Wastewater treatment plants to benefit from iPad app

July 15, 2010
ROCKLIN, CA, July 15, 2010 -- ECO:LOGIC Engineering has developed an Interactive Operations Manual (IOM) for the iPad™ mobile digital device that helps keep wastewater treatment plants online and operating efficiently...
ROCKLIN, CA, July 15, 2010 -- Wastewater treatment plants and sewage systems cost millions of dollars to design and build so maintenance is important not only for preserving public and environmental health but also for sound fiscal stewardship of expensive and critical public resources. ECO:LOGIC Engineering (www.ecologic-eng.com) -- an engineering firm located in Northern California -- has developed an Interactive Operations Manual (IOM) for the iPad™ mobile digital device that helps keep wastewater treatment plants online and operating efficiently.

"A wastewater treatment plant can cost tens of millions of dollars so it makes sense to use technology to help maintain and manage that investment," said Dave Bennett, president of ECO:LOGIC. "When we saw the iPad, we immediately knew there was a way to use it to streamline operations and maintenance and preserve valuable historical knowledge that is otherwise lost when experienced staff retire."

The iPad application makes it easier to access and use the thousands of documents and schematics used to operate and maintain wastewater treatment plants because it ties them together and renders every detail of the plant.

"Operators aren't inclined to flip through the hundreds of resources -- drawings and maintenance guidelines -- that keep a plant going. The IOM puts each document including photos, schematics, web links and maintenance schedules literally at the operator's fingertips," said Bennett.

Wastewater treatment plant operators may also add notes or photographs to pages for example, describing the tools needed to adjust a valve or the finicky details of a critical piece of equipment. "Saving historical knowledge is very important," adds Bennett.

"Experience is an extremely valuable asset but if it walks out the door when a person retires, the public is not well served."

"This is just what we needed," said Steve Schimp, district manager and plant operator at San Andreas Sanitary District where the first IOM is in use. "If we discover that a piece of equipment needs an oil change every two months instead of four, we can log that here and turn it into a work order."

Engineers at ECO:LOGIC predict that the iPad will help revolutionize how complex systems like wastewater treatment plants are maintained and operated. "Part of the beauty of this system on the iPad is that there is no need for a stylus or a mouse to navigate. You touch the picture or schematic with your finger and drill down further and further to retrieve the level of detail you need," adds Bennett. And that, Bennett says, is the key to extending the life of valuable infrastructure.

A 2002 report conducted by the U.S. EPA on the funding gap in water and wastewater infrastructure identified $276.8 billion needs in water systems and $205.5 billion in needs for wastewater. The report states that "we must renew our pipes and plants at a much higher rate and examine ways to improve efficiencies in the water industry1."

Watch a demo of the iPad application at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPxyeiJwEiE.

References
1. http://www.epa.gov/waterinfrastructure/infrastructuregap.html
Additional Background: http://epa.gov/cwns/cwns2008rtc/cwns2008rtc.pdf

Apple®, iPad™ and iPhone® are registered trademarks of Apple Inc.

About ECO:LOGIC Engineering
ECO:LOGIC (www.ecologic-eng.com) is a consulting engineering firm based in Rocklin, California. ECO:LOGIC employs over 130 professionals who specialize in planning, permitting, design, construction management and operations of water and wastewater facilities in Northern California and Nevada.

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