Asset Management for Living Things
Utilities are not typically involved in landscape-based asset management, though well-scheduled operations and maintenance are essential to the ongoing success of their green infrastructure projects. Green infrastructure facilities show signs of deferred maintenance more immediately and obviously than leaky stormwater pipes or failing manholes and catch basins, catalyzing new relationships between planners, engineers, landscape architects, maintenance professionals and asset managers.Beyond aesthetics, State municipal separate storm sewer system permits require maintenance of green infrastructure facilities in perpetuity. When preventative maintenance is deferred, corrective actions can be costly. This incents municipalities to integrate green infrastructure facilities into asset management programs and software that seek to lower maintenance costs and prevent asset failure. Integrating green infrastructure into existing asset management frameworks intended for grey infrastructure raises new questions that are best answered by interdisciplinary teams, working together across specialties.In the City and County of San Francisco, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) is the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System Phase II Permit holder. This presentation will introduce the uninitiated to the basics of stormwater controls asset management and share the SFPUC’s short experience planning an asset management program for living things (green infrastructure).Institutional strategies to be discussed: building relationships necessary to learn utility asset management norms and standards; properly characterizing green infrastructure in utility databases and asset management software; weighing the benefits of detailed data collection against user friendliness; and lessons learned on contract enforcement.Technological strategies to be discussed: creating asset hierarchies; tracking costs using Maximo asset management software; and selecting attributes to offer necessary detail for new asset records. A planning focus: SFPUC’s Wastewater Enterprise established a division-wide framework for asset management in 2011. A matrix illustrating roles and responsibilities for various asset types was notably missing information in the column on green infrastructure assets. Since that time, the utility has invested $57M in capital projects, requiring that the utility decide how to manage green infrastructure assets. Green infrastructure planners have relied on the above institutional and technological strategies to populate the matrix and prepare for acceptance of the SFPUC Wastewater Enterprise’s first green infrastructure assets, expected in June 2017.
After a successful 17 year career in the heavy/civil and landscape construction industries, Mike returned to school and completed Temple University’s Community & Regional Planning program in 2011. Following a move from Philadelphia to the west coast, Mike joined the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission’s (SFPUC) Urban Watershed Management Program as a Green Infrastructure (GI) Planning Specialist. In his role at the SFPUC, Mike is responsible for developing a GI construction training program and a GI maintenance and asset management program, conducts GI Quality Assurance inspections/observations for capital GI projects, completes GI constructability reviews for capital projects and supports the administration of the San Francisco Stormwater Management Ordinance.
Sarah Minick manages the Urban Watershed Management Program at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. Through planning, policy development, regulation, and capital work, her team works toward green infrastructure that enhances the function of San Francisco's sewer system, manages stormwater as a water resource, restores ecological function to the city’s urban watersheds, and brings beauty and habitat value to the public realm. Sarah led the development and implementation of San Francisco’s Stormwater Management Ordinance, Urban Watershed Stewardship Grant Program, and Rainwater Harvesting Program, and is the client representative for the SFPUC’s green infrastructure capital projects. Sarah holds a bachelor of science from Stanford University and two masters degrees from UC Berkeley in City and Regional Planning and Environmental Planning.
Ryan Jackson recently joined Water Resources Engineering as a Green Infrastructure Maintenance Coordinator, fully embedded within the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission’s Wastewater Enterprise. He develops long-term policies and administers maintenance programs to manage green infrastructure assets. Ryan previously administered local environmental programs at the San Francisco Department of the Environment.