Nobel Systems’ recent roundtable discussing Utility Operations Management using GeoViewer was a great success. Several hundred attendees joined three leaders of local Southern California water utilities for the virtual event.
Our three panelists, Tom Coleman, GM of Rowland Water District, Mark Ban, GM of Joshua Basin Water District, and Michael Miazga, IT Manager of El Toro Water District, talked about how each district uses GeoViewer to manage operations in a variety of ways.
From billing, real-time pressure monitoring, and tracking inventory to processing work orders and data gathering and reporting, the three water districts have found A to Z possibilities to use the real-time, location-based GeoViewer system.
Read some highlights below or watch the video to learn how Nobel Systems’ real-time, location-based GeoViewer Asset and Operations Management system enables water utility operators to efficiently and cost-effectively manage operations.
Inventory Tracking and Real-Time Water Monitoring
Tom Coleman talked about how Rowland Water District first used GeoViewer on iPads and desktops for tracking warehouse inventory.
The district then explored ways to use IoT (Internet of Things) to monitor water pressure in real-time throughout its distribution system.
“Our service area has a topography that is very hilly, and our reservoirs are up in the hills,” Coleman explained.
He described how the reservoirs are in an industrial area, and many eighteen-wheeler trucks drive through and occasionally hit fire hydrants causing emergency leaks.
Before the district started using Nobel Systems’ GeoViewer Leak Module, district operators would see an enormous drop in the pressure indicating a leak but did not know where the problem originated until someone reported it.
Now, with twelve strategically located pressure monitors, if a leak occurs within the district’s distribution system, GeoViewer, which works in real-time, immediately sends an alert to the appropriate manager or operator.
“When somebody shears a fire hydrant these days, we’re pretty certain when it happens, where it happens, and we’re able to track it down and respond much faster,” Coleman said. “Also, it’s great for getting credit in the unaccounted for water loss audits that we all have to do now, too.”
Coleman also talked about how the district used GeoViewer during the pandemic to monitor staff shifts and communications.
Disconnected Mode and Billing Systems
Michael Miazga of El Toro Water talked about the benefits of using GeoViewer in disconnected mode, mentioning concerns about earthquakes and other possible disasters disrupting communications.
“Everyone in their truck would still have an atlas book and all of the as-built on their iPad, as it [GeoViewer] still works with no cell service,” Miazga said.
Miazga explained the district started with GeoViewer’s Work Order module to add generator inspections and sewer tickets.
“We’ve probably got 20 to 25 different activities that we’re tracking with GeoViewer,” Miazga said.
“One of the biggest development benefits that we’ve had with GeoViewer has been their integration with our billing system, which our customer service staff uses in the field to work on their service orders … [It] goes both ways, so if somebody creates a service order in our billing system it gets pushed out to the iPad to the worker in the field, and they’re able to work on the ticket in the field, update it, [and] close it. It all updates in our billing system.”
Pipeline Replacement and Water Sampling
Mark Ban of Joshua Tree Water talked about how the district tracks inventory and progress of a pipeline replacement plan in the works.
“We started a pipeline replacement crew last year,” Ban said, “where we’re replacing anywhere from 25,000 to 30,000 feet of pipe a year and being able to actually control inventory, produce dailies from that program, and have a whole host of reporting tools that are available for us as staff to be able to take to our board to show the progress that we’re making. Also, to be able to report to the state at the end of the year.”
Another area where Joshua Tree uses GeoViewer is for water quality reporting and sampling.
“[Nobel] been able to take all of our sample sites and automate our chain of custody process. That’s where we can actually go out there and make it an easy training for new employees that are coming through to be able to complete our sampling.”
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