InfoNet Provides an Ideal Solution for CMOM and GASB 34 Compliance in the United States


Courtesy of Innovyze

CMOM: a best practice framework

CMOM (Capacity, Management, Operations, and Maintenance) is a flexible, dynamic set of regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency of the United States that enables municipalities and utilities to identify and implement accepted wastewater industry best practices and promote proactive asset management. It aims to achieve a number of goals:

Better management and operation of collection systems through monitoring and maintenance programs;
Investigation of under-capacity areas of the sanitary sewer system
Response to Sanitary Sewer Overflow events – the Clean Water Act’s SSO Rule requires regulated municipalities and utilities to eliminate foreseeable SSOs.
CMOM aims to manage or eliminate foreseeable, polluting SSOs, and to enable utilities and municipalities to plan how to meet the SSO Rule, which requires utilities/municipalities to “take all feasible steps to stop, or mitigate the impact of SSOs”.

Permitted authorities have to be able to prove to the EPA that they have done everything in their power to avoid SSOs. CMOM’s capacity targets can be achieved by implementing Wallingford Software’s InfoWorks CS solution, while the Management, Operations and Maintenance components are ideally suited to the capabilities of InfoNet.

Reducing sanitary sewer overflows’ non-compliance

Sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) caused by undersized waste water networks, network failures, deterioration, infiltration and inflow are the focus of strict legislation in the US. Non-compliance can hit municipalities or utilities, whose systems suffer foreseeable failures, with large fines or obligatory investment orders running into millions of dollars.

Wallingford Software’s InfoNet solution is an asset data management solution for water and wastewater networks that enables users to integrate, validate, clean, control, store, analyze and report on diverse data formats ranging from historical records including spreadsheets, pipe and manhole surveys , GIS databases and CCTV videos to current operating positions and condition grades.

InfoNet enables water utilities to undertake the assessments they need to comply with the CMOM framework. This federal Clean Water Act provision has been designed to ensure assets are managed proactively to prevent costly, environmentally-damaging failures.

InfoNet adds critical value for government bodies attempting to comply with the demanding requirements of financial transparency and asset valuation as set out in GASB Statement 34, while providing significant savings compared to attempting to achieve the same goals using existing dispersed data sets.

Integrated data management

InfoNet is the starting point for integrated data management across a water utility. Accurate data is vital to the success of CMOM programs, which involve streamlining data collection and consolidating disparate data sets.

InfoNet provides for simplified interpretation and analysis to enable better decision-making and utility management, and allows an information-based approach to setting priorities for activities and investments. InfoNet aids this process by removing the need for multiple systems and data formats, complex data flows and analysis procedures.

InfoNet has been designed to consolidate disparate data formats in a single database, and provides validation and analysis tools that extract meaning from the large amounts of cleaned and auditable information. It is also used in the decision process to aid the planning and prioritization of the maintenance operations.

InfoNet acts as a “command center”, pulling in data from CMMS, GIS, hydraulic models, field surveys, asset management and survey systems and databases, and managing them in a single database.

InfoNet also manages multiple surveys and associate each with the relevant assets, promoting historic analysis and enabling asset managers to understand and report on the deterioration of the system over time. It also promotes sustainability of the data, and re-use for subsequent network analysis.

Cost-effective Sewer System Evaluation Survey

A good example of InfoNet’s benefits can be seen in the implementation of a Sewer System Evaluation Survey (SSES), a component of the System Evaluation CAPacity (SECAP) program recommended in CMOM – the overall SECAP identifies, characterizes and addresses hydraulic deficiencies in a wastewater collection system.

SSES projects involve analyzing enormous amounts of data with complex relationships. Often utilities are overwhelmed by the task of managing the data, and what starts out as an engineering analysis study quickly turns into a data management and database design project with spiraling costs.

InfoNet is tailor-made for SSES projects. It has a full, rich and scaleable data model and database, supporting multiple concurrent users who have different responsibilities, and provides flexibility in defining workflow processes.

At the end of an SSES project the client will inherit a sustainable data set utilizing an adaptable software solution. This single off-the-shelf software solution controls an auditable, quality assured, version controlled, scaleable database supported by visualization and analysis toolsets designed specifically for water and wastewater asset managers, engineers and planners.

Consent order assistance

InfoNet is also a valuable aid to cities that have to raise capital improvements plan (CIP) funding to meet Consent Order requirements – the logical route for obtaining such funds is the bond market, but investors here require substantial guarantees that any risk is being well managed.


InfoNet enable cities to undertake quickly and accurately the costing of assets as required under GASB 34 (from the Governmental Accounting Standards Board of the USA), which establishes new financial reporting rules for state and local governments.

Under this Statement, cities will be required to audit and cost all their assets, including the sanitary sewers and water systems. One element of this is depreciation, which involves an extensive inventory of items, including their costs and the dates when they were created or purchased. The value of the assets is then calculated based on depreciation over time.

While GASB has no enforcement authority, it is considered good practice for water utilities to follow GASB-approved standards and adhering to GASB 34 will ensure compliance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and help local governments obtain “clean” audit opinions and maintain good bond ratings and low borrowing costs.

GASB 34 Modified approach

A method called the ‘modified approach’ was created to account for long-lived assets such as underground pipe networks, roads and bridges, where simple depreciation models do not take into account maintenance and may prove inaccurate.

The modified approach not only requires an up-to-date inventory, but also regular assessment of the condition of each item (no less than every three years) and an estimate of the annual cost to maintain and preserve the infrastructure at a condition determined by the organization. It is the method chosen by the majority of the communities that have decided to implement GASB34.

InfoNet as an Enterprise Management System for Water and Wastewater enables asset stakeholders to not only manage their asset inventory in an ever changing status, but also to better evaluate condition, performance and risk in order to assess the need for maintenance work.

InfoNet’s data collation and historical analysis capabilities mean it is perfectly suited to supporting regular assessment of the condition of assets over time, providing a uniform foundation for decision-making.

The ability of InfoNet to provide detailed, ongoing analysis of both the current and historical condition and changes over time also leads to better understanding of performance issues, and therefore more targeted operations and maintenance and capital spending.

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