American Water's audit program goes 'hi-tech'

American Water, the largest water services provider in North America, announced the use of a secure, web-based audit tool for performing and tracking health, safety, security and environmental audits. The implementation of this technology will ensure facilities meet and comply with OSHA requirements and federal and state environmental regulations for drinking water and wastewater...

VOORHEES, NJ, March 7, 2006 -- American Water, the largest water services provider in North America, yesterday announced the use of a secure, web-based audit tool for performing and tracking health, safety, security and environmental audits. The implementation of this technology will ensure facilities meet and comply with OSHA requirements and federal and state environmental regulations for drinking water and wastewater, as well as company policy and standards.

"Protecting public health, employee health and the environment is at the core of American Water's business," said Operational Risk Management Director, William Komianos. "Managing risk and maintaining regulatory compliance continues to be a critical factor in delivering reliable water and wastewater service to the thousands of communities we serve across North America."

Operational risk managers and environmental auditors at American Water are now equipped with mobile handheld devices when they perform audits at company facilities.

American Water operates in 29 states, all with varying compliance measures. The audit software being utilized has been customized to include all state and federal OSHA, drinking water and wastewater regulations, making the information readily available during the audit process.

"The new handheld devices will make the audit process much more effective and efficient," said Dr. Mark LeChevallier, director of Innovation and Environmental Stewardship. "And because all the rules and regulations are accessible from the device, the auditors will essentially have access to all the necessary information when they are inspecting facilities, enabling more accurate and efficient auditing when in the field."

In addition to storing regulation reference text, the software has been formatted to hold all corporate health, safety and security policies, best operating practices, question sets, instructions and anything else that may be useful during an audit. The automated system is designed to help auditors effectively identify potential non-conformities, document recommendations for corrective action, and provide a sophisticated reporting and corrective action plan tracking process. The mobile onsite reference capabilities contained in the devices also allow auditors to engage in real time discussions with managers concerning observations.

LeChevallier continued, "Our main objective is to challenge ourselves to improve upon our already existing best practices in health, safety and environmental compliance. By investing in this new technology, the company strives to continue this legacy and reaffirm its commitment to utilizing state-of-the-art technology to improve operations and better meet customer needs."

American Water has an established compliance history in health and safety and a proven record of environmental stewardship. The operational risk and environmental audit program is focused on ensuring that the correct policies and procedures are implemented and that American Water employees are knowledgeable of these practices.

With headquarters in Voorhees, NJ, American Water (www.amwater.com) is the largest and most geographically diversified provider of water services in North America. Employing approximately 7,000, American Water provides high quality water, wastewater, and other related services to over 18 million people in 29 states and 3 Canadian provinces.

###

More in Environmental