LCA was named a global finalist for a computer program created to help manage our local water systems. Our project was featured in the water, wastewater, and stormwater networks category — the most competitive segment of the Bentley 2012 Be Inspired Innovations in Infrastructure Conference competition, held in the Netherlands. It also is featured as an extraordinary infrastructure project in Bentley’s 2012 Be Inspired publication.
In essence, the computer program — technically called an “integrated water system model” — provides us with a picture of a water system’s conditions, including its average water use, maximum water use, peak hour demands, and water quality. We can also collect data on our pumps, reservoirs, water supplies, and more. By using this model, we were able to accurately analyze Allentown’s water and wastewater needs and predict how we’d be able to seamlessly integrate Allentown’s infrastructure with our own system. The water system model also aids us in the day-to-day management and maintenance of the rest of our water systems.
To create the program, which relies on Bentley software, we enlisted the help of engineering consultant Gannett Fleming to develop customized computer commands that allowed us to automate and integrate processes that, before this computer model, were separate and labor intensive. “We were able to come up with one system versus multiple systems that, across the board, increased efficiencies” for LCA, says Ricardo Duarte, a marketing manager with Gannett Fleming division GeoDecisions.