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MSD, Water Works Featured As Industry Leaders

MSD & Water Works Featured In National Water Industry Report

Recognized As Industry Leaders In Asset Management

A new water industry report showcases the Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati's (MSD) and Greater Cincinnati Water Works' (GCWW) leading use of asset management practices. MSD and GCWW are one of four best practices case studies featured in "Water Infrastructure Asset Management: Adopting Best Practices to Enable Better Investments," a study conducted by McGraw-Hill Construction in partnership with CH2M HILL.

The report predicts strong growth in the use of asset management practices within the water industry over the next five years to replace, upgrade or expand existing infrastructure, determine capital investment and maintenance strategies and plan budgets.

MSD launched an asset management program in 2007. GCWW moved from a time-based asset management program to a risk-based approach in 2011.

"Our asset management program has allowed us to compare alternatives, determine the best and most affordable solution to operate our assets long term and keep costs low," said Tony Parrott, MSD's Executive Director. "Our Asset Management and Reliability Centered Maintenance Program is being showcased as a national model to 250 utilities this week at the Utility Management Conference in Phoenix, Arizona."

"Using asset management practices, we can analyze the level of service of our assets, along with risk of potential failure considering both social and environmental factors. We can create a vision for the future and develop an integrated process to get us where we want to be at the lowest cost," added Biju George, Interim Director of GCWW and MSD Deputy Director. "It's smart planning that has improved the way we do business."

Preliminary findings of the asset management study were released at the U.S. Conference of Mayors winter meeting in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 17, 2013. The study shows that:

  • 80% of current practitioners expect to be using eight out of the 14 asset management practices identified in the study by 2017
  • 80% report an improved ability to explain and defend their budgets and investments
  • 67% have a better focus on priorities
  • 84% of practitioners consider risk assessment an important element in their decisions about investments in new or existing assets, compared to 58% of non-practitioners
  • 59% of practitioners are looking more than ten years out in their asset strategy planning, compared to 33% of non-practitioners.

According to the study, the greatest area of growth is the development of an asset management policy, with growth expected in use among practitioners from 46% to 84% and growth among non-practitioners from 5% to 59%.

"A lot of people think of asset management as being about the infrastructure itself. While the focus starts there, it is much more holistic than that," says Scott Haskins, CH2M HILL Director, Management and Strategic Consulting. "It really is a way of doing business. It involves organizational, operational and decision-making changes."

The 2013 Water Infrastructure Asset Management study was completed in conjunction with American Public Works Association, American Water Works Association, National Association of Clean Water Agencies, National Association of Water Companies and Water Environment Federation. The study included 451 respondents from the U.S. and Canada ranging from utilities serving a minimum population of 3,300 to a population of over 500,000.