All Pipes

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Technology complete system, or database for all the data about the Region's pipes, positioning, ownership, or material type. We needed to save money while preparing for the future. Through the All Pipes solution's architecture, we now have a database to support planning, emergency management, and other business and operational needs. We established 'meet points' where regional and local pipes join, enabling easier identification of asset ownership, as well as supporting analysis and reporting. This also enables an automated ETL (data manipulation—extract, transform, load) process to accept local municipal data, and automatically integrate it within a common regional database, without making local municipalities change their own approach to data collection and storage. There was also a legislative drive behind this idea. The provincial government requested every Ontario municipality to build a hydraulic water model of their water and wastewater pipes via an asset T hey say you know a hit song because the first time you hear it you feel like you've heard it before. Some ideas are the same; so good that when they are finally put into practice you can't believe anyone even hesitated. York Region's All Pipes solution is that kind of idea. Here it is: through collaboration between York Region and our nine local municipalities, we maintain a single common standardized schema and water/wastewater utility dataset, accessible to all partners. We knew we had to track and be ready to update our system and assumed money, time, and effort would be saved if we partnered with others. In 2011, we knew York Region was going to start developing faster. This growth turned out to be explosive. We knew our infrastructure had to be ready for this, but infrastructure maintenance is expensive. Our water-wastewater projects costing $4.8 billion to 2031 jumps up to $6.6 billion to 2051. But in 2011 there was no common, management plan, so they would know if— among other things—there was enough pipe capacity for projected growth. Three of the nine partners had no data in a GIS system for, as an example, their water pipes. They knew they had to prepare the model, and this was going to be a big change. To reduce resistance and speed up compliance, we financially supported our partners to convert their CAD drawings and as-built construction drawings to digital, easily shared data. This meant the municipalities also had to organize their assets. While this is a huge undertaking, there was an understanding that while each municipality and utility may be unique, everyone shares the obligations and regulatory requirements. Recognizing that, to a certain extent, information management strategies can be standardized and shared has enabled each municipality to save money and inter- operate their pipe systems more effectively. This resulted in immediate savings because ALL PIPES Solving an underground problem with an above-ground solution. By Jennifer Chung Using the software, York Region was able to collect all of its data resources in one location, which allowed a comprehensive map to be built of all of its underground pipes. Credit: ESRI 30 ReNew Canada November/December 2019

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