Like many cities around the country, the regulatory requirements the City of Portland, Maine must adhere to are complex; the city partnered with Woodard & Curran to invest in the development of a Sanitary Sewer System CMOM Assessment and Corrective Action Plan to make sure they were able to meet regulations for the system consistently. After having success with the implementation of that plan, the city also went forward with applying the CMOM framework to its stormwater infrastructure, partnering with Woodard & Curran throughout that effort.
Portland began looking for ways to improve its system maintenance after sanitary sewer overflows and ad hoc maintenance began to become problematic in both practice and cost, and the CMOM framework offered the tools the city needed in order to remedy those issues both sustainably and effectively, while also increasing its understanding of all of its Clean Water Act related obligations. We were able to do a thorough assessment of the City’s sanitary sewer infrastructure, programs, and organizational practices, and make recommendations for proactive management that would ultimately reduce the system’s overall life cycle cost. We incorporated these recommendations into a comprehensive plan that evaluated the strengths and weaknesses of the systems and identified critical and influential needed improvements. By applying a criticality analysis that evaluates the likelihood and consequence of failures (be it programmatic or infrastructure), the City is able to prioritize its investments.
APPLYING CMOM TO STORMWATER
With a plan completed for eliminating sanitary sewer overflows and managing that utility, the City recognized the benefit they’d gain from developing a similar plan for its storm sewer system. Portland decided to use the CMOM tools to apply the same principles to its storm sewers, drainage system assets, and programs as the next step in beginning to prioritize compliance requirements and manage its stormwater drainage assets. Both the Sanitary Sewer and Stormwater System Master Plans will allow the City to create defendable cost estimates for annual budgeting and prioritize the allocations of funds based on criticality, a very common asset management technique.