Built on a barrier island along the southwest coast of Florida, Marco Island officials have long been concerned about the potential damage resulting from inclement weather. Shortly after purchasing the water and sewer departments from Florida Water Services in 2004, the city commissioned a vulnerability study to identify potential problems and level of damage that might occur as a result of severe weather. Among the study recommendations was the suggestion to implement a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) to catalog and manage the care of the city’s infrastructure. With an eye on the future, the city’s selection committee determined the CMMS should be heavily based on the existing GIS to best serve the organization’s and the citizens’ needs.
At the same time, Marco Island Utilities was beginning a septic tank replacement project. The state-mandated project requires homeowners to replace their septic tank and connect to the local sewer collection system. Septic tanks pose a real problem for barrier islands, as effluent from the tanks is prone to find its way into nearby ocean waters. The city selected Cityworks to meet both these and other asset and maintenance management needs.
The City of Marco Island implemented Cityworks in a two-phase process. Phase one installed the software remotely and proved to be a fast, efficient, and affordable solution.
“This turned out to be a great benefit because it allowed us to see exactly what it takes to get a database up and running,” said Don Blalock, Asset Manager for Marco Island Utilities. “I believe we were up and running, and functioning at full speed in a matter of three months.” Phase two included further deploying the software on all city machines and training staff. The implementation process was carried out by Azteca Systems Inc.
Marco Island saw instant results in vehicle maintenance, valve and auto-flusher exercise programs, and plant maintenance and repairs. “We’re keeping better track of our vehicle maintenance,” Blalock explained. “It’s less of a burden on city employees. You don’t have to think about it — you just collect your mileage and Cityworks pretty much tells you when things need to be done.”
In the valve exercise program, Cityworks has helped to eliminate duplication of effort and provided the city with a good idea of how much it costs to exercise each valve. Cityworks helped locate all auto-flushers and pinpoint future locations in order to complete the program.
With a significant seasonal population, many homeowners are only part-time residents. As a result, water usage drops dramatically. Auto-flushers are used to purge water lines on dead ends and cul-de-sacs to ensure a clean flow of drinking water to the full-time residents. “This is something we started five years ago,” continued Blalock. “It started with Cityworks and is now almost completed.”
Cityworks has had the biggest impact in the water treatment plant maintenance and repair programs, organizing preventative and reactive work orders. Before Cityworks, employees would hand write work order after work order on the same item. “Cityworks helps us keep track of the work we’re doing such that, when we get a work order in on a product, we can quickly tell if it’s a duplicate,” said Blalock. “The nice thing about it is they can track their own work orders now. It’s not something that leaves their desk and they never see again. They can actually see what’s being done and what was done on that asset.”
Return on Investment & Benefits
With Cityworks, Marco Island has seen solid returns from its investment in man-hour savings and in placing assets on preventative maintenance programs. From the valve-exercising program, the city now has the ability to easily calculate monthly water loss and affect repairs to mitigate issues. Data collected while visiting each valve is available in a matter of minutes instead of weeks, resulting in quicker and better decisions; and by simply eliminating duplicate valve visits, the city is saving thousands of dollars. Establishing the vehicle maintenance program has saved thousands of dollars annually in premature oil changes and over billing.
“Cityworks definitely helped get our valve exercise program running efficiently,” Blalock said. “We now have specific, more direct routes, saving time and money. These maps are a great benefit and the staff really like them. Duplicate work orders have been reduced dramatically and, using Cityworks, the person generating the work order can take ownership of it and track it to completion. And from a larger view, staff has a better understanding of when a vehicle’s maintenance cost becomes excessive to the point of requiring a replacement.”
For the Future
Future plans for Cityworks at the City of Marco Island include adding Storeroom to their soon-to-be completed facility. In addition, the city is preparing to implement Cityworks Server, the browser–based, GIS-centric operations and maintenance solution, for the entire city. In conjunction, staff will identify assets in all four of their utility plants, making these infrastructure elements available to Cityworks.
The city currently uses Cityworks to manage water distribution, raw water collection and treatment, wastewater collection, re-use distribution, and storm water. Specific assets such as vehicles, equipment, sea walls, bridges, street signs, propane and natural gas pipelines, and parcels are also maintained with Cityworks.