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  • Location: Anchorage, Alaska

Since 2016, B&N has served the Anchorage Water and Wastewater Utility (AWWU) through an Asset Management (AM) Master Services Agreement (MSA), completing over 25 task orders. The B&N team has assisted with updating the AM roadmap, completing an AM practices review in 2019 with six recommended initiatives including process documentation, organizational changes, condition assessment, and risk studies.

B&N redeveloped AWWU’s business case evaluation (BCE) process that is now being implemented across the utility on every capital project in AWWU’s six-year Capital Improvement Program (CIP). This included the preparation of a BCE Guidelines Manual that outlines the process in detail, including roles and responsibilities, and guidance for completing BCEs. BCE training was administered by B&N for AWWU project managers and many of the utility’s consultants. B&N reviewed 115 BCEs and helped AWWU update the CIP prioritization process matrix.

B&N also assisted AWWU by developing a valve exercise program pilot and an update to its CIP prioritization process. Alternative CIP prioritization methods were designed to allow AWWU to evaluate a variety of project types, including planning, IT, design and construction projects across a range of water and wastewater asset types. Each prioritization method was designed to allow the projects’ value to be normalized on a cost/benefit ratio basis. 

Leveraging Technology

Utilizing data on asset attributes, soil properties, and historical breaks, B&N developed break predictions at the pipe level using the state-of-the-art infraSOFT platform. Targeted replacements have been so effective at reducing the break rate that the replacement program has been reduced well below the original budget projections.

B&N inspectors captured data using B&N’s COAST (Condition Assessment Tool) on mobile devices, which streamlined the process of gathering, sharing and analyzing inspection data and reduced the likelihood of data capture errors. COAST identified both replacement opportunities and asset issues that can be addressed through less costly maintenance.

Most recently, B&N reviewed AWWU’s CCTV practices as part of a condition assessment. Due to uncoded video, the team is in the process of helping AWWU to streamline defect coding with PipeAIdTM, B&N’s artificial intelligence software that automates the process of coding and mapping sewer defects.

Initially, 50,000 feet of pipe were processed. AWWU was so pleased with the results that B&N was awarded an additional 62,500 feet. The data from PipeAId has given AWWU clear coordinates with the various defects which has made it easier to create a maintenance/rehabilitation/replacement plan. AWWU is also able to save time and money by giving this data directly to the contractor who will perform the work with certainty as to where the defects are located.     

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