CSL Services cuts engineering time by 25% on Inflow & Infiltration wastewater studies with FlowWorks I&I Analysis Tool in its hip pocket
Bill Dawson, Vice President
New Jersey, USA
Inflow & Infiltration (I&I) quantification begins with accurate, reliable, and repeatable sewer flow data. I&I sources change both spatially and temporally, depending upon a range of local conditions including soils, pipe condition, materials and construction practices, storm drainage and presence of cross-connections, age of systems and climatic conditions.
Uncontrolled I&I can have detrimental social, economic, and environmental effects
Uncontrolled I&I in sanitary sewer systems can have detrimental effects on social, economic, and environmental aspects of urban areas. Excessive flows as a result of I&I can result in health risks associated with sanitary overflows, increase operation and maintenance costs, and may limit capacity otherwise reserved in the existing sanitary sewer system to serve future populations.
As Vice President of New Jersey-based CSL Services Inc. with responsibility for the U.S. southeast, Bill Dawson fully understands the strategic value of accurate I&I data, which is why he “keeps the FlowWorks I&I Analysis Tool in my hip pocket.”
CSL Services a leader in flow monitoring with over two million meter-days logged
CSL is a 50-employee engineering field services company that specializes in wastewater collection systems flow monitoring and condition assessment. CSL is known for customer satisfaction, and a significant percentage of its work these days is repeat business. Dawson joined the company in 2009, having previously worked with CSL’s Founder and President Bruce Cohen. Since its inception, CSL has logged over two million meter-days and established itself as one of the leading flow monitoring and pipeline inspection companies in the United States.
Dawson said he “discovered the FlowWorks I&I Analysis Tool five or six years ago.” The Inflow and Infiltration tool is part of FlowWorks, a powerful Software-as-a-Service (“SaaS”)-based application for collecting, monitoring and analyzing all types of environmental data. It collects data from any sensor or monitoring hardware, integrates with other monitoring systems, and utilizes historic and public data sets. All forms of data merge into a single platform that performs graphing, reporting and machine learning enabled analytics.
FlowWorks I&I provides time savings with dry weather pattern and storm event group efficiencies
Flexible, affordable and easy-to-use compared to competing software packages, water industry professionals often refer to FlowWorks as “a data Switzerland” for its unique ability to be an independent third-party software platform where smart water utilities can implement any data-driven solution they need to solve problems in their facilities.
The FlowWorks I&I Analysis Tool feature set includes an automated dry weather pattern generator and an automated storm event group finder for faster, more accurate analysis. An RDII (Rainfall Derived Inflow and Infiltration) chart provides a powerful, quantitative view of the collection system’s wet weather response. A correlation report provides a linear regression between rainfall and RDII to assist in forecasting wet weather impacts on the collection system.
Ability to export graphs and underlying data
With the FlowWorks I&I Analysis Tool, the user has the ability to export both graphs and the underlying data to include into a report.
Engineering time on flow studies was reduced between 25% and up to 50% on big projects
For Dawson, the FlowWorks I&I Analysis Tool is an invaluable component of his toolkit for temporary flow studies that typically last from 60 days to 6 months and can use as many as 50 or more flow meters. “Before it came along we would manually load I&I data into Excel spreadsheet templates we created,” said Dawson. “FlowWorks has allowed our engineers to become much more efficient in generating these analyses.” Dawson says his engineering time on flow monitoring studies has decreased by an “average of 25% with the FlowWorks I&I Analysis Tool, and up to 50% on larger projects involving 20 or more meters.
“This is a competitive differentiator for us … anybody we’ve ever done flow monitoring studies for with FlowWorks comes back to us again.”
“This is a competitive differentiator for us,” said Dawson. “In many cases we work for engineering firms. Since they don’t do this kind of analysis every day, they hand that responsibility to us. We do this all day long with FlowWorks, so they’re happy for us to get it done for them. It seems to work well, and knock on wood, anybody we’ve ever done flow monitoring studies for with FlowWorks comes back to us again.”
Dawson stated that savings is measured in engineers’ labor cost, but emphasized there are bigger benefits involving the ability to easily scale over and analyze large datasets. He also said CSL Services is interested in seeing what else the FlowWorks platform can do for his company. “I know there’s more to discover there.”
Quick response and effect solutions from FlowWorks support
FlowWorks customer support is another high point for Dawson. “I have a Project Engineer that crunches the numbers on our flow monitoring studies, but I get copied on all the emails to FlowWorks, and I know we always get a quick response and effective solutions to any little wrinkles with uploading the data or using the software. That’s why our companies have had a productive multi-year relationship.”