Asset management is the strategic practice of operating, maintaining, and sustaining infrastructure assets to meet the needs and service levels identified by a community, while minimizing the total cost of owning and operating the assets.
Asset management is a management framework widely adopted by the utility sector to pursue and achieve sustainable infrastructure. It can help move systems from crisis management to informed decision making, facilitate more efficient and focused system operations and improve financial management to make the best use of systems’ limited resources. An asset management plan (AMP) serves as a tool to record an entire system’s asset management practices and strategies.
Assets are essentially all the infrastructure, equipment, property, buildings, people, and other components needed to provide safe and effective utility services, such as providing drinking water, collecting and treating sewage, and managing stormwater runoff and flooding. Utility services that benefit from asset management can also include transportation and energy services, and other infrastructure that support communities.
Large pieces of equipment or technology or natural infrastructure systems are typically the focus of asset management systems, because they are expensive to build, challenging to replace, require regular maintenance, and are essential to public health and quality of life.
Utility assets are not only the large pieces of equipment and plants that we see above ground, but also all the equipment that is located underground.
Stormwater asset management is simply the application of asset management practices and strategies to the stormwater system serving communities, towns, and regions. A general set of asset management processes are identified above; and specific asset management procedures have been developed in the industry for stormwater management systems. Components of stormwater systems that are typically the subject of asset management practices are:
Typical Stormwater System Assets
Service needs and design differences exist between stormwater and wastewater systems, even though the O&M procedures for each can overlap due to the similarity of system elements. However, stormwater systems, especially with the expanding implementation of green infrastructure systems, create unique operational and service needs that influence the content of an AMP. For example, newly created AMPs now address the classification and incorporation of green infrastructure controls, and their unique maintenance requirements.
An AMP in this context is a strategic, comprehensive tool for managing stormwater system assets to help meet chosen levels of service, and minimize the long-term investment in each asset, keeping expenditures commensurate with desired performance and regulatory requirements. A stormwater AMP prioritizes the most important projects by cataloging assets, identifying performance objectives, conducting a life-cycle analysis, identifying effective maintenance schedules, and conducting a cost-of-failure criticality analysis of stormwater assets.
Circumstances that can contribute to an asset failing include, but are not limited to, erosion and washout, flooding, physical deterioration from age or usage, insufficient design and capacity.
Likelihoods of failure often depend on age, condition, design, installation, and current loading. Consequences of failure often depend on how critical the asset functions in reducing local flooding, routing stormwater runoff, protecting local properties and structures, and protecting water quality.