Environmental Protection

SFPUC Uses IBM Software to Manage System

San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) is using IBM software to help reduce pollution in the water that surrounds the city on three sides – the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean, according to a June 23 press release from the company.

SFPUC, which treats an average of 80-90 million gallons of wastewater per day during dry weather and up to 370 million gallons of combined wastewater and storm runoff per day during the rainy season, is using IBM Maximo Asset Management software to develop smarter management of the city’s 1,000 miles of sewer system and three treatment facilities.

In the last year, the software has improved the organization’s ratio of preventive to corrective maintenance by approximately 11 percent, meaning that the organization has been doing more preventive and less corrective maintenance.

The software gives SFPUC greater visibility into its maintenance operations and physical infrastructure, with near real-time status of equipment and maintenance history. The software also integrates with the city’s 311 and 28-CLEAN Customer Service systems -- dispatch centers that handle non-emergency problems, such as potholes, abandoned vehicles, loose manhole covers, and overflowing storm drains.

“The real value of the IBM software is the information it gathers so that we can help further reduce water pollution," said Tommy Moala, assistant general manager, SFPUC Wastewater Enterprise. "For example, with some work order histories generated from the IBM software, we can see that we’ve rebuilt a pump, say, 10 times -- maybe it’s time to replace it. The software also helps us to reduce the cost of managing the system down to the component level.”

Along with the software, the commission’s Wastewater Enterprise is using ArcGIS geographic information software from ESRI to locate and measure assets spatially. The city was able to solve a problem of missing catch basin grates -- the heavy metal grates that keep large objects from falling into storm drains. The new programs revealed that all the incidents were located within a quarter mile of a scrap metal yard.

For more information on the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, visit: www.sfwater.org/home.

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