America’s aging water infrastructure has become a growing issue that seems to inevitably creep up on many utilities without the necessary resources to stave off the compliance and operational problems aging equipment causes.

Smaller water operations for rural communities often face disadvantages compared to their larger counterparts, like lack of funding or access to new technology and analysis tools. However, maintenance and proper asset management are crucial to maintaining and sustaining regulation and expansion requirements.

What Are Maintenance and Asset Management?

Maintenance and asset management are the active monitoring and planning of upkeep for different parts of the water utility system through predictive data. While emergency repairs will always be a part of the job, predictive maintenance and asset management are great ways to keep your utility ahead of the curve with long-term planning.

Five Reasons Why Water Plant Maintenance and Asset Management are Important.

Water plant maintenance and asset management are essential for water and wastewater operations to consistently deliver high-quality water to consumers in their service area.

1. Maintaining water quality and demand

Every time your customers turn on their tap, they expect clean water. Water utilities have to be on top of their maintenance schedules and understand how their assets perform to maintain optimum quality.

2. Lowering system downtime

The best running utilities use maintenance management to keep downtime at a minimum for customers. If a utility doesn’t budget for regular, long-term maintenance, they often end up with significant unplanned, emergency repairs or replacement projects that disrupt customer service.

3. Financial planning for maintenance and system updates

Maintenance and asset management help utilities of every size see where they need to focus their budget dollars for the foreseeable future. The use of data, whether from analysis tools or predictive models, helps utility planners and staff see when repairs and updates are needed and plan proactively.

4. Educating customers on water system updates

Unfortunately, many Americans don’t know the value of their water or how much system updates cost. Communication with customers and community decision-makers is key to successfully implementing pricing structure changes to cover long-term system update and replacement costs.

Whenever a utility uses maintenance and asset management, they give themselves data to help consumers and community decision-makers understand why they make rate changes, supporting those changes with factual information. 

5. Water conservation efforts

Utilities that use asset management can detect and prevent costly leaks. Leak prevention saves utilities and customers money and ensures that the system doesn’t waste this valuable resource.

Three Ways to Maximize Your Utility’s Maintenance and Asset Management Plan

1. Assess your current operation

Take inventory of your current maintenance plans and how your assets are working for your utility’s operation. A few questions that you may need to ask are:

  • What consistent problems do you have? 
  • How much data are you able to collect from your current instrumentation or SCADA systems? 
  • Is data being distributed and analyzed across the operation to help employees make informed decisions? 

It’s essential to make sure that valuable data isn’t siloed. It needs to be shared across the operation to help everyone make decisions that optimize your utility’s performance.

2. Start small

Creating a management plan for your entire plant all at once can be daunting, especially if you are already understaffed. Start with a particular group of assets and take data points from their performance. Small groups give you a specific group you can monitor. From there, you can expand your analysis to other parts of the operation.

3. Partner with a professional water and wastewater operations company

Working with a professional water and wastewater operations company with a proven track record, like Alliance Water Resources, can help your utility tackle maintenance and compliance issues to get you back on track. Water and wastewater operations can help you set up a maintenance schedule and asset management system. 

Is your utility turning to short-term solutions for long-term problems when it comes to your system maintenance? Take control and contact Alliance Water Resources today. 

At Alliance, we’ve helped water operations with financial planning, maintenance, billing, system updates, asset management and more. See how we can help your utility stay compliant and running at maximum efficiency on our case studies page.