Municipal Uses for GIS Saves Time and Money and Adds Efficiencies
Municipal-Uses-for-GIS

Mobile GIS apps help municipalities access field data on mobile phones or tablet computers, granting immediate access to asset information instantly from anywhere. Quick access is especially important when urgent repairs are required, such as during a water main break.

Larson Design Group recently completed a project using a mobile GIS app for the Village of Addison, NY. The Village asked LDG to complete a sanitary sewer evaluation, part of which involved inspecting manholes to assess condition and determine whether stormwater was infiltrating into the system.

As LDG inspected each manhole, the company’s engineers uploaded data about the structure to a mapping app, enabling the client to click on the respective manhole icon on a map and have immediate access to photos, condition and other relevant information. The asset manage application provided amore efficient way to manage the system, make more informed decisions and prioritize repairs based on asset conditions.

As part of the evaluation, closed circuit television was used to inspect the sanitary sewer mains using a remote controlled camera. This resulted in a PDF data sheet for each section of the mains, which documented all observed defects along the length of the pipe section and the precise location and condition of each lateral connection. LDG linked the PDF to each section of main within the app so Village personnel can likewise find the online data sheet showing the pipe condition and the location of all lateral connections.

“The Village now uses the online viewer tool as record drawings for its collection system,” said Brad Sick, PE, design engineer in LDG’s Corning, NY office. “Whenever the Village has a maintenance issue or someone is working near their sewer lines — such as with gas service installation — the Village references the GIS app to better understand where the subsurface infrastructure is and what condition it’s in.”

LDG has also used GIS apps to track construction management. As the contractor uncovered buried manholes and raised them to grade, LDG took photos of each and tracked pay quantities (riser depth per manhole) with the app.

Looking ahead in 2018, LDG has helped the Village secure a Community Development Block Grant planning grant to study its water system. “We hope to map surface features such as hydrants, valves and service shutoffs; draw in mains; and collect data for assets such as hydrants,” said Sick. “The plan is to integrate the Village’s water and sewer infrastructure into a single app so its personnel can continue to use the online map of its water and sewer assets for maintenance, utility coordination and planning.”

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