of Failure (CoF) into a risk score. The program was also used to develop an informed 20-year Asset Renewal Funding plan for its sewer and stormwater assets. A second case study is the Jefferson County Asset Management Program which is currently being developed and implemented. For this program, a long term cleaning and assessment program was developed using available data with a risk assessment tool that leverages spatial and non-spatial data to develop risk values. The program has so far reduced dry weather overflows by 40%.

Other presentation highlights include:

- Decision support tools to develop a prioritized rehabilitation plan.

- Flow data analysis tools to efficiently manage and analyze flow data so that prioritization for SSES activities can be done.

- Training and SOPs to empower staff to be more efficient and effective.

For more information, or a copy of the full presentation, contact Sean FitzGerald at sfitzgerald@hazenandsawyer.com.

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