SBIR Phase I: Designing an Infrastructure Intelligence System for Water and Wastewater Utilities Using the Software as a Service (SaaS) Delivery Model

Period of Performance: 01/01/2011 - 12/31/2011

$150K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

EPIC Engineering & Consulting Group, LLC
270 Lake Drive
Oviedo, FL 32765
Principal Investigator

Abstract

This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will assess the feasibility of creating an intuitive, location-based Infrastructure Intelligence System, as Software as a Service (SaaS) solution for the water and wastewater utilities and public works agencies. Currently available software systems in the utilities industry are complex standalone systems that are typically used by technical experts. Collecting information from these systems for decision making requires significant effort and technical expertise that is not available for most utilities. If the effort is successful, it will provide up-to-date access to infrastructure information on intuitive map-based interfaces to mange assets and budgets with location-specific data. This project will assess the feasibility of developing application-programming interface (API) adaptors to software such as EPA hydraulic models, asset management systems as well as open source GIS and document management systems to create a centralized location-based Infrastructure Intelligence System securely accessible across the Internet. For water and wastewater utilities and other infrastructure agencies that protect public health and safety, efficient management of aging infrastructure is of critical importance. The EPA estimates over 240,000 water main breaks and 170,000 sewer main breaks annually in the United States. Estimates for fixing our infrastructure run into hundreds of billions of dollars. To efficiently prioritize infrastructure maintenance, utilities must analyze diverse datasets including hydraulic models, GIS, SCADA, maintenance, emergency response and project documents. Available software is complex stand-alone systems requiring extensive technical resources for deployment and use and they are beyond reach for most small and medium utilities. Potential customers for the proposed solution include most water and wastewater utilities and public works across the United States. If successful, the project has the potential to provide significant societal and commercial benefit by reducing infrastructure failures and guiding utilities towards proactive infrastructure maintenance practices.