IBM software to help improve sewer infrastructure in California's capital city

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IBM software manages the Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District's state-of-the-art wastewater treatment plant along with nearly 100 miles of interceptor pipelines and 20 pump stations. Photo: IBM.

ARMONK, NY, Feb. 10, 2010 -- IBM announced today it is working with two wastewater agencies in Sacramento, California to help identify and resolve infrastructure problems before they impact the region's one million residents.

The Sacramento Area Sewer District, which collects wastewater from many Sacramento area homes and businesses, is using IBM software to help predict equipment problems in its wastewater collection system. The software manages more than 400,000 assets in the system, such as 98 pump stations; 3,000 miles of mainlines; 1300 miles of lower laterals; and 279,000 service connections. These sewer pipes and pump stations collect wastewater directly from homes and businesses before sending it to the wastewater treatment plant, run by the Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District.

The Sacramento Area Sewer District is integrating IBM Maximo software with information from a mapping system, control meters and observations from live video footage of the sewer pipes themselves.

Observations about the condition of sewer pipes collected from its closed-circuit television video inspection system can be evaluated against asset and maintenance data to help the engineers better assess the actual condition of the sewer pipes and equipment.

Since the staff can also track all costs associated with operating and maintaining each asset, they are able to implement these strategies at the lowest cost.

Greater transparency reduces costs
Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District, which treats wastewater from the Sacramento Area Sewer District along with other regional wastewater collection agencies, uses IBM Maximo software to manage its state-of-the-art wastewater treatment plant along with nearly 100 miles of "interceptor" pipelines and 20 pump stations. On an average day, the treatment plant conveys and treats approximately 165 million gallons of wastewater -- enough to fill a football field 40 stories high.

"By using IBM Maximo software, the Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District is able to provide an efficient service to our customers by saving money while meeting the goals for asset sustainability and environmental stewardship," said Dean Wyley, Senior Civil Engineer at the Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District. "If the pumping function failed, for example, there could be a high consequence with sewer backing up into homes, businesses and into streets. Managing our pumps is very critical to operations. With IBM software, we can identify the risk associated with a particular pump and then respond accordingly."

The Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District also uses the IBM Maximo software for regulatory reporting of preventive maintenance activities across all its mechanical and chemical systems. Where previously three-to-four staff members spent several weeks collecting and compiling the necessary information to demonstrate compliance, with the IBM software, one staff member can run the reports needed for maintenance history in minutes saving time and resources

"Many of the nation's sewage systems were built more than 100 years ago and weren't designed to accommodate the population explosion we've seen -- they simply can't handle the capacity necessary in today's society," said Sharon Nunes, vice president, Big Green Innovations, IBM. "Like any infrastructure, our water systems must be modernized, maintained and updated for the 21st century and beyond."

IBM has developed a number of smarter water and energy management offerings under its 'Big Green Innovations' initiative, part of a $100 million investment in 10 new businesses based on ideas generated during Innovation Jam, an IBM-led effort to gather ideas from thousands of clients, employees and thought leaders around the world. The Big Green Innovations team at IBM has concentrated its efforts on water management, alternative energy and carbon management.

The Sacramento Area Sewer District worked with IBM Business Partners EMA Consulting, along with Crory and Associates, and IntelliSolns to implement the IBM Maximo Enterprise Asset Management software. Within the Sacramento Area Sewer District's asset management system, the IBM Maximo software integrates with Syclo SMART Mobile Suite for Maximo, CUES Granite XP closed-circuit television video inspection and Geographic Information System.

For more information about the Sacramento Area Sewer District visit http://www.sacsewer.com/
For more information about the Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District visit http://www.srcsd.com/

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