The Village of Bronxville has utilized a technologically advanced sanitary sewer map since June that uses a GPS to create a digital map of the village’s manholes, the point of entry for any sewer maintenance work.
Rocco Circosta, public works superintendent of Bronxville, said the digital map, which was part of the Sanitary Sewer Capital Plan developed by Professional Consultants, LLC, a New Jersey engineering company, last winter, appears on a computer screen and shows the locations of the manholes along with pipe elevations and sizes.
Circosta said this information allows DPW crews to access blockages with greater efficiency by identifying exactly where the manholes are, some of which are under pavement and under residents’ lawns.
“If there’s a blockage or an emergency somewhere at two in the morning,” Circosta said, “we can’t be looking for manholes. This will tell us exactly where the manholes are in front of and behind the blockage so we can get to work. It’s public works moving forward in the digital age.”
The Sanitary Sewer Capital Plan, which was a bonded, $30,000 project, extends beyond the manholes to the storm water catch basins, which, according to Circosta, have also been located and digitally mapped.
In addition to the storm water catch basins, the GIS—Geographical Information System—which is attached to the digital map, utilizes the latest SewerCAD software to record all the work and service done to that location, . Circosta said, and the crews can use that information to assist in prioritizing future repairs.
According to a letter obtained by the Eastchester Review from PCI to Circosta, the software-based sewer map is “essential for an efficient, sound and successful municipal resource management” and will create a hydraulic sewer model that “will help in analyzing existing and future sanitary sewer collection system, and in preparing a comprehensive report to identify system upgrade needs and problems, and help in prioritizing and designing the future sewer improvement projects.”
The old maps, Circosta said, are outdated and hand drawn without all the information about prior work; in an emergency, they can do more to hinder a crew’s work than help it.
“The old maps are 60 to 70 years old that people just marked up,” Circosta said. “That showed the locations, but they haven’t been updated. We can use them to eventually find the manholes, but the crews don’t have access to information.”
As part of the project, PCI not only installed the SewerCAD software, but also collected data about each manhole, which included the location and condition of the manhole as well as the sewer connections.
The New Jersey engineering company also developed and verified sanitary sewer flow pattern and available sewer capacity and concluded the project with a review of Bronxville’s existing sewer plans to establish deficiencies and point out where upgrades are needed.
-Reporting by Chris Eberhart