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Brick Township is the 13th-largest municipality in New Jersey, with a population of 73,620 according to the 2020 Census. Home to the largest amount of water property in the Garden State, Brick has long been a central hub for Jersey Shore tourists. Since Superstorm Sandy landed 10 years ago, the town has seen many upgrades to its local infrastructure and local homes.
The Brick Township Municipal Utilities Authority (BTMUA) operates the town’s water and sewer system management. The Authority supplies water and sewer systems to both the population of Brick and approximately 6,300 residents of Howell Township, as well as bulk water sales to the Borough of Point Pleasant, the Borough of Point Pleasant Beach, and Lakewood Township. Seeing opportunities for upgrades to the management system to be met with the new Water Quality Accountability Act regulations, the Authority decided to go above and beyond in the improvements.
Getting Started: Planning for an Asset Management Update
Many projects call for collaboration and careful planning to allow for a seamless transition and limited interruptions to the community. Colliers Engineering & Design (CED) was tasked in doing just that with the upgrade to the Authority’s asset management system to better enhance safety and security of the town’s water system. Collaborating with BTMUA, CED engineers developed a schedule to upgrade the utility monitoring platform in phases. The challenge: assembling the upgraded systems with little impact to the Authority’s daily operations.
On the Scene: Colliers Engineering & Design’s GIS and Water/Wastewater Experts
Susan Brasefield, PE, PP, CME, Department Manager of Water/Wastewater Services, has experience in various aspects of civil engineering including the planning, design, and contract administration for sanitary sewer collection systems, pumping stations, treatment facilities, water distribution systems, storage and treatment systems, and sanitary sewer rehabilitation. Suzanne M. Zitzman, GISP, Discipline Leader, GIS Asset Management Services, has over 31 years of extensive GIS/GPS project management, design, and mapping experience in the transportation, and civil engineering fields. Together, they collaborated with a team of engineers, GIS specialists, field staff and technicians to set-up the project for success.
CED worked alongside the Authority’s staff to upgrade and standardize the Enterprise Esri GIS platform, coupled with VUEWorks® Asset Management program, giving both teams the opportunity to fully configure the enhanced platform for BTMUA’s needs. One of the key benefits to GIS asset management is the real-time field and office communication from the system to the Authority, preventing possible time loss travelling back and forth from the site. The system updating also enabled new features to ease day-to-day management, with personnel performing field inspections from any mobile device thanks to the VUEWorks® MobileVUE application, as well as seamless online and offline communications.
With a project as large as this, the team at CED made sure to be in communication with the Authority through frequent meetings, easing the transition along. Training sessions on the new platform were held for BTMUA staff. Authority staff who excelled in these trainings were given the opportunity to mentor others, continuing the collaborative effort. Standard operating procedures were created by the CED team of professionals to continue the success of the Enterprise Esri based GIS Program.
A Successful Upgrade, Onto the Next!
The initial water asset management program upgrade was so successful, BTMUA and CED have continued to collaborate on the buildout and configuration of the system, including assisting the Authority in the management of the sewer system. Even with the challenges brought on by integrating the sewer system with the new and improved utility management software, the project was still able to remain within budget.
Automated reoccurring work order and inspection processes have shown to be successful since the launch of the system, as the Authority is able to get real-time updates when lines are needing repairs, when hydrants need to be flushed and managing workflow of precautionary measures. The new system also eases communication between the Authority and the residents it serves. Environmental Protection Agency and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Asset Management condition and risk requirements are being introduced into the Enterprise GIS program, enabling field personnel to monitor asset operation levels, inventory current conditions and report potential risks of failure.
“This project was a massive undertaking but demonstrates how collaboration and careful planning can lead to a seamless transition,” Brasefield said. “In doing so, they now have a full-service platform capable of handling tomorrow’s demands.”
Municipalities and municipal authorities chose the professionals from Colliers Engineering & Design to bring their visions to life. Expert utility providers chose the experts from CED to bring lasting results that will better the service they provide for the community.