The City of East Palo Alto manages a community water system in San Mateo County, roughly halfway between San Francisco and San Jose. The City purchases its water from the San Francisco PUC and distributes that water to an estimated population of 26,672 via 3943 metered connections within a 2.5-square-mile service area. The City contracts daily operations and maintenance of the water system to Veolia Water.
To comply with a new revision to its drinking water permit issued by the California Water Resources Control Board, the City retained Harris & Associates to develop an Asset Management Plan (AMP).
The permit revision stipulated that the AMP should cover operation, maintenance, and planning for capital replacement of the City’s water system assets.
Development of the AMP involved assessing existing asset data, how it is maintained and by whom, and needs for record keeping and database improvements.
The project established a plan for improvements to asset register maintenance; new Strategic Asset Maintenance Plans; new Standard Operating Procedures for collecting asset condition assessment data; and a 5-Year plan for a risk-based approach to capital improvements.
Beyond the Blueprints
Harris’s approach to developing the City’s AMP was not “one and done.” Rather, it sought to build a foundation for sustainable long-term asset management. To ensure the longevity and value of the program, Harris brought a team that was very knowledgeable in asset management and water systems operations, maintenance, and strategic oversight.