City achieves 20 percent savings with new public works system that eliminates water leakages and illegal connections.

The City of Volta Redonda, Brazil, has gone operational with its new Geospatial Resource Management System, powered by Intergraph's GeoMedia technology. The City of Volta Redonda's Public Works Department, Servico Autonomo de Agua e Esgoto (SAAE), provides water and wastewater services to 300,000 residents and manages a network of more than 70,000 water pipes and 68,000 sewer pipes. GeoMedia PublicWorks Manager is improving access to the city's asset information, thus speeding analysis of water consumption and identification of parcels affected by routine maintenance or outages.

"With GeoMedia solutions, we can now see the entire network on the desktop and spatially analyze the data for better decision making," said Evandro Silva, SAAE's GIS manager. "We are pleased to have significantly diminished the chance of scarcity of our water supply. Coupled with our efforts to increase capacity and improve the treatment station, the new system will help our city meet the increased water consumption needs that we anticipate in the next few years."

Previously, SAAE's cadastre was completely paper based. Leakages and illegal connections were wasting 40 percent of the city's treated water. To better monitor and maintain the system, the department required a complete geographic information system (GIS) that included capabilities for data conversion, data collection using the Global Positioning System (GPS) and network validation and operation in a truly integrated enterprise environment.

By pinpointing operational problems such as leaks, breaks and open valves, GeoMedia PublicWorks Manager's functionality for network tracing and feature association has resulted in a 50 percent reduction in the amount of water being wasted. GPS is used to collect customer location information, which is uploaded into the PublicWorks Manager data model on a nightly basis. SAAE performs complex spatial and textual analysis based on the latest data collected, resulting in thorough, accurate reports. Among other uses, the analysis capability enables SAAE to:

  • detect frauds in the system by analyzing big consumption changes
  • quantify the consumption of water per region
  • identify residents with delinquent accounts
  • manage the expenses in homes with swimming pools
  • calculate the sewer volumes in each point An example of practical system usage is that the software locates residents who will lose service when a water pipe needs maintenance and automatically generates an advance mailing to inform the customers of the disrupted service.

In addition, when the wastewater system experiences problems, the nearest valve can be found and closed to isolate the trouble.