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Asset Management and Condition Assessment

What are they and What is our Belief?

Asset management is a process of integrating design, construction, maintenance, rehabilitation, and renovation to maximize benefits and minimize cost.  It is a plan for managing an organization’s infrastructure through a decision-making process driven by delivering a standard level of service.  It refers to business principles aimed at balancing risk and minimizing life-cycle costs of the physical assets of a utility such as pipes, structures and equipment. Asset management is also used as a tool to help municipalities gauge the health of our infrastructure (Goldwater 2010). It is a continuously reviewed and revised strategy that implements the acquisition, use and disposal of assets to optimize service and minimize costs over the life of the assets. An asset management plan (AMP) considers financial, economic and engineering goals in an effort to balance risk and benefits as they relate to potential improvement to the overall operation of the system. Utilities that utilize asset management programs experience prolonged asset life by aiding in rehabilitation and repair decisions while meeting customer demands, service expectation and regulatory requirements. The general framework of asset management programs involves collecting and organizing the physical components of a system and evaluating the condition of these components. The importance and the potential consequences associated with the failure of the individual assets are determined by this evaluation. Managers and operators can then prioritize which infrastructure are most critical to the operation of the system and furthermore which infrastructure to consider for repair, rehabilitation or replacement. This strategy allows for funding to be distributed accordingly amongst the vulnerable and most likely to failure assets.  Of utmost importance is to define the acceptability of “failure” of the infrastructure.  For example, for a storm water system, “failure” might mean that the community has areas that flood as a result of tidal impacts, sea level, or groundwater elevation.  Each community can define it differently, but the expectations of the public must be kept in mind when defining the level of service. 


Simple is good.  This is an area we have been active in for several years, and working with Florida Atlantic University have developed tools to gather and assess infrastructure in situ without a lot of unneeded technology.  Simple is good.  Our inflow removal experience is an example.  The attached award-wining article and the maps from Dania Beach are recent exploits.  We can gather, map in GIS, assess condition and estimate needs in doing asset management of your water, sewer and stormwater system.