A participant asked about level of service issues as they manage their water utility assets. Please read below what Heather and Ross explained.
Well, my take on that is there are a few that are more set by regulatory nature that you, know you want to make sure that you’re meeting all of the Safe Water Drinking Act requirements, all of the states requirements and then typical best practice in terms of what you’re doing with pressures and things like that.
But I think they’re pretty open, you know beyond that to fit the community’s customer needs and I let Ross to talk to about whether they have industry standards in New Zealand. But I think, in a lot of cases we’re fairly open to some of the other standards like customer service, how much your response time is.
It’s more specific to your community and what your community expects from you as opposed to saying, industries says be better be within two hours or four hours or something like that.
Yes, and I think the thing is as you said Heather that the baseline for levels of service in water, wastewater and even storm water networks is that regulatory floor.
You will have a series of regulations and laws and/or state, federal, local ordinances that you’re required to meet. And they will set your base service levels and presumably you are either fairly close to meeting them or you need to do some work on that area if you aren’t.
Certainly, once you get above that, the next step, example was, is the UK really where they have the Office of the Water Regulator and the same similar sort of set up in the State of Victoria in Australia where the water regulator then sets the levels of service at a fairly high level that must be met.
If you’re interested on those, and they put very large water supplies. I mean those ones in the UK serving 10-15 million to 20 million people each. So you can go to the UK Office of Water Regulator, OFWAT and they have those published, and they have league tables and things like that.
Here in New Zealand we’ve just had a change in legislation and the regulation applied from that have just kicked in the last few months. We have some mandatory performance measures that must be reported.
So the level of service isn’t specified but you have to report now in the public domain every year, how are you meeting these performance measures and again as specified by our equivalent of your Federal Government, but the finer points of the service delivery aren’t.
So it fundamentally depends on the regulatory environment I think, as to what they are and as here to set the custom in your area. What works for one water utility infrastructure management system will be different from another system.
PHOTO CREDIT: Niagara Falls from Water Level by Brook Ward via Creative Commons License of Flickr. The photo was reduced to fit website requirement.