Unsupported Browser

We've detected an older browser version that will not give you the best experience while using The Atlas. Please consider revisitng this site after downloading one of the alternatives below.

Glendale Heights, IL fills gaps in historical data and simplifies their IEPA submission process

Glendale Heights, IL, USA
Waterly

Government Champion

Utilities Superintendent

Cost

Zero upfront cost to local government
Maintenance:
5 Thousand USD

Project Status

Operational since 2021

At a Glance

Water system operators in Glendale Heights, IL have used paper to manually capture and report their data for decades. This left data gaps between employee turnover and created inefficiencies with IEPA report submissions. They sought a solution that eliminated paper and manual data entry to increase efficiency.

Problem Addressed

Water system operators have busy days filled with lots of to-dos but have a priority on managing the equipment and systems that result in state-required operating reports. For decades now, water operators in the Village of Glendale Heights, IL have used pencils, clipboards, and spreadsheets at their daily visits to the water and sanitary lift stations. After writing down data in the field, they had to drive back to the office and manually enter the data into an excel sheet. This left room for transcription errors and the occasional lack of data entirely.

The village had additionally amassed hundreds of spreadsheets, found across various locations from computers to thumb drives. As staff transitioned in and out of roles, knowledge often left with them, making it a challenge for new employees to find information preceding them. Decentralized data made it hard for water operators to track historical changes. For example, if an employee was checking water levels from 10 years ago compared to today, they would have to view each spreadsheet individually - and that was if they managed to collect all of them and find the spreadsheets.

On average, mid-sized water utility employees spend 4 to 40 hours per person each month reporting and managing their water system data. Because they have to transcribe data, copy/paste, and move spreadsheets around, precious time is spent at the desk, away from the field. This meant that the team of 4 in Glendale Heights spent around $15,000 annually on data collection alone.

Glendale Heights needed a smarter, more efficient way to manage its water data.

Glendale Heights, IL used/is using Waterly's Data Collection Software to address this/these challenge(s).

Solution(s) Used

Glendale Heights turned to Waterly to eliminate paper, manual data entry, and the errors that can come with it. With Waterly, the village's water operators now have access to a simple, centralized source of data for water and wastewater operations.

Instead of writing down data on clipboards, staff can use their tablets or phones on-site to collect, analyze, and format their data. As a state-accepted platform, staff no longer has to re-format data before submitting their IEPA monthly operating records, making it a 'one-click' operation.

Waterly displays simple trending, tracks acceptable water quality and operational ranges, and catches errors all in real-time. With workflow simplification, Waterly was easily integrated into Glendale Heights' workflow. The platform requires no IT expertise, allowing the staff to quickly adapt to new processes. The centralized data the platform collects will help staff cross reference historical data and better understand water quality changes.

Outcomes

  1. One click IEPA monthly operating reports submitting process replaced searching through paper sheets for data
  2. A decrease in data entry errors including duplicates and blanks, as a result of streamlined data entry completed on a phone or tablet
  3. An easily understood backend platform that aggregates collected data for water operators to utilize
  4. Less staff time spent on transcribing data and reconfiguring spreadsheets and more time to focus on efficiency, improved customer service, and preventative maintenance

Lessons Learned

  1. Change doesn't have to be hard.

Who Should Consider?

Small to mid-sized water or wastewater utilities that want to digitize and centralize data collection.

Related Local Gov Case Studies

Looking for more?