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Kentucky FOG & IPP program integrates with rest of Sanitation District despite complex compliance

Northern, KY 41640, USA
Aquatic Informatics

Government Champion

Laboratory & Industrial Pretreatment Manager

Cost

Zero upfront cost to local government

Project Status

Operational since 2001

At a Glance

Responsible for regulating wastewater and stormwater in Northern Kentucky, Sanitation District No. 1 (SD1) manages 115,000 customer accounts and completes 40,000 analyses a year. With a lot of data points to manage, staying organized and compliant was top of mind for the district.

Problem Addressed

Sanitation District No. 1 (SD1) has managed Northern Kentucky’s wastewater and stormwater for decades, keeping its rivers clean for over 70 years. As the second largest pretreatment program in Kentucky, SD1 cleans 37 million gallons of water with over 2,000 miles of underground pipe, serving a population of 115,000 customer accounts.

Sarah Griffith, Laboratory and Industrial Pretreatment Manager, oversees the laboratory and manages the industrial pretreatment and fats, oils and grease (FOG) programs at SD1. The lab team performs 40,000 analyses each year. On the pretreatment side, the team oversees, inspects, and samples 55 industrial users in the service area. They additionally permit and inspect 200 food service establishments (FSEs) under the FOG Program.

Many departments within SD1 switched over to a new computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) for scheduling and tracking their work, and the industrial pretreatment and FOG program team thought it’d be practical for them to do the same.

Although the CMMS was a very robust and comprehensive program for other teams within the organization, it quickly became apparent that the CMMS’ compliance capabilities were not advanced enough to manage SD1’s pretreatment and FOG programs. “The CMMS worked to the extent that you can handle industries as assets and track utilization of time,” explained Griffith, “However, it was just not able to handle compliance, and compliance is a big part of what we do.”

Northern Kentucky’s Sanitation District No. 1 (SD1) used/is using Linko for industrial pretreatment & FOG management to address this/these challenge(s).

Solution(s) Used

Now that SD1 had confirmed that their old software solution had the best capabilities, they moved over to a cloud hosted environment supported by Aquatic Informatics’ Linko. Because the team had already been using Linko software, they understood its robust capabilities and usability for understanding compliance. This is why they opted to continue using Linko instead of the CMMS other departments adopted. “From my experience with different types of software, I’ve found that hosted environments generally work better for specialty software,” said Griffith. The transition from on premise to hosted is simple with no training required and allows for better access to the program and an added level of security.”

The software’s LabSync function automatically transfers results from the lab. Ran each night, LabSync ensures that data is ready for review from LIMS each morning. It then alerts SD1 to possible compliance issues, giving them a preliminary check on compliance.

Regulations and their interpretation change over time. By automatically integrating regulation changes in the cloud environment, SD1 is able to stay on top of regulations without involving IT for software updates. It can determine compliance against rolling quarters and can identify significant non-compliance issues.

Having the ability to extract all of the events, site visits, sampling events, etc. from one location allows SD1 to do all reporting directly from the software. With state reports changing almost every year, it’s very important that the department can query data to answer the questions required for the reports automatically.

The software also allows Griffith’s team to draft up standardized permit templates, allowing SD1 to establish standard permits and easily tweak them when needed. Violations can be issued and tracked along with an enforcement response plan that automates compliance. “This is a great tool for keeping permits standard, especially when changes occur and we have to reissue all 55 industry permits at the same time. It’s really nice to be able to pull all the pieces together and create all of the permits at once,” said Griffith.

Outcomes

  1. Lab results are automatically synched daily with compliance issues already flagged to eliminate manual data review for faster action.
  2. Custom compliance parameters determine exceedances against rolling quarters to quickly identify significant non-compliance issues.
  3. Easy, quick identification of anomalies allows the department to send out state reports much faster.
  4. More adaptability as reports and compliance change at the state level, enabled by permit templates.

Lessons Learned

  1. Trying to make one software work across all departments was not going to work for SD1. In this situation customization was crucial to optimizing compliance’
  2. Moving to a cloud platform opens accessibility, adds a layer of security, and can seamlessly keep up to date with regulations and software upgrades.
  3. When it comes to managing regulatory compliance, automation is key in identifying hot spots so that personnel can address issues of compliance before they become a bigger problem.

Who Should Consider?

Municipalities and wastewater facilities that manage industrial pretreatment and FOG programs.

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