The consequences of infrastructure asset failure can be costly. To inform appropriate care—and prepare for the inevitable decay that comes with age—municipalities should understand the discernible life cycle of their various assets. Equally as important, proactively addressing cost-of-ownership considerations, such as maintenance and repair, can drastically extend an asset’s service life.
Infrastructure asset management can improve decision-making for infrastructure acquisition, planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance, and renewal or replacement. Effective asset management can also help preserve and extend the service life of long-term infrastructure assets, all while maintaining a low cost of ownership.
Guide your asset management process by considering key questions about your system:
What is the current state of my assets?
In order to manage your assets properly and prepare for the future, you must know their current conditions. If some information is difficult to find, estimate to the best of your abilities. Your inventory will become more accurate over time, as assets are assessed, rehabilitated, repaired or replaced.
What is my required level of service?
Identifying your required level of service will help with asset management program implementation and stakeholder communication. You can define your level of service by using quality, quantity, reliability and environmental standards, as well as both short- and long-term system performance goals. This can be regularly updated as changes occur.
Which assets are critical to sustained performance?
All assets can fail, so you must know how to handle the consequences of failure. Since every asset presents a different failure risk, it’s important to know which assets are essential to maintain your system’s minimum performance. Critical assets are those that have a high risk of failing and result in major damages (financial, environmental, human or otherwise) if they do fail.
What are my best Operation and Maintenance (O&M) and Capital Improvement Program (CIP) investment strategies?
Identifying O&M and CIP strategies will help determine the lowest cost options for providing the highest level of service over time by making risk-based decisions. Consider how you can transition from reactive to proactive maintenance, know the costs and benefits of rehabilitation versus replacement, and deploy resources based on asset conditions.
What is my best long-term funding strategy?
A sustainable long-term funding strategy and sound financial decision making are crucial to an effective asset management program. Understand the economic costs and revenues your system generates to determine its financial forecast and plan accordingly.
Managing your system and proactively addressing the symptoms of aging require planning and resources. The same can be said for the equipment used within sewers. For an additional resource on cost-of-ownership when it comes to sewer crawlers, be sure to check out our 7 Secrets to Low Cost-of-Ownership white paper: