Tennessee Utility Adopts Esri Technology to Increase Efficiency, Cut Paper, and Speed Customer Service

October 14, 2014

Redlands, California—White House Utility District (WHUD)—the state's largest water district by geography—is maximizing efficiency, making better decisions, improving customer service, and enhancing its ability to share information across departments through the Esri digital mapping platform.

WHUD implemented Esri's ArcGIS for Water Utilities Solutions, which gives all 80 utility employees access to more than 200 web maps, apps, dashboards, and information layers. The Esri technology creates these visualizations from data that once existed only as paper maps or big files that were hard to visualize. The more intuitive map-based visuals will help WHUD employees streamline operations and communications both internally and externally.

"All of this is in the name of using water more efficiently, reducing paper map use, serving customers faster, and helping the water utility communicate better with local agencies," WHUD general manager Bill Thompson said. "By becoming totally GIS centric and integrating all of our systems together, we will have the ability to make informed decisions that are accurate and relevant in real time."

WHUD is deploying Esri mapping as a means to simplify data continuity through seven dashboards that display key performance indicators, including total main replacements and costs, vehicle location, and current and planned outages identifying affected customers. As a result, customer service is greatly improved because customer service representatives can access information just by looking at the screen.

"Our entire work force needs the ability to see tabular data spatially," Thompson said. "We live in a world of images, where visual delivery of data is a must."

In addition, WHUD will gain actionable intelligence from leak loggers—tracking devices that pull data on water loss from main breaks and leaks. WHUD district engineer Pat Harrell stated that within 24 hours of deploying a leak logger, the utility has the ability of knowing a leak is present. Field personnel report leak logger results in an ArcGIS Online mapping application, which makes results visible and easily understandable in dashboards.

"We are looking to do this in real time in the future and have ordered some loggers to evaluate this process," Thompson said.

WHUD has also created an ArcGIS account for local departments and local agencies. For instance, fire fighters have the ability to report their water activity online, which was once done on paper notes. The online water activity updates in near real time to the WHUD system. With an updated understanding of hydrant use, WHUD can calculate water consumption to help track annual water loss, such as from leaks.

A new website launching January 1, 2015, is expected to offer customers interactive maps online so they can access information they need without calling in.

To learn more about the applications WHUD has implemented and the entire ArcGIS for Water Utilities Solution Suite, visit solutions.arcgis.com/utilities/water.

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