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Water Distribution Develops Valve Program, Uses Data to Make More Informed Decisions

This article was archived on 3/28/2020

It’s been one year since Water Distribution implemented its Valve Program, and the City is now in the process of obtaining data on all of the valves in the city – data that tells us what assets are in excellent, good, fair and poor condition so crews can make the most informed decisions regarding the management of Tulsa’s water assets.

“It’s more being good stewards of the money that we replace the valves that are in poor condition and not be taking out good assets,” said Eric Parker, the City’s Water Distribution Division Manager.

The Water Distribution team is a group of nearly 260 employees who use data to manage Tulsa’s water network. Parker says it’s important the City use data to manage its nearly 2,400 miles of waterlines, a distance similar to traveling from Tulsa to Toronto and back.

Each valve condition is now recorded and put into a database that Water Distribution is using to prioritize replacements and repairs. The valve program is just one of the initiatives using data to maintain the City’s water infrastructure.

Working off of the City’s AIM Plan, a roadmap the City uses to better communicate the goals of its departments and elected officials, Water Distribution has created a Career Development Plan that is helping gain, train and retain customer service-driven employees – employees who work not only as water quality technicians, but as data collectors who are proactively managing one of the City’s largest assets.