Streamline - Fall 2013 - (Page 25)
Time for Some R&R
“R&R” when it involves Hawaii or the lake or just a backyard barbeque and all the
accoutrements. But R&R that covers utility equipment repair and replacement? That’s work. But work
smarter and not harder and you can get in more of that other kind of R&R.
WE ALL LOVE
BY CARL BROWN,
should go in
Few small to medium sized water and sewer
systems have good R&R schedules. Some have
none at all. If you want to be known for how well
you run a utility, R&R planning is a must-do task.
What, then, is “R&R?” It is Repair, refurbishment and Replacement. It can most easily be
defined by defining what it is not:
• R&R usually should not cover those things that
predictably happen every year. Those should
go in the annual budget.
• R&R should not cover construction of system backbone components – new wells, new
treatment plants and such (generally, things
that will be paid for with loans and maybe
grants). Those should be included in a capital
The R&R concept is easy. The math is hard.
But not if you use the free spreadsheet
called “ReplacementScheduler©” available at
gettinggreatrates.com. (No sign up, no anything,
just download it.) The following tables are
simplifications of those in this program.
Thus, R&R best covers the in-between items
and tasks that are needed to extend the useful life of the system.
Think water tower
Best Town, U.S.A. Water System
Equipment Replacement Detail Chart
and repaints; not buildTotal
ing the water tower in
Repaint Replacethe first place.
Tower #1 Truck #1
R&R planning and
scheduling needs to
include at least these
Figuring out what
you have, what
condition each of those
items is in, what needs to
be done first to each item
to keep the system in good working order, about
when those actions need to happen and about what
each of those actions will cost in today’s dollars.
(Three example tasks are illustrated in Table 1. By
the way, this listing is the heart of the “inventory”
phase of asset management.) As to costs, use your
best estimates. You can refine those estimates as
you get more experience.
a. As an example, the actions covered in this
schedule concerning a service truck only
include replacing the truck. But you might
opt to rebuild the engine and extend the useful life of the truck for awhile. However, you
should not include oil and filter changes and
other minor maintenance tasks in the R&R
schedule (too much detail). Include those
in a general “vehicle maintenance” annual
Repeat Step 1. This time cover the next
action that will be needed for each item.
Most actions will repeat on a cycle. For example,
you might plan to replace service trucks on a five
to 10 year cycle depending upon the mileage you
drive, severity of conditions and such.
Annual annuity is the result of a present value
calculation of a string of incomes (deposits)
and costs (actions) through time as those costs
inflate and the account balance earns interest.
These complex calculations are performed by
Your schedule should be entered into a
spreadsheet. The spreadsheet should sum
up each year’s R&R costs and culminate by
doing a present value calculation to determine
the annual annuity or deposit needed to do all
the planned work. This scheduling and costing
is a budgeting task. It is just done separate from
preparation of the general budget.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Streamline - Fall 2013
From the President
From the Executive Director
Acronyms – Today’s Language
Drought or Flood?
Can Changing Your Plant Lighting Save You Money?
Source Water Protection Notes
Aging and Failing Infrastructure
Time for Some R&R
EXPO Coverage and Recap
Ergs, Joules and Other Stuff
Throwing My Loop
eLearning Benefi ts
Do You Know What Your VRWA Benefi ts Are
Welcome New Members
Board of Directors
Index to Advertisers/Ad.com
Streamline - Fall 2013