A participant mentioned that one of the keys to asset management is improving preventive maintenance. Then the participant asked:
“Do you have a list of best asset management practices to preventive maintenance for water distribution and wastewater collection along with cost estimates for best practices?”
At Heather’s bidding, Ross shared his thoughts.
That’s a huge subject. The short answer to that is clients I work with sometimes pay me for up to a year to help them with answers to that question.
So it does depend on your network and again if you get state or federal guidelines around delivery service for preventive maintenance.
I think at a very broad first level again going back to what Heather was talking earlier about, identifying your critical assets and your critical risks and then getting your preventive maintenance programs really sorted out around those is the first hitting point.
I’ll give you a tiny little example of that. One of our clients here in New Zealand had a preventive maintenance program but they also starting to run into quite a few water breaks.
So one of the things we did was we said look, we’ll split your assets up into three levels so the suburban reticulation that if it breaks it might affect perhaps 10 or 15 houses or something like that per break.
Then you’ve got in between that, so we’ve wanted three levels of critical there, so in between that we’ve got suburban shopping malls or shopping centers, we might have other more critical assets.
So there was a band in the middle there and there was a band of highly critical assets the main feeders and things like that, and pipes feeding hospitals, halls and schools and those sort of things
So what we did we then said – in terms of preventive maintenance the ones in the highest group we need to put some effort into what are we doing there, what inspections we’re doing?
But one of the other decisions they’ve made, which we helped them with, and it was quite interesting in the end was, they said:
“Hey, we’re happy to have, it’s a smaller town, three to five breaks in the suburban ones and then we might start looking at it from an engineering management point of view, what we’re going to do.”
The middle group, the suburban shopping mall group if you like, they said “Look if we have two breaks from the field in that area we’re then going to start giving it some more analysis.
With those critical assets, they said “Right, the first break we get, that’s our ‘canary in the mine’, if we get a break there, then what we’re going to do is we’re going to have the engineers out on site before we fix it. So we want to see what’s happening”.
And so it’s doing that and it’s attacking your highest risks first in terms of your program. That would be the very short answer to the best asset management practices question.
PHOTO CREDIT: Canaan Hydro Station by PSNH