For a small water utility that’s manned by an all-volunteer board, there’s a question on who will do the updating of inventory and asset management plan.
Heather replied that once you’ve got the process in place, again looking at it as a very small utility that maybe now a lot is changing, it might not be so burdensome for your volunteers.
She said that it would still be better for them to do it than for you to consult out each of your tasks or somebody come in and do it for the water utility.
Even if you have to do it a very simple way, or maybe it takes you a little bit more time, maybe it’s a year and a half instead of a year to get all done.
Having your own eyes on your assets and kind of having your own involvement in the process is a really good way to learn about your system.
Some of the folks who went and did inventories and did condition assessments learned a lot about their system that they didn’t really know, such as:
- assets that were worse-shaped than they realized;
- maintenance that hadn’t been done;
- tasks that have been put off because nobody really stopped, took a look at the assets and took that bigger step back.
So I think you can do it with your volunteers. You may just have to set the time horizon that fits best with the people that you have and their time availability.
But if you look at maybe a year to a year and a half and if you’re a small utility and try to do it in little pieces over time. I think you can do it with your staff.
Ross thinks a small system like that will most likely have an Excel spreadsheet as inventory so it’s not going to be a big effort to change that.
You’ll know if you’ve replaced the pipeline or pump and you just go to that one and note, “Hey, well that one’s gone and it was an old steel pipe and now we’ll put in a plastic pipe and it’s six-inch.”
So it’s a really quick exercise. You’re not talking weeks of trying to sort those things as they may be going to be a couple of hours once a year and you’d have asset management plan updating done.