Wannon Water's innovative solution to storing data

18 January 2017

Wannon Water has devised an award-winning solution to the problem of how to manage its 70,000 plans and drawings.

As Victoria’s second largest regional water corporation by area, Wannon Water is responsible for $1.2 billion worth of land and facilities. They include 1,960 kilometres of water mains, 930 kilometres of sewer pipes, 26 treatment and reclamation plants, 100 sewer pump stations, and buildings including offices, depots and laboratories - with plans attached to them all.

The corporation also has plans for thousands of developments, subdivisions and water and sewerage connections across the region.

In the past, all these documents had been filed on a large number of computers and network drives or stored as hard copies in Wannon Water’s many buildings including those Warrnambool, Hamilton, Portland and Camperdown, meaning there was no central point of control.

Now, that has all changed, as a team of employees have worked over the past three years to identify the best solution for the outdated system, allowing Wannon Water to access quality information, maximise business efficiency and deliver better value for customers.

A new and innovative process, using Wannon Water’s online record management system, was developed, enabling the digitisation and consolidation of plans into a single, user-friendly, reliable and accessible repository.

The project involved:

  • Exporting and cataloguing 8,900 pages of plans in the existing database.
  • Creating 2,384 drawing sets, allowing the identification of civil, mechanical and pipework plans.
  • Identifying duplicate, superseded or redundant plans.
  • Assessing and digitising hardcopy plans, including the scanning of more than 21,000 large-format plans.
  • The future review and assessment of an estimated 22,000 electronic plans stored in network drives.

Wannon Water Managing Director Andrew Jeffers said the Plans Database Project was part of the corporation’s commitment to streamline processes and become more efficient.

He said it was just one of the ways that Wannon Water had been able to reduce prices and deliver long-term value to its customers.

“The new repository is an irreplaceable asset – a complete and reliable collection of our plans, maps and drawings that can be used with confidence,” Mr Jeffers said.