Streamline - Fall 2017 - 25

Recipe for Sustainably
Managing Utilities
BY ANTHONY HESS, SUSTAINABILITY COORDINATOR, VDH-OFFICE OF DRINKING WATER
IN MY JOB as a Sustainability Coordinator with the Virginia Department of Health, I am constantly

meeting with new utilities and spreading the word about what it looks like to manage utilities in a
sustainable manner. In this case, we use the definition of sustainability that means utilities want to
manage in such a way that they are still around to provide services for generations to come. Many
different topics can come under the umbrella of sustainability. Here is a general recipe that operators
and managers could refer to about sustainably managing utilities.

Many different
topics can
come under
the umbrella of
sustainability.
Here is a
general recipe
that operators
and managers
could refer
to about
sustainably
managing
utilities.

The utility should make sure that all operators
have the license required for their system, and
should encourage new operators to increase their
licensure level when possible. The utility should
pay for the training of their operators and for the
continuing education requirements needed to
maintain their license. Back up operators should
be cross-trained from other divisions, or the utility should maintain a list of substitute operators
that have both the proper licensure and agree
to work on their days off from a neighboring
utility. Operators should have a career ladder to
increase pay as they increase in licensure and
responsibility levels.
Utilities should have standard operating procedures for routine tasks like backwashing filters and unidirectional flushing of the system.
They should complete routine water audits that
at a minimum subtract gallons of water billed
from gallons of water produced. Preferably, they
should follow the AWWA water audit software,
which is the industry standard for water audits.
The utility should complete routine leak detection and pressure monitoring of the distribution system. Pipes should be repaired as soon
as possible. In addition,
they should have a safety
program to keep employees safe. After investing so
much time and resources
to develop well-trained
employees, it just makes
sense to provide them with
the training and tools necessary to keep everyone safe.

The utility should consider the security
of their facilities, including cyber security
for SCADA and other computer systems.
Emergency Management Plans need to be
developed that provide contingencies for, at
the minimum, the most probable emergencies
the utility may face. Preventative maintenance
should be scheduled in a work order management system and every effort made to meet
those schedules. The utility should develop
an Asset Management Plan. This plan should
include a list of all of their parts and pieces,
including the condition, criticality, cost to
replace, physical location, age and useful life of
the asset. This Asset Management Plan should
be used to create a Capital Improvement Plan
that details which assets of lowest condition and
highest criticality will be replaced in the next
five years, including how they will be paid for.
The system should save some money for a
"rainy day" in a reserve fund. This reserve savings should include enough money to pay for
three months of operating expenses, the cost to
replace the most critical asset that could interrupt
service and some savings toward future replacement of infrastructure. A budget should be created that details all of these expenses, including
savings for reserves and extra funds needed to
properly achieve all of the other items mentioned
above such as: preventative maintenance, safety,
leak detection and repair, etc. Rates should periodically be adjusted to cover the costs needed to
sustainably manage your utility.
Sustainability is a realistic goal when you follow this recipe.
www.vrwa.org

25


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Streamline - Fall 2017

From the President: Accomplishment
From the Executive Director: Time Flies…
VRWA Said “Goodbye” to Board Member and Friend Roy Markham
Basic Management Skills
Lessons from Louisiana
Planning for the Future
The 2017 Virginia Water Resources Progress Report
The Benefits of Pipe Marking for Water and Wastewater Facilities
Water and Environmental Programs
Recipe for Sustainably Managing Utilities
When and How to Use Piping Restraints
NRWA Recap
Throwing My Loop: Cowboy Up…
VRWA Member Corner
eLearning Benefits
Membership Application
Benefits for VRWA Members
Board of Directors
VRWA Committees
Index to Advertisers/Ad.com
Streamline - Fall 2017 - Intro
Streamline - Fall 2017 - cover1
Streamline - Fall 2017 - cover2
Streamline - Fall 2017 - 3
Streamline - Fall 2017 - 4
Streamline - Fall 2017 - 5
Streamline - Fall 2017 - 6
Streamline - Fall 2017 - From the President: Accomplishment
Streamline - Fall 2017 - 8
Streamline - Fall 2017 - From the Executive Director: Time Flies…
Streamline - Fall 2017 - 10
Streamline - Fall 2017 - VRWA Said “Goodbye” to Board Member and Friend Roy Markham
Streamline - Fall 2017 - 12
Streamline - Fall 2017 - Basic Management Skills
Streamline - Fall 2017 - 14
Streamline - Fall 2017 - Lessons from Louisiana
Streamline - Fall 2017 - 16
Streamline - Fall 2017 - 17
Streamline - Fall 2017 - 18
Streamline - Fall 2017 - Planning for the Future
Streamline - Fall 2017 - The 2017 Virginia Water Resources Progress Report
Streamline - Fall 2017 - The Benefits of Pipe Marking for Water and Wastewater Facilities
Streamline - Fall 2017 - 22
Streamline - Fall 2017 - 23
Streamline - Fall 2017 - Water and Environmental Programs
Streamline - Fall 2017 - Recipe for Sustainably Managing Utilities
Streamline - Fall 2017 - When and How to Use Piping Restraints
Streamline - Fall 2017 - 27
Streamline - Fall 2017 - 28
Streamline - Fall 2017 - 29
Streamline - Fall 2017 - 30
Streamline - Fall 2017 - NRWA Recap
Streamline - Fall 2017 - 32
Streamline - Fall 2017 - Throwing My Loop: Cowboy Up…
Streamline - Fall 2017 - 34
Streamline - Fall 2017 - VRWA Member Corner
Streamline - Fall 2017 - 36
Streamline - Fall 2017 - eLearning Benefits
Streamline - Fall 2017 - Membership Application
Streamline - Fall 2017 - Benefits for VRWA Members
Streamline - Fall 2017 - 40
Streamline - Fall 2017 - VRWA Committees
Streamline - Fall 2017 - Index to Advertisers/Ad.com
Streamline - Fall 2017 - cover3
Streamline - Fall 2017 - cover4
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