Gwinnett County case study: Using data to optimize operations

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Challenge:

Serving a population of 750,000 and 15 municipalities, the Gwinnett County Department of Water Resources (GCDWR) has three (3) water reclamation facilities and two (2) water plants. The GCDWR maintains over 200 pumping stations to support its distribution and collection systems. Regulatory and operational data are collected from the County:s treatment facilities and infrastructure on a regular basis in the form of sample collection, conditional observations, or instrument readings.
For more than 15 years, each of the three (3) water reclamation facilities utilized the OPS 32 system to automatically generate regulatory reports and allow plant operators to trend data.

Seeking to be a more effective water utility agency, the GWDWR recently focused on a greater use of Information Technology to begin harnessing the power of its operations data for strategic and operational decision making. However, the use of separate OPS 32 databases at each plant posed a challenge for this desired goal, as data extracted from each database into a consolidated format was cumbersome and time consuming due to varying plant nomenclature.

Solution:

Fortunately, the solution was simple - an upgrade from the OPS 32 package to the current Hach WIMS™ product. The current Hach WIMS structure allows the GCDWR to maintain a single WIMS database containing data for all plants, including new data from the utility's water plants. As a result, each plant no longer needs to maintain its own separate records. Trends and reports can be conducted easily on an individual facility. For example, a user with access to the WIMS database (regardless of location in the GCDWR) can select data variables from the desired plant into a query, report, calculation, or graph using a drop down window. Historical and predictive analysis can be performed on any piece of regulatory or compliance information on any of the five (5) treatment facilities in the GCDWR by using a few key strokes. This can be done at either the plant level or across plants at the agency level.

Benefits:

The benefits of this new environment have been significant. The GCDWR now performs proactive analysis on a regular basis across all its facilities. Additionally, the new WIMS has fostered analysis beyond regulatory data.   Information on pumping stations, energy usage, material usage, and cost analysis are just a few of the trends performed to enhance 'optimization.' Comparisons between plant operators and their methods are now more feasible.

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