How to Choose the Best Approach for Collecting Water & Sewer System GIS Data

June 26, 2017 /

Earlier this month at PennTec, Matt Cichy offered tips for deciding what approach water and sewer system managers should use to collect GIS data about their system.  We are sharing his slides from that presentation below.

These slides will help managers determine what GIS data collection method is right for them and who can collect the data. They will guide managers through questions such as:

  • How will the data be used right now?
  • How will it be used in the future?

The answer to these questions will determine the level of accuracy the data must meet and whether elevations will be needed. This will, in turn, help to determine who is qualified to collect the data and how much managers can expect the data collection to cost.

Potential reasons a water or sewer system may choose to collect GIS data include:

  • Condensing multiple datasets (from historic records, land development plans, repair projects and sewer extensions) into one for greater efficiency
  • Recording the system knowledge of long-term staff nearing retirement
  • Identifying what facilities the system owns
  • and more

(Identifying what facilities the system owns and their condition is particularly important when considering the sale or leasing of a water or sewer system. It can help the community obtain a fair, accurate value for its assets.)

Water and sewer system managers generally have a well-defined knowledge of their system assets and whether they are publicly or privately owned. Storm sewer systems sometimes do not. However, the increasing stringency of MS4 permit requirements is compelling storm sewer system managers to know exactly what they own in clear detail and understand the logistics of public and private ownership; therefore, more and more storm sewer systems are investing in GIS data collection about their assets.

Once the data is collected, it can be used for sewer system capacity modeling, planning, design, and asset management. (HRG has written extensively about the benefits of asset management to ensure you maximize the life and use of your infrastructure. Read more about the benefits of asset management here.)

For tips on choosing the best data collection methods for your water or sewer system needs, click on the slide below and scroll through the presentation.