Archives for May 2019

Updated “Taking Care of Your Drinking Water” Guide now available from MECP

The popular “Taking Care of Your Drinking Water”: A Guide for Members of Municipal Councils” has been updated and is now available on Ontario.ca.

This guide helps municipal councilors understand their responsibilities to provide a standard of care under the Safe Drinking Water Act, 2002.

The content of the guide was refreshed for new and returning councillors. As part of updates to the guide, information has been added on the Asset Management Planning for Municipal Infrastructure Regulation, Ontario Regulation 588/17.

Municipal officials can also learn more through standard of care training developed and delivered by the Walkerton Clean Water Centre. Get course details and session offerings at www.wcwc.ca or by phoning toll-free 1-866-515-0550.

Infrastructure Asset Management Readiness Assessment of Ontario Municipal Water Utilities

Infrastructure Asset Management practices are well-recognized in Canada for enabling municipalities to make strategic investment decisions. The Province of Ontario has required municipalities to develop asset management plans in order to receive Provincial funding. This has resulted in over 90 percent of municipalities to have council approved asset management plans. In addition, the Municipal Asset Management Program is a $50 million capacity-building fund entrusted to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) by Infrastructure Canada (INFC) to enable the adoption and improvement of asset management practices across Canada’s municipal sector.

Water utilities in particular strive to keep pipelines, pumping stations and treatment plants in sound condition and capable of delivering the targeted Levels of Service, all of this without burdening users with excessive fees. Readiness or maturity assessments are commonly used by organizations to identify how advanced they are regarding the adoption of the asset management framework. However, even when municipalities choose to perform a readiness assessment, the results are not shared with the industry. As a consequence, there is little information concerning water utilities asset management processes implementation.

Bridging the information gap

The Centre for Advancement of Trenchless Technologies (CATT) with support from the Southern Ontario Water Consortium (SOWC), has developed a straightforward web-based survey to understand the implementation of asset management processes and practices in Ontario municipal water utilities.

FCM’s Readiness Scale, ISO 55000 series and Ontario Regulation 588/17 were adapted and used as a framework for questions. Respondents were classified into four Readiness Levels (RLs), from 0 to 3, in five competency areas: (1) policy and governance; (2) people and leadership; (3) data and information; (4) planning and decision-making; and (5) contribution to asset management practice. Survey respondents consisted of 31 municipalities representing 50.6% of Ontario’s total population.

Readiness assessment report

Results of the 2018 survey are presented in the recently released Water and Wastewater Asset Management Readiness Assessment report available here.  

This report provides a baseline for municipal water utilities readiness levels in Ontario. The main outcome is a readiness snapshot that is comparable between municipalities of different backgrounds and in time. Additionally, the study investigates the use of Asset Management Plans as sources of information in evidence-based decision-making, compliance with Ontario Regulation 588/17, identified funding gaps and asset management perceived value.

The results indicate that small and medium municipal water utilities are moving towards RL 1 – Learning, while large municipalities are approaching or have already reached RL 1 and are moving towards RL 2 – Developing. If water utilities want to achieve RL 3, there is still much work to be done regarding formalizing and communicating asset management key documents and information. In general, municipalities are steadily advancing on implementing asset management processes, contributing to the development of stronger and efficient municipal water utilities.

Individual Membership Promotion!

Join as an Individual Member before June 30, 2019 and receive a No Water No Beer T-Shirt! Use promo code FREESHIRT

How to take advantage of this offer:

  • Visit the Individual Membership Join Page
  • Choose your membership type
  • Enter FREESHIRT in the Promo Code Box
  • After your order has been completed, the AWWA membership team will reach out to you for your T-shirt size (Small – 3XL available)
  • If you have any questions please contact us at membership@awwa.org

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