Asset management / By Eddit Kirst, PE

Unexpected payoff

How one wastewater department cut its capital budget in half.

The dynamic model for this pump station showed high run times--up to 40 hours/day total for two pumps--during rainfall events, indicating a leaky system in need of remediation. Anomalies in run time vs. rainfall reflect the fact that this station collects flow from three distant upstream lift stations, and rainfall in Pearland, Texas, can be a very local event. The model automatically rationalized data by backing out the upstream contributions, adding to its accuracy. Source: Kirst Kosmoski Inc.

Custom care-taking

Free decision-making software allows managers to build programs designed specifically for their community.

Last year the Transportation Research Board published "Guidelines for the Selection of Snow and Ice Control Materials to Mitigate Environmental Impacts," also known as NCHRP Report 577.

Report 577 includes a free, downloadable decision-making tool software that allows managers to compare different purchasing and application scenarios by varying the "weight" of four variables: cost, product performance, the effects on infrastructure, and the impact on the environment. It can be downloaded as a zipped file at:

Alter ego

Build the department of your dreams on the Internet.

Grid Works, formerly SLEngineer Magazine

Grid Works March08.pdf

Second Life

From the APWA Congress Workshop Wednesday schedule:

THOUGHT LEADER WORKSHOP - Virtual Public Works - Is this How We'll Be Doing Business in the Future?

1:30 - 4 p.m.

Blogs, online magazines, webcasts, internet radio, virtual worlds-all at the public works professional's fingertips. Take this journey into how the virtual world is being used by public works trendsetters to communicate, collaborate, and promote the profession. Pam Broviak, PE, public works director and city engineer for LaSalle, Ill., is managing a Public Works Resource Center using the Second Life virtual world to create engineering design templates that are not only 3-D, but can be examined by "picking them up" or "walking through them."

The possibilities for public works applications using Second Life and other virtual and social networking tools could be endless as we move further into the 21st century.

Sign up for this workshop and participate in a project to build a virtual treatment plant in Second Life. We'll be in touch with you prior to Congress to alert you to opportunities to participate in Second Life orientation events so that you have a familiarity with the technology prior attending the workshop. Have fun and learn too!