Orange Water and Sewer Authority, North Carolina

Orange Water and Sewer Authority (OWASA) is a public, nonprofit agency providing water, sewer, and reclaimed water to the towns of Carrboro and Chapel Hill, North Carolina, including the University of North Carolina. OWASA provides service to approximately 80,000 residents through more than 20,000 customer accounts and maintains approximately 390 miles of water lines and 321 miles of sewer lines.

Prior to crew leaders creating work orders in Cityworks Anywhere in the field, OWASA had one technician in the office who created work orders using Cityworks Desktop and printed each work order with a coordinating paper map. These documents were then given to each crew leader who followed up on the tasks, wrote notes about work performed on the work orders, and returned the paperwork to a technician in the office who entered the information into Cityworks.

OWASA field and TV inspection crews use 11 Panasonic semi-rugged Toughbooks running Windows XP with Anywhere 4.5 and an Esri ArcEngine 9.3.1 license. Currently, most crew leaders do not have wireless internet access. They operate in a disconnected environment in the field using DataPump to move data from the production SQL Server Cityworks database to the local SQL Express database. A local copy of the GIS data is maintained on the Toughbooks and each user updates the data weekly by copying the latest GIS data from the network to the local drive.

OWASA has one additional user, the Locator, who has a wireless connection with an aircard on a Toughbook. In addition to Cityworks Anywhere, he uses ArcMap, Cityworks Desktop, and Dig-Smart software to receive locate requests throughout the day. OWASA set up this system to enable the user to more effectively do his job and eliminate repeat visits to the office to pick up locate information.

Beth Canada, GIS Coordinator, stated, “Our new workflow utilizing Cityworks in the field has increased efficiency drastically, decreased data entry mistakes, and allowed for faster work order completion and reporting.”

Using an integration with Cityworks and ITpipes software, OWASA’s TV inspection crews have found an effective field solution in which they utilize a Toughbook, ArcMap, Cityworks Desktop, and ITpipes. Prior to this integration, the crew had paper maps and a standalone PC in the inspection truck where they burned the data to a CD to take back to the office at the end of the day. Manually typing the information was time-consuming and prone to error. There was no central repository for the inspection data and no integration with GIS or Cityworks.

The ITpipes software has a module that allows users to select sewer mains that will be inspected and the GIS data (pipe size, material, upstream and downstream manhole number IDs, etc.) which is automatically transferred to the inspection software. With the Cityworks/ITpipes integration the crew performs an inspection and all video, snapshots, and observations are recorded in the ITpipes inspection software while data is stored on the Toughbook local hard drive. At the end of the day, crew members return to the office, create Cityworks work orders for inspections performed, and use the ITpipes Cityworks Integration Module which automatically syncs inspection data from the laptop to Cityworks and the inspection master database located on the server.

The efficiencies and automation of processes in the new sewer inspection workflow has resulted in more TV inspections being performed. The integration with Cityworks allows field crews to quickly access inspection data and schedule immediate repairs. They can focus on preventive maintenance and identifying areas for potential sewer rehab projects.

Ms. Canada continues, “The use of Cityworks by crews in the field has resulted in a paperless system, allowing field crews to complete work orders while on-site and access GIS maps. Crew leaders can more effectively plan their days by viewing work order locations on a map and assign resources needed. Work order data entry is faster and more complete resulting in more efficient and timely reporting.”

Beth Canada, GIS Coordinator, Orange Water and Sewer Authority, North Carolina

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