[The] MAMS mobile [tool] brings many great features, and it is incredibly user-friendly. . . . Examples [include] real-time monitoring, the ability to easily organize and manage work orders, and interactive maps. The benefits of MAMS create collaboration with field staff, a comprehensive view of the sewer system maps in the field or office, and the ability to access the data while in the field.
GIS-Enabled Mobile Solution Improves Sewer Line Cleaning Efficiency
The San Bernardino Municipal Water Department (SBMWD) has operated and maintained the sewer collection infrastructure since May 1, 2017. Previously, the sewer collection system was maintained by City of San Bernardino Public Works. The sewer system consists of approximately 493 miles of pipes and 38,300 sewer connections. While reviewing its workflows and geographic information system (GIS) data, SBMWD learned that sewer project status was not being effectively communicated between city departments, causing serious data gaps. SBMWD needed a comprehensive solution to improve access to data and meet demand. Spatial Wave was chosen to provide a better solution to maintain sewer assets.
For tracking the activities related to sewer line cleaning, SBMWD was using a tabular system with no GIS capabilities. All work was tracked manually or was semiautomated. The sewer database was available for staff to enter assets and sewer calls, but it was not spatially linked and not user-friendly. Tracking work progress required too much time and made it difficult to keep up with department goals. These strategic goals were based on the superintendent's priority list, not geospatial needs. The Sewer Collections section staff could not visualize the sewer system completely and struggled to analyze maintenance and asset data.
Although GIS offers a variety of tools and countless possibilities, SBMWD was concerned about how this technology would support staff who were not familiar with GIS. The Sewer Collections section consists of a diverse staff with varied backgrounds and computer proficiency levels. In many cases, it meant a major change in their work process. To successfully implement new technology, staff would need to adapt to change quickly and smoothly.
Headquartered in Orange County, California, DCSE Inc. is an Esri partner that builds location-based enterprise asset management solutions that push GIS boundaries and help organizations make better business decisions. Spatial Wave, a division of DCSE, utilizes solutions based on Esri's ArcGIS Runtime and ArcGIS Enterprise to provide an advanced mobile asset management solution, referred to as SW-MAMS.
Based on SBMWD's needs and Spatial Wave capabilities, the Sewer Collections staff chose to implement a new GIS-enabled tool, MAMS, to plan, schedule, assign, and perform the tasks of cleaning the sewer lines and keeping track of the resources used in the process. Spatial Wave's SW-MAMS solution is designed to access sewer GIS data that resides in a SQL Server database, associated engineering documents, and CCTV videos in the field and the office. The collected data is linked to the GIS data and published to a GIS portal.
One of the major selling points for SBMWD was that SW-MAMS utilizes Esri's ArcGIS Runtime and ArcGIS Enterprise technology, providing intuitive, comprehensive mapping and analytics capabilities. Integration with Esri's system architecture allows SBMWD to seamlessly integrate countless Esri maps and applications with MAMS, providing staff with a solution that can grow with the organization. For example, using ArcGIS Dashboards, real-time dashboards were created for all of the workflows managed in MAMS for supervisors to view the progress of their staff.
"By using [the] SW-MAMS [solution], we were able to quickly implement a solution that has become a game changer. The tool is very user-friendly and efficient. Using [a] GIS application such as MAMS is much easier and faster than going through pages of maps when in the office or field."—Julie Abinto, GIS Manager, SBMWD
Since the technology integration with ArcGIS, SBMWD uses SW-MAMS as its primary system for managing the workflows related to sewer line cleaning. Although it was a major change for the Sewer Collection staff in their work process, they were able to adapt very quickly and smoothly. The process is more efficient and no longer relies on a paper trail.
The mobile centric solution leverages existing GIS mapping information to provide critical information quickly and securely. SBMWD estimates that using SW-MAMS and ArcGIS saves hundreds of hours that staff would normally spend looking for data. It also supports SBMWD's goal of providing critical services to their customers.
Today the data is centralized in ArcGIS Enterprise, and this improves communication between sections across the organization. Timely cleaning of the sewer lines will help SBMWD avoid environmentally damaging and costly sewer spills.