Terrebonne Parish Consolidated Water - Sedaru Q/A

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Case Study - Terrebonne Parish Consolidated Water - Sedaru Q/A

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MAPPING OUT A COURSE FOR THE FUTURE WITH SEDARU 

Consolidated Waterworks No. 1, of Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana (CWW), has deployed the Sedaru smart water enterprise software as a real-time, business operating platform for customer service, operations, and planning decision support. Sedaru connects with CWW's Esri GIS, its customer information system (CIS), and serves as its computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) to deliver integrated, role-based analytics across CWW's enterprise. 

With Sedaru, CWW personnel have the tools they need to make their jobs easier, complete their tasks faster, and make more informed decisions. Sedaru currently provides CWW substantial operations and maintenance efficiencies, helps them deliver the best service to their customers, empowers their field crews, and yields an estimated annual savings of almost $350,000. 

Collin DeGueurce, GIS Manager, and Mary Trahan, Operations Manager, sat down with IDModeling to share their experiences and thoughts since the deployment of Sedaru. 

 

1.  How is Sedaru helping Consolidated Waterworks implement a "smart water network"? 

When we started with GIS at CWW, the only data sharing capability with non-GIS staff was through paper maps and reports. With Sedaru, our entire staff has access to our distribution system maps, 24/7 on their iPads. As daily work occurs, map symbology changes on the fly, which makes our maps smart. 

As a simple example, if a valve was operated for a line shutdown and the valve stem broke, the operator just selects ‘inoperable’ in the operating condition drop down list and the valve symbol changes color. This provides a valuable visual aid that’s instantly shared with all our operators in the field and increases productivity; we don’t waste time trying to operate inoperable valves. The knowledge of one operator is immediately shared with the whole team.
 

2.  Could you provide specific time and cost savings examples since you deployed Sedaru? 

We have seen quantifiable increases in efficiency from using Sedaru. For example, our customer service personnel in the field are able to save two hours per day each by having the tasks sent directly to their Sedaru iPads instead of using paper workflows and needing to visit the office to gather all of the necessary paperwork for each customer. 

We estimate that reduced driving time and increased efficiency for the customer service group saves us approximately $120,000 per year. 

Our maintenance crews are also saving time using Sedaru. We have seen efficiency increases and reductions in wasted water. For example, crews are no longer wasting time trying to shut water off with inoperable valves. Overall, we conservatively estimate an increase in efficiency of at least 20% and are confident that number will rise as we deploy Sedaru further in our organization. This translates into a current estimated savings in the maintenance group of approximately $200,000. We expect this to increase into the range of $300,000 per year when we have Sedaru fully deployed. 

Finally, our water sampling crews are also experiencing significant benefits due to reduced driving time, increased accuracy, and speed of communication. We estimate the savings for the water quality group at approximately $20,000 per year.
 

3.  How has Sedaru improved your overall work process?  How do you envision improving even further in the future? 

Before Sedaru, our office staff would manually write out different colored cards for tasks such as connects, disconnects, reconnects, re-reads and so on. Our customer service field staff would leave with their cards in the morning, fill them out as they completed tasks, come back at lunch for more cards, get calls over the two-way radio for emergency tasks and so on. In the evening, they would come in early enough to key all their cards into our customer billing system, housed on an AS/400 server. 

Since Sedaru, the tasks are automatically pushed from the AS/400 to Sedaru. As the tasks are completed they are monitored in real-time by our dispatcher, who also sends intermittent tasks as they come in. No more driving back and forth to the office,  and no more keying in cards at the end of the day. 

Our field maintenance crews also receive tasks from our dispatcher such as what valves to close for a line shutdown. The task changes the symbology of the valve to be turned off, which makes the valve easier to find on the map and ultimately saves time. Sedaru makes it easy for our crews to remember which valves to re-open to restore service to our customers, which is valuable after a long day in a hole repairing a main line.
 

4.  How does Consolidated Waterworks function differently, since starting to use Sedaru? 

The examples given above are just two of the many ways we use Sedaru. Sedaru is allowing us to keep up with our ever-changing distribution system. The more we use Sedaru, the more we want, and the more IDM gives us.
 

5.  In the future, what benefits will come about as a result of further integrating Sedaru with your asset management system? 

Future benefits I foresee are more accurate budget predictions and more informed decision-making regarding maintenance and capital improvements. It's all about the money. We are the stewards of our customers’ money and we look to technology to help us in that regard. Without accurate historical data you can't make accurate predictions for the future.

 

6.  What are your thoughts on Sedaru’s trending view? 

The trending view has been a valuable asset in our water quality sampling program to easily pinpoint water quality trends. In addition, the ability to overlay several work histories of different employees has given us new insight into how we’re meeting our service goals. 
 

7.  How has Consolidated Waterworks benefited since using Sedaru mobile as part of your sampling programs? 

We love having [water quality] sample history at our fingertips. As you know, here in Louisiana we have been operating under an Emergency Rule, since November 2013, due to Naegleria fowleri (brain-eating amoeba) being present in some South Louisiana potable water systems. We were under tremendous pressure to identify any potential quality issues. 

This is the area that excites me most about the trending view. Sedaru has enabled us to analyze our sample data in a way that was not previously possible. This has helped us to understand and respond to water quality issues, sometimes even before they occur.
 

8.  What excites you most about implementing Sedaru at Consolidated Waterworks? 

Having the ability to access my GIS data 24/7 anywhere I am excites me most. No more running back to the office to find the right map or report. GIS is key to our operation, and Sedaru is key to accessing GIS and all related system data, wherever I am.
 

9.  Do you have any additional comments you’d like to share? 

It takes a great team to make great things happen. Thanks to Kevin Koshko, Dave Harrington, Jamie Persino, and Sree Sreedhar of IDModeling for joining our team and making Sedaru such a success at CWW!