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Improved Efficiency of Water Quality Management with Data Integration for Faster Decision-Making

Riverside, CA, USA

At a Glance

Riverside Public Utilities (RPU) was using several software programs to manage their data, leaving it siloed and isolated. Using a new integration tool, RPU was able to centralize thousands of data points on a customizable dashboard that helps the operations team quickly analyze and implement solutions.

Problem Addressed

Riverside Public Utilities was using four different software programs; WaterTrax for water quality management, OSISoft PI System to centralize data sourced from other business systems including SCADA, Esri GIS, and Asset Management/Work Order System (UWAM). This left information compartmentalized and decentralized, making it hard for Riverside’s Water Quality Administrator to make decisions despite having access to real-time data.

Upper management had to manually extract data from each of the four softwares to create reports in order to understand it. This ate up precious resources and required users to have high expertise while utilizing these platforms.

Ultimately, the staff had access to robust data but its segmentation made it difficult to organize and determine overall water system health. This made it hard for water administrators to make effective, informed decisions, creating inefficiencies in the water system at large.

Riverside Public Utilities used/is using the WaterTrax API key to address this/these challenge(s).

Solution(s) Used

RPU utilized Aquatic Informatics’ WaterTrax API to seamlessly and securely integrate with its 3rd party systems (BI tools, CMMS, GIS, etc.). This integration provides water quality administrators a holistic view of their distribution system samples, treatment plant process control samples, and groundwater well samples. Having all the data automatically funnel into a centralized system has made the process of data compilation and report generation significantly more efficient.

The integration of the OSISoft PI System and WaterTrax creates visual displays that automatically update as new data becomes available, allowing management to view the dashboards in real-time. The dashboard contains combined information from SCADA, UWAM, and WaterTrax, centralizing all data in one place.

RPUs groundwater wells and treatment facility effluents blend prior to entering the distribution system. Real time data from SCADA and WaterTrax is integrated in a Blend Model dashboard, where over 500 calculations run real time and show operators the blend at each transmission main, as well as when entering the distribution system. If there is a change to the blend that exceeds the established setpoints, the water quality team gets an email or text message alert. With automatic alerts, the operational team can quickly provide corrective action before endangering public health.

Water quality data from WaterTrax and service requests from UWAM are plotted on a map in ESRI GIS and displayed on a dashboard allowing staff to quickly prioritize actions. With the visual representation of data, administrators can see the location of service calls alongside chlorine residuals and compare historical and real-time data for trend analysis and forecasting. With greater system visibility, management can better allocate personnel for quicker response times.

“The API integration has really improved our ability to quickly make decisions based on real time data”, said Robin Glenney, Water Quality Administrator at Riverside Public Utilities. “The advantage of combining information from SCADA, UWAM, and WaterTrax gives us the big picture in one place and allows us to improve performance and operational efficiency,”,Glenney concluded.

Outcomes

  1. Automatic, seamless integration of data coming from multiple software systems into one platform providing a holistic view on the health of the water system.
  2. Custom dashboards providing visual representation of data, enabling quick analysis and insight for more effective operations through greater system visibility to better allocate personnel
  3. Streamlined regulatory compliance by defining which data to include using a set of criteria or filters such as collection date range, sampling locations, or analytes.
  4. Faster Decision-making and responses as a result of real-time, auto generated alerts triggered when water quality falls outside of set parameters.
  5. An elimination of duplicate data, improved data accuracy and greater confidence in the data at large, allowing for more effective decision-making

Lessons Learned

  1. Utilizing connections with trusted vendors can streamline new capability integration

Something Unique

As an innovative public utility serving 70,000 customers, RPU has developed an initiative - Utility 2.0 - which is essentially a strategic plan that addresses big challenges that all utilities are facing today. As a result of this commitment, RPU has successfully fostered a culture of innovation that resulted in a speedy integration with a stringent quality assurance testing process, ensuring the accuracy of their data.

Who Should Consider?

Water utilities that are looking to streamline regulatory compliance practices, improve data integrity and accessibility.

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