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Published on: 08/04/2011

The main components of the Municipal Assistant™ include a series of modules that are generically developed based on the needs on the ground in the water sector, as well as a set of operations management reports.

The modules are:

  • General: contacts, staff, documentation, photos, manufacturers and suppliers, classification of works, etc.
  • Water quality and plant performance: monitoring points, water quality and flow data, graphical procedures and statistics to manage the performance of the plant and the quality of water or effluent.
  • Plant efficiency module (comparing the reduction of a constituent between any two monitoring points).
  • Recording of incidents and routine inspections with standard reports.
  • Asset management: inventories, replacement costs, life span of equipment, maintenance schedules, reporting, etc.
  • Financial management: budgeting and management of expenditure (cash flow).
  • Inspections and incidents
  • Staff and Skills Development (generic for staff specific career requirements, i.e. qualifications, skills and training).
  • Resource Monitoring: monitoring of rivers, streams and boreholes. Add monitoring points and data with graphical outputs and reports to facilitate the understanding of impacts for timely environmental mitigation actions.
  • Soil analysis (standard logging of data and reports).
  • Water Demand and Sanitation database (household numbers for wards, villages and towns and their domestic, commercial and industrial water usage of water, sanitation systems – connected, VIPs, bucket system, etc).
  • Sewer Management: a management tool to assist the WSAs with the maintenance and management of their reticulation systems. It includes the logging of calls and the arranging of call-outs. Calls could be to do with burst pipes, major leakages or the clearing of blockages at sewer pump-stations or within the reticulation system. It logs the personnel hours, equipment used and transport used and costs each call-out.
  • eWISA Municipal Assistant™ Viewer: the Viewer is made available to Department of Water Affairs (DWA) Regional offices and to consultants working with the WSAs. It is up to the WSA to decide who may view their information and they provide the “entry key”. The Viewer shows all the information captured by the WSA but the information on the system cannot be tampered with. The user of the eWISA Municipal Assistant™ will also use the website to download data and make it available to the Viewer. In the same way the eWISA team can distribute new versions of the software for their clients.
  • Wastewater Calculator: this tool is designed to help the process controllers to determine whether their plant is working optimally. The design criteria used in the development of this tool was obtained from the Handbook for the Operation of Wastewater Treatment Works – WISA 2002. It also describes the various modules in a water or wastewater treatment process with diagrams and photos and deals with flow calculations, degritting efficiency, sedimentation, biological filtration, sludge digestion and disinfection, so that the process controllers can increase their knowledge.
  • Conversions: this is a tool to help the process controllers convert from imperial to metric units and deals with length, area, volume, flow, speed, pressure, power and sea water density.

Operation and management reports

There are various operation and management reports generated by the eWISA Municipal Assistant™ to help in the day-to-day management of water and wastewater treatment facilities. These reports have been developed at the request of the operational people to help them to motivate for their fair share of the municipal budget and to help in the day-to-day management of water and wastewater treatment facilities. These reports have also been developed at the request of the operational people who have seen the system and who have worked with the system over the last years.

 1. Inventory Report

This is a list of all the items that have been entered into the system and identifies their location, the date of purchase, the age and their cost. The cost of each item is also updated by using the Consumer Price Index which automatically adjusts the price to reflect a probable updated price.

 2. Life Span Report

The system will generate a list of all items at the water care works and records the age of each item and whether it has reached a stage where it should be replaced or at least critically evaluated for replacement. This allows the manager to inform the municipal manager that a plant needs to be replaced and the costs can be timeously placed on the budget.

3. Equipment Assessment Report

This is a most useful report which can be generated at any interval to inform the water care plant manager of the items that are “in use”, “spare”, “on-loan”, or “not applicable”. It also gives information about the condition as being “OK”, “Out of Order”, “Requires service”, or “not applicable”.

4. Budget Report

The system also has the ability to produce a Budget for the Water Care Plant. The projected costs of any maintenance that has been specified can be transferred to a budget period which has been included to help the water care manager set out the operational costs of managing the plant over that specified budget period. All items that are required for the operation of the Works are added to the budget and not only the maintenance items, for example the costs of administration, spares, equipment, consumable stores, chemicals and instrumentation

5. Job Cards

The system will generate a job card based on the requirements that have been loaded. The information on the job card will include the item, where it is situated, who is responsible, the work that needs to be done and the projected cost of the maintenance. Once the job has been completed, the job card is signed off, the actual cost is recorded and the information is recorded on the system.

6. Compliance Reports

They are set up to report the effluent analyses in the format required by the DWA Regional offices. The report effectively takes the waste discharge analyses information collected in a monthly period, averages the results and sets this all out in a format which can be emailed of faxed.

7. Inspection Reports

There are various process inspection reports that have been designed for various generic processes. Examples are the Weekly WWTW Inspection, Monthly WWTW Inspection, Oxidation Ponds Inspection and the Water Treatment Works Inspection Reports. These are all automatically filed on the system so that reference can be made to them at any time.

8. Incident Reports

These are in a simplified generic format which helps the process controllers identify the real issues surrounding an incident and the actions that need to be taken to rectify the situation.

9. A check list and full report

These can now be produced to support the DWA’s Blue Drop –Green Drop initiative.

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Dick de Jong

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