Where: City of Socorro Water and Wastewater Utilities, Socorro, New Mexico
Problem: The Water and Wastewater Utilities has a limited budget. The utilities lacked technical skills to develop an asset management plan.
Solution: RCAC provided technical expertise to start asset inventory and mapping, inventory software, and developed recommendations for hardware, software, and staff training.
Asset management plans are essential for water and wastewater utilities to provide the level of service that their customers deserve. It is also important in properly maintaining the system and budget appropriately. The foundation for an asset management plan is the asset inventory.
The City of Socorro, located in Socorro County in central New Mexico. has an estimated population just under 9,000. The Water and Wastewater Utilities serve almost 4,000 connections. Utility managers have made past attempts at beginningng asset mapping, but because they did not have the proper equipment, the results were inaccurate. Faced with budget constraints, the city looked to RCAC for assistance.
RCAC assessed the situation and used stimulus funds to develope a plan for the first phase of the asset management plan. RCAC staff worked with utility staff to configure an accurate GPS and collect the information needed about each asset. RCAC provided the utility with a free database to manage the asset inventory and developed an interface to load GPS data into the inventory database. RCAC will develop an initial GIS using the asset data collected by the staff, which the utility will maintain going forward. RCAC helped the utility staff get involved with the New Mexico Environmental Finance Center’s educational programs to promote asset planning. Aware of the current budget situation, RCAC provided low-cost, short-term recommendations of hardware, software, and staff training, as well as suggestions for longer-term investments as the plan matures.
When the inventory and mapping are complete, Socorro Water and Wastewater Utilities will have a foundation in place for completing a full asset management plan.