Can You Use Public Works Asset Management Software for Water and Wastewater Utilities?
You might be getting the message from your City Manager that you have to move your utility over to the public works asset management system that other departments are using.
There is a trend among municipalities to try to streamline their enterprise applications for asset management. This is a good effort. Too many cities have bloated IT departments trying to manage far too many applications and very little value is actually being achieved.
But leave your utilities out of this consolidation.
Public works asset management software is an important part of your city's overall asset management plan and there are lots of great vendors out there. We think Pubworks is a strong solution for managing public works assets like roads, streetlights, street sign programs and parks and recreation facilities.
Assets like these are very different from the kind of assets you find in a water or wastewater plant or in your distribution or collection network. Public works assets are generally static and their condition does not change rapidly or catastrophically for the most part. Maintenance plans are fairly simple and can be managed on a predictable calendar basis. These assets are also usually distributed above ground and can be managed primarily through a GIS-driven application based on location.
In contrast, utility assets are much more complex and dynamic. They can fail quickly and dramatically with potentially catastrophic consequences for the health and safety of operators and your community. And while network pipes are distributed in a similar way to roads, these assets are mostly underground and invisible. A GIS-driven application is helpful for managing your network but it doesn't work for your managing your treatment plants, where multiple assets inhabit a single geo-location on a map.
Utility assets require a much more rigorous approach to asset management and maintenance planning that includes failure mode management, asset performance management, preventative maintenance, intelligent work scheduling, criticality and risk management, targeted resource allocation and decision support for capital planning.
MentorAPM is a cloud solution that easily integrates with other application through APIs. Our streamlined implementation and integration process, combined with our commonsense, value focused licensing, supports the aims of city managers who are trying to simplify their IT departments and lower costs.
Treatment plants are highly complex facilities, filled with complex systems and complex assets. If you’re trying to use a GIS based public works asset management system you are missing out on a whole world of opportunity to run your plant better, avoid failures and ensure service delivery. You need more than a work ticketing and asset tracking system. MentorAPM is the first asset management system for both vertical and horizontal assets and delivers the kind of asset management decision support you need for effective water and wastewater utility asset management.
Don't try to make the wrong kind of solution work for your utilities. The health and safety of our communities is far too important.