CIP Program Management
Municipalities and regional utilities provide drinking water, wastewater collection, treatment, and stormwater collection services to residential, commercial, and government customers. Water infrastructure systems are made up of both buried and ground level assets. These are the physical components of the system and can include: pipes, valves, tanks, pumps, wells, hydrants, treatment facilities, and any other components that make up the system. The assets that make up a water, wastewater and stormwater system generally depreciate in value over time as the system ages and deteriorates. Along with this deterioration, as the system ages over time it may become more difficult to deliver the consistent high level of service customers expect. As the costs of operating and maintening an aging system increases, utilities may be faced with burgeoning cost, pushing O&M budgets to the limit. Asset management (AM) is a methodology that can assist the municipality or utility with making better decisions on managing aging assets. Asset management is implemented in capital infrastructure by maximizing performance and minimizing the cost of acquiring, operating, maintaining, replacing, and disposing of capital assets over their life cycle. Asset Management Software and Geographic Information System (GIS) tools, provide end-to-end asset life-cycle management and may include a comprehensive asset database, an MRO inventory, an automated work-management feature, and robust reporting capabilities to enable a clear view of asset conditions.
WRMA's asset manangers are experienced in developing CIPs or "Capital Improvement Programs" for utilities seeking to strategically manage aging water infrastructure systems in order to achieve both operative and financial efficiency while maintaining systems and allocating capital resources effectively. One of the ways WRMA assists utilities in the creation of CIP Programs is through advanced water resources modeling of the various system components. Through WRMA's GIS based modeling approach, WRMA engineers can easily identify distressed assets, allowing asset managers to focus and allocate maintenance, rehabilitaiton or restoration resources on such assets prior to dealing with more stable areas of the system.
Buried Infrastructure Management
The majority of water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure includes manholes and buried sewer pipelines. Over the next two decades utilities nationwide will spend extensively to address aging underground infrastructure. Some estimates place that cost around 300 billion dollars. Asset Managers face difficult decisions every day in prioritizing urgent needs. They do it while trying to avert system failures, protect public health and achieve regulatory compliance. WRMA engineers are very experienced with aging buried infrastructure systems and understand the costs and consequences of significant system failures. WRMA applies a proactive, approach in developing plans to repair or replace pipelines, and use the latest technologies to perform condition assessment and inspection of pipelines. WRMA's sewer rehabilitation engineers are experts in trenchless technologies for pipeline rehabilitation. WRMA engineers apply a structured process to prioritize projects based on risk, probability and consequences of failure while considering regulatory issues, system performance and customer service.
Collection System Program Management
Establishing a regular maintenance and sewer rehabilitation program for municipal sewer collection systems is crucial to providing a consistent and high quality level of service. WRMA's sanitary engineers can assist utility managers by designing and implementing a collection system management program that will achieve organizational objectives while satisfying capital and O&M budgets and providing a degree of flexibility for utility managers to respond to emergency situations. Without a collection system management program, managing hundreds (or even thousands) of miles of sanitary sewer pipeline can be an arduous task and under certain conditions, poorly designed, built, managed, operated, and/or maintained systems can pose risks to public health, the environment, or both. Risks arise from sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) due to broken or collapsed pipes and surcharged manholes. Effective and continuous management, operation, and maintenance, as well as ensuring adequate capacity and rehabilitation when necessary, are critical to maintaining collection system capacity and performance and reducing SSO events. Over the last decade, many major U.S. cities have been sued by the Federal Government and environmental organizations for large numbers of SSO events in environmentally sensitive areas, resulting in multi-billion dollar court mandated consent orders to reduce SSO pollution.
A sanitary sewer overflow (SSO) is any overflow, spill, release, discharge or diversion of untreated or partially treated wastewater from a sanitary sewer system. SSOs often contain high levels of suspended solids, pathogenic organisms, toxic pollutants, nutrients, oil, and grease. SSOs pollute surface and ground waters, threaten public health, adversely affect aquatic life, and impair the recreational use and aesthetic enjoyment of surface waters. Typical consequences of SSOs include the closure of beaches and other recreational areas, inundated properties, and polluted rivers and streams. The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program prohibits discharges of pollutants from any point source into the nation’s waters except as authorized under an NPDES permit. EPA and state NPDES inspectors evaluate collection systems and treatment plants to determine compliance with permit conditions including proper O&M. Depending on the age of the system and volume of wastewater discharge, WRMA's collection system program management services may include performing Sanitary Sewer Evaluation Surveys (SSES) as well as the preparation of NPDES permits for municipal or industrial clients.