EnviroSys™ provides a greater focus on lab data management.

Nigel Garson, Drinking Water Quality Management System Coordinator, Melbourne Water

Case Study: Melbourne Water

Melbourne Water centralises water quality data management with EnviroSys™.

Project Type: 

Environmental & Water Quality Data Management Software implementation project.

Time Frame: 

5 Month Implementation Project + continuous improvement partnership

Features:

Simple & user-friendly, Secure data management, interfaces with internal systems

Location:

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Benefits:

Simplified data collection and management, Reduced time and resources through automated workflows, Improved quality control

Project Snap Shot

“SRA were very experienced in helping us solve the riddle of converting data, getting it into the system, working alongside change managers and helping with training and preparation. It was a good working relationship.”

Caroline Hussey, Melbourne Water

BACKGROUND

Melbourne Water is a statutory authority owned by the Victorian Government. Its role is to manage and protect Melbourne’s major water resources on behalf of the community.  

Rigorous research and water data informs its services, guaranteeing the supply of affordable, high-quality water, reliable sewerage, healthy waterways, integrated drainage, flood management and outstanding natural community spaces.

This involves:

  • managing water supply catchments

  • treating and supplying drinking and recycled water

  • removing and treating most of Melbourne’s sewage

  • managing waterways and major drainage systems in the Port Phillip and Westernport region.

It receives thousands of results each month from 10 different monitoring laboratories, and historically people across the business were storing data in a variety of ways, which then needed copying and pasting into Excel spreadsheets.

Melbourne Water knew it needed a greater focus on laboratory data management and went out to open tender, selecting EnviroSys™ after a competitive process.

CHALLENGE

Melbourne Water had a large number of disparate data sources ranging from spreadsheets to databases stored on servers, laptops and computers.  The biggest challenge was the broad scope of historical data that needed to be migrated into the new system. Integrated monitoring programs require data cleansing and interpretation, therefore it was vital to bed down those key programs first. Data had to be precise and well-organised, otherwise the management system would not do what was required.

It also needed to interface well with the laboratory system without Melbourne Water staff needing to manipulate raw files, thus exposing themselves to more risk. Data management had to be through an independent, auditable system that would track if anyone had gone in and edited data or made a change.

A final challenge, like many IT implementations, was change management. The success of the project would depend on its acceptance – both internally and by external laboratories. Plus, it all had to be done with minimal impact on day-to-day operations.

BENEFITS

By implementing EnviroSys™, Melbourne Water has not only simplified its data collection and management, it has also reduced risk around critical data and made monitoring program owners more accountable for collecting the correct data to make sure all their waterways are actually healthy.

 

This has also allowed Melbourne Water to ensure they are getting the samples they are paying for, which in turn means less wasted expenditure.

The easy-to-understand dashboard overview gives management a clear snapshot of compliance and saves time and resources.

Another major benefit is the automation of receiving data and the removal of manual data manipulation, reducing the risk of human error.

By replacing more than 30 spreadsheets at disparate locations with a single database, EnviroSys™ will also help Melbourne Water detect trends that could be heading towards bad news.

A final, less quantifiable benefit is that EnviroSys™ has opened the door for opportunities to do further analysis of data, including correlation with weather and other systems.

 

This will meet clear direction of the Board of Melbourne Water to ensure the utility is on the big data journey.

SOLUTION

Melbourne Water selected EnviroSys™ after a competitive open tender using a weighted matrix that focused on such things as fit-for-purpose, usability with minimal training, spatial compatibility, customised reports, and ability to interface with laboratory systems.

The fact that EnviroSys™ was an affordable Australian product was also appealing.

EnviroSys™ is Australia’s most comprehensive environmental data management system, simplifying the capture, storage, monitoring, analysis and reporting of environmental data, allowing for informed decision making.

SRA worked closely with Melbourne Water to install the award-winning EnviroSys™ environmental data management software, as well as to develop the product further to suit Melbourne Water’s needs.

While EnviroSys™ has been implemented in the past by other water utilities due to its strength in the water quality data management, Melbourne Water has adopted the product in a different way, and EnviroSys™ has grown and developed as the project unfolded. The off-the shelf product has been supplemented with a collegiate relationship to enhance and improve the software in a professional and flexible manner.

For example, SRA has enhanced sample management module to help Melbourne Water keep track of all the water sampling required to meet obligations.

 

EnviroSys™ was implemented and usable within five months, with an extra three months to build and enhance the sampling module - beyond scope of the original tender. SRA is working on a further project to improve the querying tool, to make it more powerful and accessible to the end user.

 

SRA’s consultative approach to the project and high level of subject matter expertise were appreciated during the project, and as Melbourne Water transitioned its staff and external laboratory partners to the new software.

 

The end result is that Melbourne Water has embraced EnviroSys™ as an operational system, rather than simply a reporting tool.

“I enjoy having an easy dashboard management overview of results.”

 

Caroline Hussey, Melbourne Water

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