Columbia Water Company GIS

Columbia Water Company (CWC) serves more than 10,000 customers in six municipalities on both sides of the Susquehanna River, in Lancaster and York Counties. CWC maintains assets dating back to the 1860s, and up until recently, was keeping most of its records and drawings on paper in their administrative office. Performing field maintenance often involved trips back and forth to the office to pick up necessary documents. Field sketches were stored in notebooks, and keeping records up to date was often relegated to rainy days, sometimes relying on memory or muddy notes. The system was inefficient, costing lost time and money.

RETTEW developed GIS mapping for the entire water system, incorporating previously captured information on a comprehensive map set, which was then quality-checked by CWC staff. The GIS was turned into a web mapping application using Esri software, apps, and ArcGIS Online. RETTEW provided training on iPads and Apple Pencils that allow CWC personnel to view and update the water system GIS in real time from the field. The GIS provides access to scanned PDFs of construction drawings from their iPads. Sketches and photographs can be added to features in the GIS from the field as they are created. Applications are viewable in web browsers to assist office staff in serving customers and allow the General Manager to make updates and perform maintenance planning.

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