It’s impossible to ignore the impact that AI is having on utility management and the wastewater industry. Municipalities and contractors that have gotten their hands on the technology are already seeing returns, and while adoption may be gradual, forward-thinking decision-makers are educating themselves and their teams about where AI could fit into operation and maintenance workflows.
Balancing the bandwidth of essential utilities can be like walking a tightrope. Employee salaries, equipment costs and a variety of operational expenses are just a few of the bandwidth constraints municipalities face. To mitigate these constraints, water utilities are turning to digital, cloud-based solutions that not only help cut down time per inspection but also eliminate various manual tasks. With the help of AI and integrated technology, utilities can do more with the employee bandwidth and equipment they already have.
Geneva, Switzerland — capital of the Genève canton and the second most populated city in the country — is an iconic municipality situated on the southwestern border with France. It's here at the foot of the Alps that V. Guimet Fils SA works to provide maintenance and sanitation services to improve community health and protect the local environment. With more than 100 employees and 40 rapid intervention vehicles on standby, the Guimet Fils SA team boasts 24-hour service, conducting inspections and rehabilitation projects for the entire canton, an area of over 100 square miles (280 km2).
There are lots of opportunities for important sewer data to fall through the cracks in the journey from collection to analysis. If data is stored, transferred and shared in physical formats such as paper, it is at greater risk of loss than data stored in secure, digital environments. Digital data storage offers much more reliable containers for sewer data than physical methods. Not to mention, inspection software with NASSCO-certified coding modules helps ensure outgoing data aligns with the proper condition assessment standard. These and other factors can impact the accuracy, completeness and usability of your data.
Innovation in the wastewater industry is thriving. Sewer teams have begun to adopt technologies like AI and HD video capture to propel everyday workflows. Federal funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is enabling utilities across the country to address aging infrastructure. And sewer inspection teams of every size are transitioning to cloud-based data solutions that keep them connected and tracking projects more efficiently. The infrastructure world is changing fast, and 2023 is setting the stage for shifts in technology and workflow efficiency.
When your sewer team works closely with other municipal departments, it’s essential to have clear pathways from your inspection database to your asset database. WinCan’s integration with Cartegraph’s municipal asset management platform enables wastewater utilities to work closely with broader infrastructure teams to ensure that the city’s data is accurate, up-to-date and ready for analysis. Designed to help communities sync their sewer data and streamline their asset management workflows, Cartegraph is a natural companion for WinCan’s sewer inspection management capabilities. Our integration delivers a fast, complete data transfer that supports more flexible workflows and helps you get the most out of both solutions.
Data management is quickly becoming one of the biggest challenges municipalities face. While data related to municipal assets can lend valuable insights, many communities are still learning how to analyze, manage and store data efficiently. When it comes to collection systems, the convenience of advanced sewer technology has allowed utilities to collect more asset and maintenance data than ever before. But until recently, the data flow from inspection to asset management teams has been hampered by unreliable internet connections, siloed sewer databases and slow data transfer methods. Today, sewer data is collected and processed with integrated software that can quickly transfer information from one industry-leading platform to another, updating municipal asset databases, in real time.
Artificial intelligence, or AI, has entered the sewer market in a big way. Not only is it expediting sewer inspection workflows, it’s providing an avenue for data to be organized, analyzed and updated automatically. The rippling effects of AI-powered defect coding alone are quickly changing the way municipalities approach sewer maintenance and asset management. And with ROI often top of mind for most municipal sewer teams, WinCan’s Sewermatics is already delivering positive results for AI defect coding projects.
The wastewater industry is seeing shifts in core workflows, creating trends toward more efficient tech and more resilient infrastructure. In particular, use of artificial intelligence (AI) will continue to spread as municipalities migrate toward predominantly cloud-based workflows. But beyond technology, the United States is putting renewed effort into rehabilitating infrastructure, with more cities investing in sustainable, resilient sewer systems with the ability to adapt in the face of extreme weather.
WinCan has continued its innovative approach to sewer inspection by releasing new products and services this year. From powerful AI defect coding to entirely cloud-based inspection workflows, 2021 has been a full year for the development team at WinCan, and we are looking forward to an even better year in 2022.