IBM and SFPUC Team to Help Reduce Water Pollution in the San Francisco Bay and Pacific Ocean

San Francisco Public Utilities Commission Implements IBM Software to Manage Wastewater and Sewer System

IBM today announced the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) is using IBM software to help reduce pollution in the water that surrounds the city on three sides -- the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean.

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The SFPUC, which treats an average of 80-90 million gallons of wastewater per day during dry weather and up to 370 million gallons of combined wastewater and storm runoff per day during the rainy season, is using the IBM software to develop smarter management of the city's 1,000 miles of sewer system and three treatment facilities.

Already, in the last year, the IBM software has improved the organization's ratio of preventive to corrective maintenance by approximately 11 percent, meaning that the organization has been doing more preventive and less corrective maintenance. This is how SFPUC is measured against industry standards.

The IBM Maximo Asset Management software gives the SFPUC greater visibility into their maintenance operations and physical infrastructure, with near real-time status of equipment and maintenance history. The software also integrates with the city's 311 and 28-CLEAN Customer Service systems -- dispatch centers that handle non-emergency problems, such as potholes, abandoned vehicles, loose manhole covers and overflowing storm drains.

"Using the IBM Maximo Asset Management software, problems are often solved within 24 hours," said Tommy Moala, Assistant General Manager, SFPUC Wastewater Enterprise. "But the real value of the IBM software is the information it gathers so that we can help further reduce water pollution. For example, with some work order histories generated from the IBM software, we can see that we've rebuilt a pump, say, 10 times -- maybe it's time to replace it. The software also helps us to reduce the cost of managing the system down to the component level."

Along with IBM Maximo Asset Management software, the commission's Wastewater Enterprise is using ArcGIS geographic information software from IBM Business Partner ESRI to locate and measure assets spatially.

For instance, the city was able to solve a problem of missing catch basin grates -- the heavy metal grates that keep large objects from falling into storm drains. IBM Maximo Asset Management software and ArcGIS revealed that all the incidents were located within a quarter mile of a scrap metal yard.

The SFPUC infrastructure includes wastewater treatment machinery, basins and piping including huge capital investments such as large-capacity lift pumps, dewatering centrifuges, belt presses, engine generators and a complex series of huge collection boxes--large basins strategically located throughout the city that capture storm water.

IBM has developed a number of smarter water offerings under its 'Big Green Innovations' initiative, part of a $100 million investment in 10 new businesses based on ideas generated during Innovation Jam, an IBM-led effort to gather ideas from thousands of clients, employees and thought leaders around the world. The Big Green Innovations team at IBM has concentrated its efforts on water management, alternative energy and carbon management.

"Water management is an issue faced by every business, city and government on the planet," said Sharon Nunes, Vice President for Big Green Innovations at IBM. "We're helping the SFPUC gain deep insight into the management of their water supply and usage so they can improve the quality of their water system while reducing the costs associated with removing the pollution, particularly in a big city like San Francisco."

SFPUC is also using IBM Cognos(R) 8 Business Intelligence software to pinpoint and report to management about trends such as the time required to get work orders, and the ratio of preventive maintenance to corrective maintenance.

For more information on the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, visit:

To see a video on SFPUC, go to:

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  Media Contacts:
  Libra White
  IBM Communications

  Tyrone Jue
  SFPUC Communications

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CONTACT: Libra White, IBM Communications, 1-408-404-6786,; Tyrone Jue, SFPUC Communications, 1-415-554-3247,