White House Utility District capitalises on Esri’s digital mapping platform

Sean Dudley
Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley on 16 October 2014
White House Utility District capitalises on Esri’s digital mapping platform

White House Utility District (WHUD), the largest water district by geography in the US state of Tennessee, is using the Esri digital mapping platform to help maximise efficiency, improve decision-making, and enhance customer service.

WHUD implemented Esri’s ArcGIS for Water Utilities solutions, which provides the district’s 80 utility employees with access to more than 200 web maps, apps, dashboards and information layers.

Esri’s technology creates visualisations from data that formerly existed only as paper maps or big files, meaning they were hard to visualise. The map-based visuals enable WHUD’s employees to streamline operations and communications, both internally and externally.

“All of this is in the name of using water more efficiently, reducing paper map use, serving customers faster, and helping the water utility communicate better with local agencies,” said Bill Thompson, WHUD general manager. “By becoming totally GIS centric and integrating all of our systems together, we will have the ability to make informed decisions that are accurate and relevant in real time.”

The company stores its geographic information system data in Microsoft SQL Server, and uses Esri’s ArcGIS server on Windows Server 2012.

The district has deployed Esri mapping to simplify data continuity across seven dashboards which display key performance indicators, such as total main replacements and costs, vehicle location and outages affecting customers. This improves customer service, as representatives are able to access information by just looking at the screen.

“Our entire work force needs the ability to see tabular data spatially,” said Thompson. “We live in a world of images, where visual delivery of data is a must.”

Actionable insights will also be gained through ‘leak loggers’– tracking devices that pull data on water loss from main breaks and leaks. Within 24 hours of deploying a leak logger, WHUD employees can find out whether or not a leak is present, and field personnel can report leak logger results in an ArcGIS Online mapping application, meaning results are visible and easily understandable in dashboards.

“We are looking to do this in real time in the future and have ordered some loggers to evaluate this process,” said Thompson.

WHUD has also created an ArcGIS account for local departments and agencies. This means water activity can be reported online by institutions such as the fire department, a process that was previously done on paper notes. This helps WHUD calculate the consumption of water and track losses from leaks.

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