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With ArcInfo 8 and ArcFM Water

Two Oregon Water Management Agencies Enter the 21st Century

Esri Services logoThe Esri Professional Services Division is currently working with two Oregon water management agencies to usher them into the millennium with Esri's all-relational, COM, open programming environment technology.

Water/Wastewater/Storm Water Migration to ArcInfo 8

ArcInfo 8 and the various ArcFM extensions are powerful GIS tools for the management of utility network information. ArcInfo 8 is an enhanced GIS designed with a focus on the management of utility networks such as water, sewer, power, communications, and gas systems. The core functionality provided in ArcInfo 8 will satisfy most network management issues commonly encountered in a utility network. The ArcFM extensions extend the core ArcInfo 8 functionality to address the requirements of the different utilities and provide specific tools for managing utility networks. ArcFM Water, which is being developed exclusively by Esri, will provide a data model and productivity tools specifically designed to manage water, sewer, and storm sewer networks.

The conversion to ArcInfo 8 requires the consideration of several important items:

  • Becoming familiar with the capabilities of ArcInfo 8 and the geodatabase data model
  • Implementing or modifying the water/sewer/storm sewer data model to reflect the local conditions
  • Extending the core technology to support project-specific requirements

One of the first tasks a new ArcInfo 8 user must do is develop a working understanding of the extensive utility network tools and capabilities provided in ArcInfo 8 core software. "ArcInfo 8, without any extensions, provides much of the information management functionality required to manage a water/sewer/storm sewer network," says James McKibben, Esri water/wastewater utility senior consultant and project manager. "For example, a simple valve isolation trace to identify the valves that must be closed to isolate a water line with a break can be accomplished by using the ArcInfo 8 tools with three or four mouse clicks."

ArcFM Water provides an initial object model for water and wastewater systems that will meet the needs of many users. The object model not only contains the data about water and wastewater pipes and facilities, but it also contains methods or procedures on how these pipes and facilities behave. The water and wastewater object model is an integral part of ArcFM and is carefully designed to provide the needed functionality and to meet the expected performance requirements. The water/wastewater object model is the foundation for utility users and developers to extend the object model to meet unique requirements not provided in ArcInfo 8 and the ArcFM extension. Many users may wish to extend the model to provide site specific information and functions. Tools for easily extending and modifying the ArcFM data model are available through ArcInfo.

Custom applications and tools can be developed using Visual Basic. Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is shipped with ArcInfo 8 and provides the necessary programming capability to allow the customization of tools and applications. VBA is the replacement of the programming that was provided with AML in the past and much more. Extensive and powerful custom objects can be developed using C++. These tools provide the ability to develop specific tools and functionality.

Unified Sewerage Agency

The Unified Sewerage Agency (USA) of Washington County, Oregon, is the sewer, sanitary, and surface water management utility serving 397,000 residents of urban Washington County. The agency treats an average of 62 million gallons of wastewater daily and maintains 750 miles of sewer line. Its four treatment facilities recycle 28 dry tons of biosolids daily.

USA is migrating to ArcInfo 8 in two phases: design and production. The purpose of the design phase is to fully test the intended infrastructure management system before realizing the expense of full production data development. Esri will provide several application products to develop the framework for USA's infrastructure management system. They include data maintenance environments for wastewater and storm water collection layers within ArcInfo 8 software; and storm water and wastewater view, query, and analysis tools with an ArcInfo and ArcView GIS environment.

City of Portland

The City of Portland, Bureau of Water Works (BWW) operates the water supply system that delivers high-quality drinking water to more than 840,000 people who live in the Portland metropolitan area. The primary water source is the Bull Run Watershed located 26 miles east of downtown Portland, Oregon, in the Mt. Hood National Forest. Portland also uses groundwater as a supplemental water supply.

Due to the standardization on Esri solutions by other Portland area agencies and districts, BWW chose to switch to an Esri solution. The City of Portland, including the BWW, has adopted Esri's software as their new City standard. In addition, the City is establishing a distributed enterprise GIS where GIS data between all departments becomes available within the City.

The BWW GIS started with a data conversion effort to ArcInfo 7.2 in April 1999. The data conversion is an interim solution that will allow BWW to translate their data and input backlog updates. In parallel to the data conversion into ArcInfo, a data modeling workshop based on the ArcFM Water data model was conducted between Esri and BWW representatives to

  • Present/Review the ArcInfo 8 water data model
  • Perform a gap analysis to identify and define additional features specific to BWW that may need to be added to or further defined in the model
  • Define rules, associations, and attributes, and identify locations of attributes for each of the BWW GIS data model features

The workshop served as a mechanism to introduce BWW staff to the standard GIS water data model and get them involved in the design process. Based on the standard ArcInfo 8 water data model, an object-oriented methodology, and the information collected during this modeling workshop, Esri developed a draft GIS data model for BWW. This model includes water and water-related features, along with required rules, associations, and attributes. An on-site data model review took place at BWW and refinements were then made accordingly. The next step will focus on the migration of the data from ArcInfo 7.2 format to the ArcInfo 8 model.

For more information, you can contact the Esri project manager, Maroun Mounzer, senior consultant/project manager (tel.: 909-793-2853, ext. 1-1320; e-mail: mmounzer@esri.com) or Jim McKibben, senior consultant/project manager (tel.: 909-793-2853, ext. 1-1811; e-mail: jmckibben@esri.com).

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