The Town of West Springfield’s underground utilities have been in service since the late 1800s. Town officials were interested in conducting an asset risk assessment to prioritize operation and maintenance practices, reduce the risk of asset failure, and optimize their operating budget. BETA determined the viability of the utility network and provided the Town with an operations and management budget forecast.
The project began with a complete asset inventory. An inventory of the Town’s operations and maintenance programs was also taken into consideration. Levels of service were determined for each asset type, acting as the main criteria for determining what the Town wants the asset to achieve. BETA identified and calculated risk to develop an O&M forecast to aid the Town with adjusting its budget accordingly.
BETA was able to share geospatial data through an online portal with the Town. ArcGIS online proved to be the vehicle for visualizing data and establishing communication with the Town. In turn, ArcMap and ArcGIS Pro were used to run analyses that prioritized maintenance programs and identified an area’s probability of failure and the impact associated with that failure. Best management practices were established for the Town to move forward with budgeting for their O&M programs.
These steps are of critical importance as more municipalities recognize the need to develop risk and resilience assessments, and ultimately create emergency response plans. Utility infrastructure asset management programs allow municipalities to locate assets and therefore evaluate vulnerabilities, threats, and consequences from potential hazards.
Once assets have been identified, many municipalities then collect additional information to monitor potential malevolent acts or natural hazards to their systems. Taking these steps can reduce the threat of risk of failure, and identify strategies to detect threats before a significant impact on the system takes place.