When water utilities and municipalities report to government regulatory agencies, it usually means long hours of paperwork. The WaterTrax electronic reporting tool automates this process. “WaterTrax allows the people who maintain water quality to put the data from their labs, hand-held instruments, SCADA system, or anywhere they’re collecting data from, into one place,” said Sheena Graham, WaterTrax marketing specialist. Configured with the specific requirements of the relevant jurisdiction, the system organizes the data and allows users to submit reports electronically at the click of a mouse.
WaterTrax then compares the data collected with a built-in parameter database, and alerts the utility immediately if a sample exceeds acceptable limits.
“There’s been a huge push toward electronic reporting in the industry,” Graham said. WaterTrax initially cut its teeth in California, developing an electronic format that utilities could use to upload their data directly into the state’s water resources control board database and later with the EPA to develop an electronic reporting tool for its NetDMR system.
More recently, WaterTrax has worked with the City of Kelowna and the British Columbia Ministry of the Environment (MOE) to develop an electronic reporting tool that municipalities can use to submit their Environment Management System (EMS) reports.
Previously, these reports were produced manually: utilities would spend hours pulling data from spreadsheets or lab reports, before preparing and sending the report. MOE staff then had to enter the data into the EMS database. Now, with a one-time set-up of the electronic EMS reporting tool in WaterTrax, users can configure, assign, and save EMS attributes to automate the output of required information. Users can also save their own templates to quickly generate reports as needed, and they can access the cloud-based system from anywhere.
Not only does WaterTrax offer huge savings in terms of time and labour, it also helps utilities better manage their water systems and deliver water safely to their communities and back into the environment.
“Utilities that don’t have WaterTrax generally get a lot of paper copies from their labs; the report sits on someone’s desk and may not get checked immediately,” Graham said. “With WaterTrax, the data is uploaded directly into a database. Our built-in alerting mechanism compares the results to that region’s specific regulations. If any results are outside of the acceptable limits, the utility is alerted right away.” The municipality can then take immediate action.
The B.C.-based company continues to work with clients and regulators across North America to develop these electronic formats—not only to save time, but to reduce the risk of error associated with manual data entry.
The next project in the works is a mobile application for collecting data in the field. As well, to increase their strength in compliance management, WaterTrax recently acquired Linko Technology Inc., which offers software solutions for pretreatment; fats, oils, and grease; and liquid hauled waste.
– Eve Krakow
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