Transforming water distribution operations by digitising asset data

12 August, 2021

Urban Utilities has partnered with RedEye Apps to implement a digital platform for compliant operations to preserve the State’s critical infrastructure asset data.

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As one of the largest water distributor-retailers in Australia, Urban Utilities services more than 1.5 million customers in South East Queensland.

Each year, the organisation supplies more than 141,000ML of water to residents, and removes and treats around 123,700ML of sewage across its vast service network, which covers 14,384km².

One key element of Urban Utilities’ service delivery mandate is to maintain asset data for its water and sewerage distribution assets – some of which date back to the early twentieth century.

It also aggregates the engineering data from many regional councils in South East Queensland.

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With a desire to improve the overall ease and accuracy of governance, and progress its digital transformation initiative, Urban Utilities sought to migrate its asset drawings and documents from on-premise to cloud-based storage in one central platform.

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Digitising documents

Over the course of four months, Urban Utilities worked closely with its technology partner to aggregate, validate, structure and tag its vast pool of engineering data.

By the time the implementation project was complete, a large number of documents and drawings from other systems, personal hard drives and network drives were migrated into the new drawing management ecosystem.

This critical migration project also removed duplicated content, and provided the organisation with a clean, secure and centralised source of truth for asset data and drawings.

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Streamlining governance - from the field to head office

The launch of the new platform provided Urban Utilities with visibility of its entire network, in a way that could be easily and securely accessed by field crews and contractors – wherever they were working.

Today, standardised metadata tags improve automation when new drawings are loaded into the system. CAD tags are auto-populated as well, improving seamless integration with Urban Utilities’ other business applications.

This process reduces load times and ensures drawings are easily searchable.

Urban Utilities also used the launch of the new platform as an opportunity to introduce new templates, bringing in a standardised approach for working with different artefact types.

"Migrating our drawings, documents and processes into RedEye has really allowed us to more efficiently manage our treatment plants.”

Jared Rodley
Electrical Technical Specialist, Queensland Urban Utilities 

Urban Utilities also reports that information is much easier and quicker to find now that key content is online.

Field teams and contractors can now complete work using the most recent and correct version of engineering data and drawings from wherever they’re accessing the system.

This improves the safety of work crews while continuing to build value into Urban Utilities’ asset data.

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Envisaging the future of the water industry

The water distributor has a large vision for its ongoing digital transformation, and continues to explore new ways of leveraging the value of its asset data.

“Urban Utilities and other water distributors and retailers play a critical role in supporting economic growth and enriching lifestyles across the country with water. RedEye supports water utilities to more easily manage assets, maintain networks efficiently and safely, and meet their regulatory requirements.”

Wayne Gerard
CEO and Founder, RedEye

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