Before the development of defect coding catalogs, a big issue facing sewer maintenance supervisors was consistent data. How could they take qualitative observations and turn it into measurable, actionable information? Many cities created their own defect catalogs, while others chose to tweak catalogs from other countries to fit. After the National Association of Sewer Service Companies (NASSCO) released their Pipeline Assessment and Certification Program (PACP) to the U.S., cities were able to drop their custom defect catalogs for an out-of-the-box catalog. Using the codes and ratings from PACP allows camera operators to log observations cleanly and consistently from pipe to pipe, inspection to inspection over time. Supervisors and engineers can compare defects from different parts of their system, inspected by different operators on different days, using their computers to analyze and prioritize repairs.
Water and wastewater systems are a vital aspect of our daily lives, and any upset to these systems can have a ripple effect that impacts entire communities. That’s why it’s essential for water utility companies in earthquake zones to understand the threat these disasters pose to their systems and adequately prepare for emergency situations. To minimize damage and decrease recovery time, municipalities need to take an active role in earthquake preparation.
On October 11, 2018 the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly passed the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), and now the bill is on its way to the president's desk. The WRDA is a set of laws that manage and fund the nation’s water resources. Led by the U.S. Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the measure provides for needed investments in the nation’s ports, channels, locks, dams and other infrastructure that support the maritime and waterways transportation system and provide flood protection for homes and businesses. WRDA legislation is historically passed every two years. However, in recent years, Congress has only been able to enact three WRDA bills: in 2007, 2014 and 2016.
Last week the WinCan team joined thousands of contractors, municipalities and other experts in wastewater management at WEFTEC 2018 in New Orleans, LA. Visitors kept the floor team busy throughout the show, and many familiar faces stopped by the booth. Trade shows are a unique opportunity to bring software demos to people in real time, and the WinCan team can see how people are interacting with sewer asset management software.
Every wastewater system is unique: Age, geography, pipe materials, rehab methods, and climate all shape infrastructure over time. But even in the diverse landscape of American utilities, some systems stand out.
Deploying major enterprise software can be a daunting task, especially for a municipality or contractor working with legacy systems. New technology can disrupt workflows and daily operations and may require significant staff training. Some organizations delay upgrades and improvements simply to avoid the temporary inconvenience and loss of productivity. Eventually, however, new software is necessary; the disadvantages of hanging onto an obsolete system far outweigh the appeal of sticking to the status quo. To ensure that your transition — whether to a new asset management solution, email platform or sewer inspection software — is smooth, follow these best practices.
Cities are constantly pressured to find new ways to cut expenses while maintaining a high quality of service for ratepayers. Shifts in federal and state funding — in combination with aging, degraded sewer systems — make this task even more difficult. In many cases, municipalities end up working equipment for longer and fall into a pattern of reactive maintenance and delaying major repairs. But there are serious consequences to putting off the inevitable. Crises, by nature, are unexpected emergencies, but that doesn’t mean municipalities can’t plan for them and prepare their collection systems for events like natural disasters.
It may be hard to imagine how augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) reach beyond video games and high tech. Yet these technologies, known together as mixed reality (MR), are more accessible than one might think. Mainstream audiences got to experience them every day at Disneyland for fifteen years on Soarin’ Over California. The ride, which debuted in 2001, immersed guests in an MR aerial adventure. In addition to video and audio, flourishes of AR brought the experience to life: Small fans cast a gentle breeze across riders, and an orange-scented mist wafted through the air as they passed over video orange fields. And while the simulated experience didn’t quite capture the real life one, when families stepped off the ride, many felt as if they had truly flown across the state.