Moving Forward with Asset Management

  • Wednesday, January 16, 2013

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All water and wastewater systems are made up of assets. An “asset” is a component of a facility with an independent physical and functional identity and age. Assets can include: pipe, valves, tanks, pumps, wells, hydrants, treatment facilities, and any other components that make up the system. Mount Pleasant Waterworks (MPW) assets include: four reverse osmosis water treatment plants, two wastewater treatment plants, 520 miles of water lines, 460 miles of wastewater lines, more than 3,000 fire hydrants, and 158 wastewater pump stations.

It is projected that the cost to replace all of our assets would exceed $1 billion.

To efficiently manage this important part of our utility, MPW has implemented an Asset Management Program. Asset Management involves meeting a required level of service in the most cost-effective way through the creation, acquisition, operation, maintenance, rehabilitation, and disposal of assets to provide for present and future customers.

MPW is responsible for managing its assets in a cost effective manner for several reasons 1) these types of assets represent major public or private investment; 2) well-run infrastructure is important in economic development; 3) proper operation and maintenance of a utility is essential for public health and safety; 4) utility assets provide essential customer service; and 5) asset management promotes efficiency and innovation in the operation of the system.

As we move forward with our Asset Management Program and begin to repair and replace the assets within our service area our goal is to educate and inform our customers about the need for the projects taking place around our community. In the coming months the Old Village will be a busy area. MPW will be kicking off several asset replacement and renewal projects within the Old Village. Those projects include:  

• Center Street Wastewater Treatment Plant Capacity Enhancement Project

The Center Street Wastewater Treatment Plant (CSWWTP) was constructed in 1969 and in 1986 an upgrade/expansion to its current capacity of 3.7 million gallons per day (mgd). Due to the age and condition of the existing equipment, the $27.3 million capacity enhancement project, will upgrade the CSWWTP to meet more stringent discharge limits while achieving a 20 percent reduction in energy consumption by replacing outdated equipment and processes.

• Wastewater Collection System Rehabilitation Project

MPW’s wastewater system began operating in 1942 with an untreated discharge to the Charleston Harbor and while the overall collection system is in good shape, the Old Village area contains the oldest wastewater lines in Mount Pleasant.

The wastewater lines are generally over 50 years old and are primarily vitrified clay pipe, not the modern plastic pipe materials.

Due to cracks, breaks, and sags many of the pipes are not functioning properly. In 2010, MPW developed a 10-year Rehabilitation Master Plan to address deficiencies in the gravity wastewater system.

In an effort to continue to provide our customers with high quality wastewater service, MPW will be rehabilitating the wastewater collection system in the Old Village area over the next few years.

The two major initiatives that will be part of the Wastewater Collection System Rehabilitation Project will be the Capacity Management, Operations, and Maintenance Projects (CMOM) and the Trenchless Rehabilitation Projects.

The CMOM Projects are wastewater line replacement projects that require excavation. The CMOM projects repair those wastewater lines that cannot be lined with cured-in-place pipe lining (CIPP) under the Trenchless Rehabilitation Projects due to severe sewer system defect, such as severe sags in the lines and flat or reverse slopes.

Typically, the CMOM work is used to repair wastewater lines that have previously backed up.

The CMOM Projects will cost $1.8 million.

The Trenchless Rehabilitation Projects have been performed by MPW for numerous years.

The Trenchless Rehabilitation projects restore the structural integrity of the wastewater collection pipes by lining them with a new cured-in-place lining.

The new liner creates a pipe inside a pipe that is as good as new.

The rehabilitation projects will cost $2.8 million.

• Waterline Replacement Project

The water system serving the Old Village area was installed in the 1930s and 1940s.

Some waterlines do not provide adequate fire flow protection and lines have lost capacity due to tuberculation. 

In 2007, MPW developed a Master Plan to replace old undersized metal pipes in the Old Village area that have become tuberculated, resulting in discolored water and low water pressure.

MPW has reinvested $4,862,784 in the replacement of these assets to date. $2,500,000 is budgeted in Fiscal Year 2013- 2014 to complete this project.

The Asset Management Program is in full effect. MPW staff along with contractors will be working diligently over the next several years to renew our aging infrastructure.

If you have questions concerning projects please contact Operations Center at 884-9626 or send an email to engineering@mpwonline.com.

(Clay Duffie is Director of Mount Pleasant Waterworks.)

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