Line management with data acquisition and data import for as-built documentation
Water boards in rural areas today often face major challenges: The infrastructure is changing dynamically and the tasks are growing. Large amounts of data from different sources have to be transferred, efficiently managed and used. A suitable geo-information system is therefore a decisive factor for success.
One association with many tasks
Wasserverband Lingener Land is located in northwestern Germany near the Dutch border. It supplies drinking water to approx. 21,000 household connections with a main pipeline network of approx. 1,300 kilometers. The area covered by the association has a rural structure and is largely sparsely populated. It consists of one larger city and several municipalities. In the last ten years, both the district and the water association have undergone a transformation. Numerous industrial, commercial and new construction areas have been added, and the water board has also taken over the wastewater supply of several connected communities.
Growing requirements and amounts of data
In the course of time, the variety of data developed into an ever-increasing data chaos. A multitude of maps and analog plans existed that were still drawn by hand and did not match in scale. Locating a power supply or a connection often resembled a puzzle with several pieces, and administration became inefficient and time-consuming. Citizens and communities often had to wait a long time for their information. Overall, those in charge felt that they were not making the best use of available resources and were not supplying and disposing of households in the best possible way.
Conversion from analog to digital inventory documentation
A contemporary and future-proof solution was required. A software for line networks was to improve service, optimize processes and integrate the existing data volumes. The network information system (NIS) was to be integrated into the existing IT concept and be available in all departments. Despite an overarching overall concept, however, the various workplaces should retain the option of specialized work. The system was to be as open and flexible as possible and adaptable to the individual needs of the water board without additional costs. In addition, the association expected technical depth and innovative strength.
Implementation: Less difficult than expected
One system in particular was able to meet this extensive catalog of requirements: BaSYS from BARTHAUER. In 2001, after extensive testing, workstations were installed for the water and wastewater areas, as well as several information workstations. The employees took over the complete initial recording for the wastewater area, while an external engineering office digitally recorded the water supply network. Some of the employees had reservations about using a supposedly complicated GIS, because they were used to analog inventory documentation. Training courses tailored to the respective needs, as well as support via web seminars and telephone customer service eased the familiarization period and the result convinced even the last doubters!
The result: Efficient and contemporary line management
Today, all water and wastewater networks are represented and managed uniformly and jointly under BaSYS. The data chaos has given way to efficient and transparent data management, from which employees and customers alike benefit. Within the association, all employees have access to browser-oriented information applications to easily and quickly access required data without accidentally deleting anything. The water and wastewater planning workstations, on the other hand, have significantly more rights and can choose between several graphics applications based on the same database when editing. The multi-platform concept allows employees in each area to use the tool of their choice. For example, CAD systems are popular in the design area as well as in data collection, while thematic plans can be created most quickly with ArcGIS. BaSYS has significantly accelerated workflows, which also benefits the water board’s customers. Today, plan information for drinking water and wastewater pipelines is already checked when requested by telephone and issued by e-mail within one day.
Almost ten years after the introduction of BaSYS, Peter Gödde and the entire team are still enthusiastic about “their” NIS. “We work more economically and efficiently. For many tasks, we now only need a fraction of the time we used to. Problems with multiple data storage are a thing of the past, and overall, processes run more harmoniously and automatically. We now have a powerful tool for planning and optimization tasks. BaSYS makes it easier for us to work according to our self-image: A sustainable approach to valuable resources and a fair price for our customers.”