Over the years, VVWRA has completed treatment plant upgrades and several capacity increases. The regional treatment plant is currently capable of treating a portion of the flow to a tertiary level and the remaining flow to a secondary level for percolation. A majority of the highly treated wastewater is discharged into the Mojave River Basin. A smaller amount is currently used to irrigate landscaping at the treatment plant and the nearby Westwinds Golf Course.
VVWRA had been using a system of interlinking spreadsheets to record and store collected facility data for approximately 12 years. While this system was adequate, spreadsheets were becoming more difficult to use and manage, causing significant delays in processing monthly and quarterly reports.
With the spreadsheet style system, data management and storage was becoming the prime issue. Time had become a key factor in rolling out a new system, since a major report was coming due and timing of the release was critical. Many alternatives to spreadsheets were considered, including in-house database development, which was considered
“Other products offered data management software and nothing else,” says Bruce Correia, information services manager for VVWRA. “After thorough examination, we decided on Allmax Software and their Operator10® wastewater data management program.
Not only were the data management and reporting issues resolved: AllMax assisted in setting up and configuring the database to meet our needs as well,” he added.
Operator10 allows for a central facility repository of collected data, with a simple and very customizable user interface. The backup ability of the system is clean and unobtrusive. The software has put VVWRA’s operations department back in touch with their facility. Operators can easily look back at past plant performance and see trends for certain months or even years. Also, with operations and laboratory staff doing the data entry into the Operator10 database, they are more aware of where the numbers come from. The staff had significant input into the design and implementation of the system, giving them a sense of ownership.
After the initial setup, related maintenance requirements were minimal. Presently, the IT department simply includes the Operator10 in regular backup routines.
“VVWRA understands that proprietary software is always going to be sold at a somewhat higher price as opposed to off-the-shelf software. However, Allmax seems to have found an equitable balance between cost and function. The price of the software and associated modules, along with the extensive technical support, were quite affordable,” says Correia. “I would say that month-end is the most useful aspect of the software. The general manager simply reviews the data and generates his monthly or quarterly reports. This process takes approximately 30 to 45 minutes to complete, excluding any problems that may occur with the data. The timesavings alone compared to the prior methodology of generating these reports makes the software investment worthwhile.”