WaterEUM — Effective Utility Management

Ten Attributes -

Operational Optimization

Ensures ongoing, timely, cost-effective, reliable, and sustainable performance improvements in all facets of its operations. Minimizes resource use, loss, and impacts from day-to-day operations. Maintains awareness of information and operational technology developments to anticipate and support timely adoption of improvements.

Link to Example Measures 

Resources:

Developing a Public Works Operations Manual
An operations manual is an essential asset to any agency, but there's no standard that will fit all agencies. However, there are some common, key elements that should be included in any operations manual, and this book will identify them and teach you how to use them. Learn how to ensure smooth transitions in your workforce, guard against the risk of lost information, and provide consistently good service to your community. (56 pages, 2006) $$ Order Now 

Get on the Same Page! Operations Manual to the Rescue
Does everybody "do their own thing" when it comes to performing essential job functions? If so, an operations manual can serve many purposes in your agency. It can function as a training document, enhance public awareness, describe levels of service and include detailed procedures for responding to emergencies. Most importantly, an operations manual can serve as a repository for your agency's institutional memory - the knowledge and experience of your veteran employees. (CDROM, 2005) $$ Order Now 

Public Works Administration
This book synthesizes the professional experiences of nearly a dozen public works professional and provides the most up to date reference book available to public works managers today. (2007) $$ Order Now 

Selection and Definition of Performance Indicators for Water and Wastewater Utilities
This report traces the development of the 22 performance indicators, or benchmarks, that form the basis of the QualServe Benchmarking Clearinghouse program for water and wastewater utilities. The 22 indicators are organized by QualServe's framework of five business areas.2004 - Softbound - 125 pp. ISBN 158321304X; Catalog No. 90970 $$ Order Now 


Measures:

Resource optimization
Description:
This measure examines resource use efficiency, including labor and material per unit of output or mile of collection/distribution system.

Example calculations: 

  • Customer accounts per employee: Number of accounts / number of FTEs. (FTE = 2,080 hours per year of employee time equivalent.) This is a QualServe Indicator.1 

  • MGD water delivered/processed per employee: Average MGD delivered/processed / FTEs per year. This is a QualServe Indicator.2 

  • Chemical use per volume delivered/processed: Amount of chemicals used / MG delivered/processed during reporting period. (Alternatively can use dollar amount spent on chemicals / MG delivered/processed; in this case a rolling average for amount spent would account for periodic bulk purchases.)

  • Energy use per volume delivered/processed: KWH / MG delivered/processed during reporting period. (Alternatively can use dollar amount spent on energy / MG delivered/processed.)

  • O&M cost per volume delivered/processed: Total O&M cost / MG delivered/processed during reporting period.

A utility can also apply the above resource use per volume delivered/processed calculations to resource use per mile (or 100 miles) of collection/distribution system, (i.e., chemical use per mile, energy use per mile, or O&M cost per mile).

Water management efficiency
Description: This measure assesses drinking water production and delivery efficiency by considering resources as they enter and exit the utility system.

Example calculations: 

  • Production efficiency: Ratio of raw water volume taken into the treatment system to treated water produced.

  • Distribution system water loss (a.k.a. non-revenue water) (percent): 100 X [volume of water distributed - (volume of water billed + volume of unbilled authorized water) / total volume of water distributed]. (Quantifies the percentage of produced water that fails to reach customers and cannot otherwise be accounted for through authorized usage.) This is a QualServe Indicator.3 

  • Meter function (percent): 100 X (total number of active billable meters minus stopped or malfunctioning meters / total number of active billable meters).


[1]  Part of the same Indicator (set) as MGD water delivered / MGD waste water processed per FTE.
From AWWA and AwwaRF, Selection and Definition of Performance Indicators for Water and Wastewater Utilities, p. 40. 2004. Note: This material is copyrighted and any reprinting must be by permission of the American Water Works Association.
 

[2]  Ibid., p. 40. 

[3] From AWWA and AwwaRF, Selection and Definition of Performance Indicators for Water and Wastewater Utilities, p. 59. 2004. Note: This material is copyrighted and any reprinting must be by permission of the American Water Works Association.