Lean Operations for Water and Wasterwater 6-22-11

5 Steps to Lean Water Operations
Transforming data into
information is critical to success
Chuck Scholpp
Director, Integrated Information Management
Hach Company
Today’s Growing Challenges
• Budgets are tight
– Treatment costs are increasing
– Infrastructure investments going unfunded
– Raising rates is difficult
• New regulations are coming at a fast pace
• Retiring workforce = knowledge loss
Everyone is being asked to do more with less but how?
Addressing Water/Wastewater Industry
Challenges with “Lean” Concepts
Five Steps to Enable Lean
1. Create lean culture
2. Take holistic approach
3. Automate manual processes
4. Achieve Lean sustainability
5. Put it all together
“Lean applies in every
business and every process.
It is not a tactic or a cost
reduction, but a way of
thinking and acting for an
entire organization.”
- Lean Institute
Step 1:
Create a Lean Culture
• Cross-functional “Kaizens Bursts” to solve problems
• Gain alignment around processes, process data, and constraints
• Monthly cross-functional operations review meetings
• Freedom to question status quo; Asking 5-Whys
• Teach to “speak with data”
With changing workforce, years of operator experience being the
requisite to performing the job must morph into a data-driven approach
Step 2:
Take Holistic Approach to Water Operations
• Develop process maps (current and future state)
– Identify process steps
– Gather quantifiable data
Ex. Inventory, quality, cycle time,
# of people involved, costs
– Identify 8 common wastes
• Motion, inventory, waiting, quality defects,
over-processing, transportation,
overproduction, and unused creativity
– Eliminate muda (waste)
Any action that adds time, effort,
cost but no value
– Optimize value-added steps
Step 3:
Automate Manual Processes
• Replace manual with software-based data gathering and info reporting
– Allows increased focus on “holistic” view
– Frees up time for value-added work
– Reduces errors
• EPA moving to electronic reporting in all states
• Efficiently drives collaborative analysis and decisions
across business, enterprise, or ecosystem
Empowers the
utility to do more
with less and
simplifies the task
of providing state
and federal
regulators with the
reports they need
Step 4:
Achieve Lean Sustainability
• Lean is a systematic approach to solving problems
• Continuous improvement mentality
• Data-driven decisions drive optimized solutions
• Visual management of metrics is critical
Step 5:
Put It All Together
Hach WIMS™ can help!
• Lean Culture: Prioritize cross-functional, holistic
problem solving over gathering data:
• Data Gathering: Spend less time gathering and more time analyzing
• Data Analysis: Process mapping, data mining, statistics, water calcs.
Apply focus where it belongs:
– System upsets
– Cost overruns
– Compliance issues
– Customer complaints
• Reporting: Use dashboards and reports to achieve sustainability,
prevent future issues from occurring, and meet regulations
Gather and Organize Data for
Immediate Access and Analysis
Manual Data Entry:
If manual data entry is necessary,
enter it directly into software
thereby eliminating multipletranscriptions
Automated Data Entry:
Download data directly
from instruments
SCADA / HMI / Historians
Commercial Lab Reports
Other Third Party Software
Combine Data from
Field, Lab and Operations
• Configure graphs for trend analysis, correlations, and control charting
• Compare various sets of data to identify cost reduction opportunities
Ex. Raw Turbidity
Daily Avg, Daily Min,
Daily Max
Monitor On-Going Performance
• Visual management provides easy sustained monitoring
– Customize dashboards for different levels of the organization
– Enable quick retrieval of reports, graphs, and entry forms
– Make review of data & information part of every day culture
Case Study
United Water
Numerous drinking and waste water plants across the US
• Developed a corporate strategy to improve performance and meet increasingly
complex regulations at its over 400 operating locations
• United Water had been using multiple legacy reporting systems which made it
difficult to monitor performance in a consistent manner at all of its facilities
• Corporate priority to install enterprise version of Hach WIMS across all facilities
• WIMS is now serving as United Water’s central nervous system, allowing UW to:
o evaluate performance of each facility using consistent metrics
o automatically consolidate data from all facilities
o automatically produce reports – regulatory, KPI, and internal compliance
• Internal champions were selected
• Invested in training
Case Study
Littleton / Englewood
50MGD Waste Water Plant
• Data collection and reporting was a full-time role, YET…
• Data collected was incomplete and difficult to access
• In the 90’s, plant averaged 2 permit violations per year
• Consolidated info from SCADA, LIMS, laboratory, and field instrumentation
• Automated incoming data entry and checks (increases data accuracy)
• Automated and centralized data reporting (drives cross-functional decision making)
• Zero permit violations = $0 in fines (formally a budgeted line item)
• 1,600 hours annually freed up by automated data entry
• 240 hours annually freed up from preparing regulatory filings
• $300K annual reduction in energy and chemical costs
• Used to justify smaller plant expansion than previously envisioned
Case Study
City of Gastonia
16MGD Drinking Water Plant
• Information tracking and report generating was a huge task
• Basic data entry and reporting took ~ 65 percent of an individual’s time
• Complex analysis rarely got done
• Monitor KPIs leveraging automated reports and dashboards
• Data is now easily accessible to make meaningful operational decisions
• Reduced basic data entry and reporting time from 65% to <10 percent
• Over $60,000 savings from reduced treated water losses and chemical costs
• Helps Plant and City Managers navigate political waters with accurate data
Case Study
Boulder, CO
2 Drinking Water Plants (total 55MGD)
• Existing SCADA and LIMS solutions not sufficient for easily analyzing data
• Gathering and reporting data was time-consuming and cumbersome
• Automated data gathering
• Automated and centralized KPIs and other reports into visual dashboards
• Leveraged trend & correlation data to drive continuous improvement
• Visualization catches issues before they become problems
• >$20,000 annual reduction on chemical spend
• Using WIMS to find root cause of recent $200K increase in residual hauling
• Producing higher quality water in an environmentally responsible way
• Today’s reality:
– Budgets are shrinking
– Regulations are increasing
– Workforce is aging
• Water and wastewater utilities must further streamline their processes
and improve operational efficiencies
Create a lean culture
Take a holistic approach to operations
Automate manual processes
Achieve Lean Sustainability
Put it all together
• Hach WIMS™ software enables Lean Operations and allows better
monitoring, reporting and managing of water resources
Contact Information
Chuck Scholpp
Director, Integrated Information Management BU
w.970.663.1377 ext 2547 | c.970.443.1637
Hach Company
Download a white paper on Lean Water Operations
and learn more about Hach WIMS™ by visiting: