Tue, 11 Apr 2023

How the City of Brandon Rolled Out a Web GIS-based Water Network Tracing and Outage Control App

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The Challenge

A common challenge faced by water utilities is performing traces of their water network. In order to manage their water distribution network most efficiently, they need to be able to quickly and accurately trace and visualize the various pipes, valves, pumps, and other components in the network to allow for temporary shut offs for scheduled maintenance, replacement, or in the case of an emergency.
VertiGIS empowers water utility customers of all shapes and sizes to do this work, including the City of Brandon, MB, who recently implemented our water network tracing and outage control solution.

The City of Brandon needed a water network tracing and outage control application to streamline their operations. The solution needed to be lightweight and flexible, built on the Esri Utility Network data model, and allow them to quickly perform network tracing operations – both in the office and in the field – to identify the location of planned and unplanned water outages and reduce their response time. The app also needed to support the notification process to inform affected customers about upcoming planned water outages.

Additionally, the City wanted the solution to support multiple different versions: a lightweight, simple to use mobile version for use in the field, and a more comprehensive back-end version for use in the office. As a smaller organization with limited resources, the solution also needed to be easily managed by a small team.

The Solution

VertiGIS offers customized water network tracing solutions that are built to fit the needs of our customers’ water networks. The solution being delivered for the City of Brandon included all of their desired functionality, including:

  1. A GIS-based web application that allows City staff to easily trace their water network and identify areas where outages need to occur (or are already occurring!).
  2. A valve closure trace feature that enables City staff to identify which valves need to be closed given a starting location. This is used when a leak or other water system issue is detected, and the network needs to be quickly isolated by closing off the correct valves. The system automatically updates the status of the now-closed valves in ArcGIS Utility Network, ensuring consistent data across the network.
  3. An outage control app that allows the City’s staff to quickly respond to water outages and begin repairs.
  4. A notification system that quickly identifies customers affected by an outage and generates contact information and mailing labels to notify them of service disruptions.
  5. An intuitive user interface that makes it easy for staff to navigate the system and perform tasks quickly. It can be used both in the office and in the field and is platform-agnostic across
    device types.

The Result

The implementation of VertiGIS software is providing significant improvements in the City of Brandon’s water distribution network management. The app will provide a significant improvement in their ability
to manage water outages and notify affected customers, resulting in happier customers and
fewer complaints.

City of Brandon staff will also benefit from increased job satisfaction, as they now have an easier time performing network trace operations, ordering outages, and notifying customers of upcoming outages. They are able to make more informed decisions about their water network and take action more quickly.

In the future, the City will continue to iterate on their solution and add additional functionality as new needs arise including seamless integration with their asset management or other enterprise systems.

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