3.8.1 Collecting Data On Assets

To develop the initial inventory, several approaches can be used and these are listed below. However, the utility should be as creative as possible with other approaches to obtaining this information.
  • Determine who operated, managed and/or owned the utility at the time of the major construction periods (when a large number of assets were put in.) Interview these individuals and gather as much information as possible regarding their recollections of what assets were installed and where they were installed. If there are maps of the utility, these can be used during the discussions.
  • Examine any as-built or other engineering drawings of the utility.
  • Perform visual observations of above-ground or visible assets (e.g., hydrants, pumps, manholes, treatment works).
  • Use a digital camera to take pictures of the assets that are visible.
  • Interview community residents who may have lived in the area during construction and who are familiar with the construction activities (especially helpful in very small towns in which the residents were actively involved in developing the utility).
  • Interview contractors or engineers that were involved with construction.
  • Estimate buried assets using above ground assets as a guide (e.g., using manholes to estimate locations, size, and type of pipe between the manholes; using isolation valve locations to estimate buried water pipe locations).
  • Examine photographs of the utility taken during construction, repair, etc.
  • Consult USGS Topographic Maps and other non-utility generated maps.
  • Examine aerial photographs - both recent and historical.
  • Use existing inventories (fire hydrants, meters, valves, etc.).
  • Use metal detectors to locate buried assets.
  • Consult utility records: billing, repair, maintenance, inspection, O&M manuals, sampling, operator's log/notebook, etc.
  • Consult state and/or federal records, databases, or employees for information such as well depths, drill dates, discharge information, etc.