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Geo-Enabled Location Request Management at WaterOne

There are more than 20 million miles of buried underground utilities in the United States. Utility companies are mandated to provide location verification and marking services of their buried assets as a condition of operation. Any time a citizen or contractor needs to dig, they are required by law to request an asset location usually within a specified time period, i.e., 3 days. This creates a burden for the utility given the complex nature of the line locate process across multiple departments and systems within and sometimes beyond the utility itself.

Utility companies often struggle to manage this workflow, with varying numbers of locate requests received each day on a continuous basis. Conventional locate processes are cumbersome and can be prone to errors. Without automation tools, utilities struggle to improve the process for synchronizing, communicating, and validating the work done by in-house utility personnel and the entity requesting the locate.

Business Problem

WaterOne, a leading independent public water utility located in Johnson County, Kansas, serves over 440,000 people in a 272 square-mile service area. In recent years, over 22,0000 underground asset location requests have been submitted by homeowners, contractors and other utilities digging in the WaterOne service area. Historically, the asset location request process has been managed manually, with numerous independent touchpoints across many departments and enterprise business systems (GIS, SAP, Dispatch, etc.). The process was manual, paper-based, time consuming, difficult to track, schedule, execute, and led to challenges with work management and customer experience.

Line Locate

WaterOne turned to Spatialitics to provide a cloud-based geo-enabled solution to digitize and automate the asset locate request management lifecycles. The new Locate Request Management System (LRMS), integrates these Enterprise systems to streamline the asset location process.

The Spatialitics solution offers three distinct portals with the overall LRMS targeting different user roles as listed below:

  • Requesters

  • Supervisors

  • Field Locators

The solution provides intuitive, easy-to-use geospatial tools to send and manage locate requests using a map. It bridges SAP and Esri ArcGIS, serving as a real-time integration mechanism facilitating real time synchronization of information between these two mission-critical systems.

In addition, the solution provides the intelligence to auto-validate locate requests where there were no assets found in the area of planned excavation. This has resulted in 8% of all customer requests received being checked, cleared, and communicated back to the customer without the intervention or expense of WaterOne’s personnel, enhancing the service experience for the customer and the cost of service for the utility.

Business Benefits Realized

Please visit Spatialitics Line-Locate Webpage to read the complete White-Paper.



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