The City of Aurora is home to over 370,000 people and is Colorado’s third-largest city. Their wastewater system consists of approximately 1,100 miles of underground piping network. The mission of Aurora Water’s planning service department is to:
“Enhance and protect the quality of life for Aurora citizens by providing safe, dependable and sustainable water, sewer, and stormwater services, today and in the future.”
Steve Simon, a Principal Engineer at Aurora Water, helps the City to achieve this goal by working with his team to develop and administer Aurora Water’s asset management program.
Historically, the City of Aurora relied on contracting the design and selection of their asset rehabilitation plans to third parties every other year. The resulting costs amounted to hundreds of thousands of dollars each time the city needed to update their biennial plans.
This drove Aurora Water to pursue a solution that enabled their asset management team to take their repair and rehabilitation planning in-house.
At first, Simon and his team relied on traditional tools to manage their wastewater assets. “We tried performing the prioritization through our CMMS and Excel, neither of which were successful. That led us to InfoAsset Planner which has been able to successfully accomplish our prioritization needs.” Simon said.
While spreadsheets provide an easily accessible and common tool for basic data capture and analysis, they do not always remain manageable and consistent in their use.
As an alternative, software specifically designed for asset management purposes provides a single source of truth based on sound data that comes directly from work orders, CCTV inspection, and GIS data.
In describing how the software fits in the Aurora Water’s Sewer section, “InfoAsset Planner is run through the Aurora Water planning services department and is technically supported by in-house GIS and planning staff,” Simon said.
It helps Aurora’s asset management teams to prescribe the right actions to most effectively maintain pipes in their system. Through a decision tree, engineers can map out rehabilitation plans from a perspective that is logical, defensible, and transparent to all stakeholders. “Planning services runs the InfoAsset Planner Decision Tree to output the Cured-In-Place-Pipe (CIPP) recommended lines and provides that information to the engineering department's Wastewater Principal Engineer. The Wastewater Principal Engineer leads the effort to do the final screen and selection list from the candidate list provided by planning services staff,” he added.
Simon and his team have been able to simplify and improve their in-house rehabilitation planning. Specifically, “We can do the selection of lines for our every-other-year wastewater pipeline CIPP rehab program internally at a far less cost than what we used to do by contract. We also believe it to be more accurate because we can customize the logic exactly to our liking,” he described.
While at the moment Simon and his team rely primarily on the software’s rehab planning logic, they expect to conduct more risk and criticality modeling in the near future to help forecast future budget needs. In the software, this is done by predictive modeling based directly on asset data points like location, material, age, and size. A risk-matrix based on the consequence of failure (COF) and the likelihood of failure (LOF) parameters prioritizes the highest risk assets so that rehabilitation can be planned in-line with budgets and long-term planning goals.
In closing, Simon summarized the savings that Aurora Water has enjoyed since their implementation of the software. “We can now do internally what we would previously do by contract. This will – and already has - saved us a lot of money in consulting fees,” he said.