While Loveland invested in new inspection equipment and an amazing, dedicated operator crew, the combination of ITpipes software and Esri ArcGIS [was] what was needed to raise the City of Loveland Stormwater Program to levels of accuracy and integrity that were previously unattainable.
Data Flows Through Loveland Storm Sewers
The city of Loveland, Colorado, sits in a canyon with the environmentally sensitive Big Thompson River running through its heart. Heavy rains and floods in recent years revealed issues within the storm sewer system. The city knew they had to inspect its storm sewer system to protect the city from the river, as well as to protect the river from the city. The public works department turned to ITpipes to help staff collect and bring storm sewer asset data into their Esri ArcGIS.
The City of Loveland's existing geographic information system (GIS) data for storm sewers was not always accurate. The city was rapidly expanding, and the existing storm sewer infrastructure was often unknown or undersized, creating undetected bottlenecks in the hydraulics. Additionally, most of the storm sewer assets had not been inspected since they were installed more than 40 years earlier. The city needed accurate intelligence to know where the underground assets were, what size they were, and what condition they were in. This data needed to be in a GIS so that staff could perform advanced analytics. With a limited budget, the city purchased a CCTV inspection vehicle and dedicated a two-person crew to operate it. However, a mountain of work lay ahead, and there was only one crew to do it. The city knew it had to implement as many efficiencies as possible.
Initiating a stormwater sewer inspection program, Loveland researched solutions for performing storm sewer inspections, and ITpipes emerged as the best choice to help the city get its vital stormwater asset condition data into GIS. The ITpipes platform consists of ITpipes Mobile, ITpipes Web, and ITpipes Sync and consumes Esri feature services. Together, Esri and ITpipes provided the city with powerful ArcGIS mapping tools, pipeline analytics visualization technology, and instant access to comprehensive pipe inspection information.
Inspections on stormwater assets installed before 1987 were prioritized due to their age. Because of the ITpipes and Esri integration, field inspectors are able to use GIS attribute information to filter data by the age of the assets and then select the asset to inspect. This automatically prepopulates the asset header info in ITpipes Mobile in the field, allowing the crew to inspect up to 10 pipes per day. Overnight, ITpipes Sync automatically moves the day's inspection data and GIS corrections from ITpipes Mobile to browser-based ITpipes Web for staff in the office. Since the sync is bidirectional, it subsequently also moves items like map updates or assigned work orders from ITpipes Web in the office to ITpipes Mobile in the field.
"Rarely a day goes by that we don't use ITpipes [technology] and Esri ArcGIS to answer a question about the status of a pipe; verify asset locations; or respond to an immediate, vital issue."—Eric Wilson, Senior GIS Specialist, City of Loveland
In less than five years, this storm sewer inspection program has yielded exceptional results for Loveland. Thanks to increasing efficiencies, the city has strategically inspected and cleaned more storm sewer assets during the last 3 years than in the 20 years prior to the program, combined. These efforts are allowing this rapidly expanding city to address issues such as identifying pipes that need to be enlarged, replacing deteriorated corrugated metal pipe, and building an accurate storm sewer model by locating missing/buried assets and making necessary corrections to the GIS data. Using some of this vital data, Loveland began a $18 million, four-year project designed to implement several improvements to infrastructure in the public works department's service area including replacing and upgrading existing stormwater infrastructure to address existing drainage issues and meet current stormwater standards.
Most importantly, Loveland can show ratepayers massive, quantifiable strides toward properly draining the city's stormwater, all while protecting Big Thompson River.
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