Municipal Water Leader
  • Innovator,  Interview

    How Assura’s Configurable Asset-Management Platform Can Help Water Utilities

    Assura Software is a Christchurch, New Zealand–based technology company that builds highly configurable asset- and case-management solutions. Its products are used by several large irrigation schemes and businesses to manage their assets and record health and safety risks and hazards. Using Assura’s platform in the office on a computer or in the field on a mobile phone app, employees can keep track of what tasks need to be done and the current status of their assets. In this interview, Assura Managing Director Hamish Howard speaks with Municipal Water Leader Editor-in-Chief Kris Polly about Assura’s platform and how it stands to benefit municipal water utilities.

  • Interview

    Managing Natural Assets Alongside Engineered Ones

    Asset management is a familiar concept for most local governments and water utility providers, but when they hear the term, almost everyone thinks about wastewater treatment plants, buried pipeline, and pump stations. The Municipal Natural Assets Initiative (MNAI), a Canadian nonprofit, is aiming to change that. MNAI’s core insight is that natural assets like wetlands, forests, and creeks provide tangible services for municipalities that are similar to those provided by engineered assets like retention ponds and culverts. By inventorying, analyzing, and maintaining their natural assets, local governments and utilities can make intelligent decisions about whether or not to build engineered assets and the wisdom of development that will interfere with…

  • Interview

    Reducing Maintenance Risk and Expenses Through SUEZ’s Asset Management Program

    For small and medium-size municipalities and water utilities, the regular maintenance of assets like water tanks, metering systems, and wells may require significant expenses of time and money—especially when these assets break down earlier than expected. To address this problem, SUEZ North America has begun providing continuous maintenance services to utilities that cover the entire life cycle of an asset. Agencies pay a steady yearly subscription for yearly maintenance plus 100 percent coverage of any unexpected emergency repairs.  In this interview, Jonathan Cato, SUEZ’s senior vice president of lines of business, speaks with Municipal Water Leader Managing Editor Joshua Dill about how SUEZ’s asset management program can reduce municipalities’ risk…

  • Interview

    The Town of Cary’s Buried Infrastructure Asset Management Plan

    In 2018, the Town of Cary, North Carolina, developed a buried infrastructure asset management plan. The town, which is near Raleigh in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina, had relatively new water and wastewater infrastructure and had a variety of ongoing asset management practices, but they were not integrated, transparent, and fully documented. Through a year-long process of general and area-specific meetings, the town developed a plan that included immediate, short-term tasks to be completed and also established regular asset management procedures.  In this interview, Dave Hallgren, Cary’s asset manager, speaks with Municipal Water Leader Managing Editor Joshua Dill about how the asset management plan was developed and the…

  • Interview

    Black & Veatch: Management for All Stages of the Asset Life Cycle

    Black & Veatch is a global construction and consultancy firm with more than 100 offices worldwide. One of its many services is its asset management practice, which works with clients in the water field, including municipalities, state governments, utilities, and research organizations. Black & Veatch’s asset management services for water agencies include strategy development and implementation, information solutions, and condition assessment. These services cover all stages of asset management, including planning, design, construction, operation, maintenance, and rehabilitation.  In this interview, Will Williams, associate vice president of Black & Veatch’s water asset management practice, speaks with Municipal Water Leader Managing Editor Joshua Dill about how the company helps its clients as…

  • Interview

    HDR’s Data-Driven Utility Management Services

    HDR is a major architectural, engineering, and consulting firm that has worked on infrastructure projects around the world, including bridges, highways, parks, hospitals, arenas, and treatment facilities. Perhaps lesser known are its utility management services, which help water and wastewater utilities plan, manage, operate, and fund infrastructure. One of HDR’s key utility management services focuses on performing expert analyses of water and wastewater utilities’ buried pipelines and assets and providing utility-specific, data-driven pipeline renewal and replacement planning. This helps utilities know when to replace and rehabilitate their infrastructure to reduce water main breaks and service disruptions and, ultimately, to save money.  In this interview, Allan Scott, HDR’s lead for utility…

  • Interview

    Asset Management With Drones: American Water’s UAV Program

    Asset management requires precise information about the location and condition of an organization’s assets, as well as the ability to regularly inspect them and update that information. American Water is one company that has started to use drones to do this. American Water’s drones are not only used as eyes in the sky to inspect specific problems in hard-to-reach locations like elevated water storage tanks, but the information they collect is integrated into the company’s internal mapping and geographic information systems (GIS) software. Further, with specialized thermal imaging and ground-penetrating radar (GPR) sensors, American Water’s drones can locate buried assets and rapidly identify damaged solar panels, among other tasks. In…

  • Interview

    Howard County’s Reclaimed Water Services

    Howard County, Maryland, has started a reclaimed water program over the last few years that currently provides up to 5 million gallons a day (MGD) of reclaimed water to a government client in its area. It is seeking to expand its water reclamation and reuse activity with other new commercial and industrial clients, and potentially with public irrigation applications as well. In this interview, Art Shapiro, PE, PMP, bureau chief for utilities with the Howard County Department of Public Works, speaks with Municipal Water Leader Managing Editor Joshua Dill about Howard County’s current water reclamation and reuse program, his vision for the future, and his advice for other municipalities thinking…

  • Interview

    Water Sector Supports Development of National Water Reuse Action Plan

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on February 27, 2019, that it would facilitate the development of a national Water Reuse Action Plan (WRAP) to serve as a catalyst to enhance the consideration of water reuse as a tool in integrated water resources management nationally. EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Dave Ross made the announcement during a water reuse summit hosted by Suez and framed the plan as a collaborative effort between the water sector and federal agencies. The WateReuse Association, a trade association of utilities and businesses involved with water recycling, immediately began the process of developing recommendations for the WRAP. WateReuse engaged its membership and facilitated a…

  • Interview

    How OCWD Is Addressing PFAS Contamination

    Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, a chemical family known as PFAS, were developed in the 1930s and 1940s and are now used in a wide variety of waterproof and oilproof containers, clothes, and implements, as well as firefighting foam. However, PFAS compounds’ ubiquity means that they have also made their way into water supplies that are used for human consumption, potentially causing serious health consequences. Orange County Water District (OCWD) is one groundwater management agency that is working with federal, state, and local agencies to test, identify, and monitor PFAS.  In this interview, Jason Dadakis, OCWD’s executive director of water quality technical resources, speaks with Municipal Water Leader Managing Editor Joshua…