Come along to see the future in the wet infrastructure field
Game rules change – interfaces to GIS systems
The technological era is defined in a growing use of the internet, in daily use of applications who (almost) fill our every need and infinite platforms, it reached almost every possible domain, and the same has happened with the water and sewerage corporations. The water and sewerage engineers are using the help of applications and interfaces to Geographic Information Systems.
The GIS systems widen and deepen the offered service in the market, as its quality and its day-to-day function. For an example, you can manage the entire piping system, the faucets and counters, all the management of the underground properties, with higher efficiency with the help of the dedicated GIS system, which was built precisely for the customer’s needs. In addition, the warning systems have never been simpler, from controlling the operation and closing of control valves to various charging and collection systems like water meters. Systems in the field of GIS allow automatic control, precise and advanced control of systems that to date have been managed manually on drawings only often archaic and it was not clear if they even exist and where they are located.
For more efficient and smarter work
Water and sewage corporations, as well as water and sewage engineers, in the private and / or public economy have a practical option and a great opportunity to save expenses and a lot of work time, by utilizing the supply of existing GIS systems, which is only growing, and I will list some examples: if in the past big water and sewage corporations held many maps and guidebooks in an amount that’ll not embarrass a small library, or the field teams including water and sewage engineers had to carry with them big guides and many maps each time they went out on the field in order to track faucets or a location of a local fault, and in parallel to understand if there’s a more central fault and if so where is it, and what is needed to fix it (which faucets and lines to close or to leave open), today, it’s definitely not like that! A simple iPad that has simple yet advanced software installed on it, for an example ArcGIS, or Citiworks, will do the work faster and much more efficiently!
Everything is done with a push of a button that presents a map in every size, wide information including faucets or tap measurements, access to original plans, information on desirable operating pressures of the system versus the actual pressure, and more and more. The type of material from which the infrastructure is built and its repair history can be found in the various GIS systems. When the system is updated, it will make any repair or maintenance work more efficient and accurate.
The future in interfaces
So we managed to establish a GIS system that’s based on reliable and detailed information, why do I need interfaces as well? The answer to this question actually comes from the technological development. Today, the amount of systems storing our information is big and diverse. We have information on consumers saved in Excel at the consumer department, we have financial information on properties in Priority system and many of the engineering information is still in AutoCAD files in different formats. Our goal is to create a mutual language between those systems, and that controlling it will be available through the GIS system.
An example for an interface – pipe blast
Let’s imagine the GIS system operator, receiving a call about a pipe blast on Sheinkin street. He knows that he needs to operate the application ruling faucets, to take out a digital map for the maintenance teams to show then where they must take care of the fault, send an SMS to the consumers that they won’t have running water in the next few hours, check that no one of those consumers is in danger and manage the event in the most efficient and economical way possible. The difficulties? The information on the consumers in in an Excel document at the consumer department, the information on the maintenance staff available for the mission is in the operating software and all the information on the cost of the piping and fittings in the Priority system. Now, if we had an interface that knows to collaborate the different systems and the various information, the GIS system operator could’ve done his work in a quick way with no critical mistakes. How would the water corporation look like in front of customers who receive data at real time about a fault and know that everything is being taken care of? The corporation manages to supply water to Grandma Batia in emergencies because the system knows to tell that she’s at risk and can’t stay with no water.
We, as a community of service providers in the field of wet systems, can easily understand the benefit.
The importance of customer service
If we already mentioned the community, everyone will agree that a good customer service is the key for success. The GIS interfaces surely make the customer service easier, more available and more reliable.
The updated records stored on top of the systems allow an efficient concentration of customer inquiries. In addition, all the billing data, rates, service limitations in the area, which can be entered automatically into the system, will allow quick response to any inquiries. Moreover, the analysis of customer complaints and the results of sanitation tests in the area, allow the system to assess water quality, problems or malfunctions in the system, as well as the average water consumption in the area.
As I write to you, I have no doubt that in these moments more developments and innovations are coming up and we must constantly be up to date about them. We’re not far from the day when operations that were previously performed by water and sewage engineers manually, will become automated, using various technological interfaces. But (!) in the end, humans develop the systems, humans operate them, and we are the ones who use them, so the work itself may change, but we are here to stay!
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