Many strategies and tools are available to help towns, counties, and utilities manage stormwater infrastructure. Commercial, off-the-shelf software is available to help manage stormwater system assets, including key operation and maintenance (O&M) functions, and many of that software includes geographic system mapping. Software applicable to stormwater system O&M include asset management software, and Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS). Asset management technologies include hardware-based systems, such as Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition SCADA), and Internet of Things (IoT).
Because of the number of commercial asset management software packages, the Asset Management Software Assessment Tool (AMSAT) has been developed to help those interested in software for asset management identify and review the software systems that might best match their needs.
As the world increasingly connects via smartphones and internet cloud technologies, internet-based technologies (IoT) are beginning to be part of traditional forms of infrastructure control systems (SCADA). SCADA and IoT are generally regarded as different technologies and are presented separately on these web pages. But it may be useful to note that SCADA and IoT are increasingly identified as converging technologies by utilities. SCADA uses sensors, monitors, and device controllers, usually connected together through a wired network, to operate utility and infrastructure equipment, often automatically. IoT provides similar connectivity between devices (sensors and controllers) to improve operations but has broader ability to analyze and optimize utility operations, and to provide predictive analytics.
While SCADA focuses on monitoring and control, IoT uses its superior "big data" analysis capabilities to evaluate and improve infrastructure operations. IoT also allows for greater connectivity and interoperability to support collection and analysis of larger sets of system data. Last, but not least, while both SCADA and IoT rely on sensors and data acquisition, IoT has greater ability to control processes and manage data remotely across different networks, architectures, and equipment types. Many utilities started with SCADA systems, and enjoy the security of those systems, but with the great amounts of data collected, IoT provides additional capability to evaluate and refine system controls. IoT tools are powerful and are already beginning to converge with SCADA systems, so it is useful to be aware of both technologies when considering how Asset Management can help manage stormwater systems.
Additional information summarizing asset management technologies is provided to support a better understanding of the technical components that are available to help with stormwater system O&M.