Bonita Springs Utilities in Southwest Florida serves one of the fastest-growing regions in one of the nation’s fastest-growing states. Its facilities are designed to anticipate a growing population’s increasing demand for drinking water and wastewater treatment.
To stay competitive with similar utilities and to maintain its mission to offer “safe, reliable and potable water and wastewater service,” Bonita Springs conducted a business process review that noted the utility’s manual, paper-based data entry procedures were not as efficient as they could be.
The nature of paper-based entry systems meant that operators would sometimes enter duplicate data or enter it in an inconsistent manner that required additional time and resources to process.
The risk of data entry errors was ever-present, and some data had to be copied from paper and re-entered into a spreadsheet, requiring hours of valuable employee time.
Bonita Springs Utilities provides water and wastewater service to more than 50,000 people living in a 60-square-mile service area that covers the City of Bonita Springs, the southern portion of the Village of Estero and unincorporated Lee County.
BSU has a water treatment capacity of up to 12 million gallons per day to allow for continued population growth and serves more than 40,000 wastewater connections.
Founded in 1969, the member-owned, nonprofit utility employs 130 people and has won numerous honors recognizing it for outstanding water distribution performance, best-tasting drinking water and plant of the year.
GrayMatter is co-innovating with Bonita Springs Utilities to allow plant operators making their daily rounds to input data digitally via a mobile application on a tablet — a first for the utility, which is seeking ways to use technology to improve efficiency and control costs.
The capabilities of the application will expand in response to feedback from BSU’s operators.
For example, the mobile application will allow operators to view near real-time SCADA system data remotely, allowing operators to compare physical gauge readings with their virtual counterparts.
Plans also call for a computerized maintenance management system that will be capable of issuing work orders to address critical maintenance events more efficiently, enhancing reliability and lowering costs by addressing minor or moderator maintenance issues before they evolve into major ones.
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