Pittsburgh, PA – Today, at the Special Districts Summit, the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) accepted Government Technology’s award for Technology Innovation in the operations category for its Customer Usage Portal and Work Order and Asset Management System (WAMS). These web-based applications are two of several projects aimed at improving customer service and digitizing internal processes.
The Customer Usage Portal, launched in December of 2018, allows customers to track water consumption through information shared digitally from water meters on an hourly basis. This customer-centric app builds on PWSA’s Advanced Metering Infrastructure by allowing users to view real-time water consumption online and set usage threshold alerts via email or text. Instead of waiting for a monthly bill, customers can take swift action to address leaks, thereby reducing their costs.
WAMS is a new software program developed to manage mobile field operations and track maintenance of water and sewer infrastructure. Previously, when a maintenance issue like a water main break was reported to PWSA, field crews investigated, reported back findings, and scheduled repairs. When using WAMS, crews will send this information in real-time to the dispatch operators. Representatives can then give more accurate updates to customers. Additionally, WAMS will integrate with mapping software. Mapping problem areas provides PWSA staff visual tools to make long-term infrastructure maintenance and investment decisions. This proactive approach is kept on schedule with automatic alerts emailed to operations staff. WAMS is expected to be fully functional throughout the organization by October of this year.
Julie Quigley accepting the Technology Innovation award at the Special Districts Summit in Philadelphia, PA on June 25th.
“We’re proud to be recognized for our use of innovative technologies to improve our customer experience and increase the productivity of our field crews,” said PWSA Director of Administration/IT Julie Quigley. We encourage customers to take advantage of the award-winning usage portal by signing up at pgh2o.com,” she continued.
WAMS is building upon the same technology designed for PWSA’s new backflow device test submission application. Backflow prevention devices are required on all private water lines by the federal Clean Water Act. These devices protect the potable water supply from possible contamination from a private building’s internal plumbing. All devices must be tested every year and those results submitted to PWSA. Previously, all results were submitted to PWSA on a paper form. Now, certified backflow testers can submit test results online through the Backflow Test Submission Portal at http://pgh2o.com/backflow. The backflow portal also allows staff to more easily track and follow-up with properties that have not submitted test results.
Government Technology is a magazine published by e.Republic, a media company focusing on technology in state and local governments. The Special Districts Summit is a nationwide platform created by Government Technology and AT&T for regional government entities to meet at the intersection of innovation and public service. The Northeast region, of which PWSA is a part, held its Special District Summit on June 25th at the Marriott in Philadelphia, PA.
The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) is the largest combined water, sewer and stormwater authority in Pennsylvania, serving 300,000 consumers throughout the City of Pittsburgh and surrounding areas.