Subject Matter Expert (SME) on Criticality Assessments, Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District (NEORSD), Asset Management Implementation Project
NEORSD is in the third year of a ten year of a ten year asset management implementation project to raise the level of efficiency and strategic investment in the maintenance, repair and planned replacement of critical assets to offset the population and customer base decline that is occurring in the region.
This is both a capital prioritization strategy as well as a change management initiative to improve decision-making, eliminate bottlenecks in the approval process, and push to shift the emphasis towards preventive maintenance over corrective maintenance. CDM is assisting NEORSD with the multi-year project.
One of the task areas needing a SME required setting criticality metrics with the involvement of management and maintenance staff that could be used to evaluate the importance of key assets to avoid significant impacts to operations and to the public if there were a failure. This value used in conjuncion with an asset’s estimated condition based on a variety of operational maintenance data, allows the utility to set an asset risk index value for prioritizing the importance of one critical asset over another for planned capital replacement or upgrade. This also assists with decisions regarding the frequency of preventive maintenance in order to extend an assets useful life and reduce the potential for failure over that period of time.
Project Manager, Capital Prioritization and Risk Mitigation Study, New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP)
The City of New York operates the largest water and sewer utility in the nation valued well in excess of $100 Billion. Like many cities across the country, NYCDEP had not reinvested adequately in its capital infrastructure to maintain the water supply, water distribution, wastewater collection and wastewater treatment assets in a sustainable condition. The department was faced with deciding how to prioritize funding to address problems that they realized far exceeded the then current $17 Billion authorized in their 10-year capital improvement program (CIP).
CDM was asked to develop the foundation of an asset management program that focused on prioritizing projects for repair and rehabilitation for the three bureaus of Water Supply, Water and Sewer Operations, and Wastewater Treatment. As Project Manager, I led the three year project which required both management and operational staff involvement, overcoming significant technology shortcomings in data management, and a significant change in work culture in order to improve communication and validate the importance to all parties of documenting the true degree of risk the DEP carried. The Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget indicated that the final reports were the best piece of information they had ever received justifying the importance for additional funding which added $7 Billion to the 10 year CIP.
Acting Executive Director (AED), Water and Sewer Utility, City of East Orange, NJ.
CDM was tasked with assigning an interim AED for the East Orange Water Commission when the Commission removed its former Contract Management firm from that role. For a period of 1.5 years, I served as AED and was tasked with performing a utility operational audit, revising policies and procedures, revitalizing maintenance operations, strengthening billing and collections procedures, and reviewing the fiscal soundness of four interlocal service agreements that created a utility with approximately 50,000 customers in five cities. Over the course of the project, a new financial management system was installed, insurance rates were renegotiated, the IT systems were reorganized, a strategic management plan was prepared and a new ED was hired.
Subject Matter Expert (SME) on Formation of a Utility Organization, St. Tammany Parish, LA
The Parish is under an EPA Consent Order to eliminate discharges of untreated wastewater from entering Lake Pontchartrain due to the existence of numerous septic systems throughout the region. There are also a high number of private package wastewater treatment plants that serve small neighborhoods that are in need of greater oversight, monitoring and maintenance.
The Parish implemented a plan to consolidate all the private plants and to take ownership such that it could create several large regional treatment systems that would eventually eliminate the majority of septic systems in the area. The Parish assigned CDM the task and I led the development of an organizational management document that provided an outline for a comprehensive utility operation, administration and management team. Recommendations to build the organization around appropriate maintenance management systems, performance metrics for measurement and analysis, asset management and capital reserves were fully discussed.
Project Manager, Management and Operations Study, Department of Water Management (DWM), Chicago, IL
The Commissioner of DWM from the beginning of her term, looked to identify cost savings and new efficiency opportunities for one of the largest water utilities in the country. CDM was hired to introduce the
Study that would first evaluate the existing operations of five bureaus and then suggest recommendations to introduce new technology solutions, new business procedures, a review of job titles and responsibilities, benchmark performance against other comparably sized utilities, and gain the support of the unions to participate. As PM, I led six teams of professionals and sub-consultants that worked with the union staff and leadership to assess operations and gain their trust. The outcome of the study included $30 million in savings, staff reductions totalling 300 positions which the union agreed to, revised job titles and crew makeup, and new technology additions involving SCADA, CMMS, and AMR.