City of Castlegar Case Study

Discovers WaterTrax to Tackle Their Data Management Needs While Ensuring Compliance with New Water Regulations

WaterTrax came along at the absolute perfect time to meet our emerging needs

Shawn Suthernland, Director Of Transportation & Civic Works, City Of Castlegar

The Challenge

There are many ways to collect, collate, and store water data. Systems based on manual entry of data into spreadsheets or paper logs are used by many utilities but are prone to data errors and grow to be unwieldy. How can water utilities meet their commitment to the public to provide safe drinking water and meet their needs for an efficient and centralized data management system?

The Solution

The City of Castlegar found their answer in the WaterTrax Service. “Our data was recorded in various formats by different persons and not properly catalogued. This was an inefficient means of collating and collecting data”, says Shawn Sutherland, Director of Transportation and Civic Works for the City of Castlegar. “Although we had many choices, we didn’t examine our data management options. When we were originally presented with the WaterTrax product, we were not actively pursuing a data management tool. It came along at the absolute perfect time to meet our emerging needs. WaterTrax was the right product for the City. In retrospect, it is clear that if we had continued with our old routine or embarked on developing an in-house system we would have spent a significantly greater amount of staff time and money. The cost of the WaterTrax Service was reasonable, the range of system features was attractive – information storage, arrangement, extraction, and the service from WaterTrax has been nothing short of excellent.”

Mr. Sutherland points out that the centralized storage of on-site data and direct input of lab results have decreased the complexity of storing data in differing formats, “It is significantly more efficient to have lab results entered directly into a centralized database compared to manually inputting them after receipt. This process is not only faster, but less prone to errors.” Like all British Columbian water utilities, the City of Castlegar must conform to provincially regulated standards as enforced by the region’s Health Authority. “WaterTrax is integral to our ability to constantly prove that we are meeting that objective”, says Mr. Sutherland, “The reporting function has been tremendously important to the City of Castlegar. We post reports monthly on the City’s website, provide reports to the Drinking Water Officer at the Health Authority, and provide various reports to keep City Council up to date. The alert notifications are a critically important to stay on top of requirements. We often set our own standards beyond those required by the Province in order to continuously improve our water quality program.” And when it comes to usability, Mr. Sutherland states, “Our staff has discovered that the Service is extremely easy to use. The Watertrax support team has consistently stayed involved to ensure the product is doing everything and more than we expected of it. It is a very reasonable cost to pay for storage, security and extraction of critical data”.

The Benefits

The key to successful data management is a system that integrates differing data sources, reduces data entry errors, increases operational efficiency, and save time. The City of Castlegar discovered this with the WaterTrax Utility Service.

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