When the San Antonio Water System (SAWS) found itself struggling to keep up with the growing demands of cleaning nearly 200 sites on a monthly basis to maintain its collection system and prevent sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs), it turned to SmartCover.
SAWS strove to transition to a real-time, condition-based, data-driven cleaning program so operators could understand and properly respond to the current actual operating conditions of its systems. This process reduces wear and tear on pipelines from routine cleaning.
To proactively approach the U.S. EPA’s national enforcement initiative to reduce storm sewer overflows, SAWS capacity, management, operations and maintenance (CMOM) program was implemented. This included about 2,400 annual monthly cleanings, as well as quarterly, semi-annual and annual cleaning to prevent SSOs. SAWS deployed 200 SmartCover units at high frequency cleaning sites to perform cleaning on an as-needed basis.
According to the EPA, 74% of SSOs are the result of blockages from cooking fats, tree roots or other debris that can result in disastrous sewer spills. Without underground visibility, sewer operators routinely clean the same pipes at great expense, whether this is needed or not. For decades, the industry has been challenged with limited options for collection system visibility and spill prevention. As a result, there is a strict high frequency cleaning culture
Since deploying the SmartCover cleaning optimization program, there have only been 65 cleanings identified and performed at locations where 1,246 cleanings were previously scheduled. SAWS has experienced a 95% reduction in cleaning and zero
SmartCover’s technology monitors sewer pipes and transmits real time data analysis via military grade satellite communications to alert sewer operators exactly where and when to clean.
The combination of real-time monitoring and trend analysis provided powerful, predictive insights into the behavior of the collection system, enabling visibility of potential problem days or even weeks ahead. At the same time, continuous overflow protection is provided, only dispatching cleaning crews as needed.