Since its inception in 1960, the Henry County Water Authority has been committed to providing and protecting an efficient water supply system. Constantly striving for advancement, the authority implemented ArcGIS solutions to maintain the system and better serve customers. With over 21,000 valves to inspect, the Valve Maintenance Program was the first area identified to benefit from the use of Esri software.
At the start of each day, the valve maintenance foreman mapped out the daily work area for inspection. The crew traveled to the site and completed a paper form with 22 fields for every valve inspected. Once they were finished, they returned to the office and manually entered the information into a database. To keep track of any monthly totals, each form had to be counted by hand. Due to the large number of in-line water valves that require inspection on a regular basis, a new, more efficient process that would optimize field workflows was needed.
Henry County Water Authority deployed its first mobile ArcGIS solution to support the Valve Maintenance team using Esri's Valve Exercising solution. The geographic information system (GIS) team made a few adjustments to the solution and deployed the Collector for ArcGIS web map in HCWA's existing ArcGIS Online organizational account. The web map used a combination of ArcGIS Online hosted feature layers and secure feature layers in ArcGIS Server. Within just a few hours, the technicians had a great new mobile tool to easily use on their Android tablets. The solution combined using Collector for the fieldworkers and Operations Dashboard for ArcGIS for the office staff. The technicians were able to see which inspections had been completed and which were still needed as well as valves that required repair. They could also work offline, eliminating the need for a mobile hot spot or Internet connection. In addition, the new solution enabled workers to upload pictures to include with the valve data, showing where any repairs were needed. Operations Dashboard increased efficiency in workload review, future planning, and cost analysis.
Industry – Water Distribution
User – Henry County Water Authority (HCWA), located in Georgia
Challenge – Update paper valve inspection workflow with a more efficient digital/mobile solution.
Solution – Implementation of GIS based mobile solutions.
Results – Valve exercising efficiency was increased by 65 percent.
Deployment of the ArcGIS platform and implementation of Esri's Valve Exercising solution and Operations Dashboard have greatly increased productivity. Technicians no longer have to write everything down on paper and enter the information manually in a database. Staff enter the data one time on their tablets, and inspections are finished at a much faster pace. Staff can also view their entire inspection area instead of looking at a paper printout of just one location. As time permits, they can complete additional maintenance throughout the day. Data gathering has also been vastly improved. Operations Dashboard has enabled staff to visualize the valve exercising progress, provide counts for reporting, and pinpoint valves that need repair. Other benefits are the ease of use and the ability to repurpose the Valve Exercising solution by configuring it for additional workflows. Since the solution's launch, over 1,400 more valves have been inspected than in the same time frame the previous year, resulting in a 65 percent increase in the number of valves being exercised and an overall productivity increase, ranging from 10 to 17 percent. The use of ArcGIS and ArcGIS for Water solutions has made a huge difference in the efficiency of ensuring a healthy water system for Henry County Water Authority customers.
"The new mobile process for valve maintenance is 100 percent better. It takes less time having the map in the field, so you don't have to keep going back to the office," said Dallas Mayo, valve maintenance foreman.