Electronic Preventive Maintenance Logs

*Written by Dawn Nall

Although it has been proven that customers are willing to pay for increased service when they desire it, decision-makers, who operate under the common belief that customers want water to be cheap, look for places where budgets can be cut. Oftentimes, the first line item to be cut is maintenance: a decision which focuses only on immediate cost reductions but ignores the long-term costs. In reality, cutting the maintenance budget is the more expensive option because you end up replacing equipment sooner and in an unplanned manner. Oftentimes this unplanned maintenance and replacement (otherwise called reactive maintenance) makes your job much harder and much costlier. So how does maintenance help?

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It’s Not A Gap, It’s A Trade-off.

*Written by Heather Himmelberger

I thoroughly enjoy having my conventional thinking turned on its head, which is even more fun when it affects conventional wisdom in general. So here goes…

What gap are we talking about here? We often think of the gap as the difference between the money we have and the money we want or need to complete all the projects on our list (including maintenance, repairs, and replacements.)  For the typical water, wastewater, or stormwater utility in the U.S., the gap is often quite large.  The gap usually includes pipe replacement, treatment plant upgrades, and years of neglected maintenance (often called deferred maintenance, implying we will do it “some day.”) The way the gap is viewed in most places is that it is a financial hole that someone needs to fill by giving the utility the money.  That someone may be the federal government (everyone’s preferred choice), the state government, the local government, a non-profit or private entity.

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