Utility Takes Steps to Prepare for Virginia Department of Environmental Quality Requirements
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Utility Takes Steps to Prepare for Virginia Department of Environmental Quality Requirements

       Pipeline Data from 14 Jurisdictions Centralized Using an Online Spatial Data Validation and Loading Service

Vancouver, BC - February 24, 2009 - Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD), a utility located in the Commonwealth of Virginia, USA, has taken important steps to prepare for the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality's (DEQ) sanitary sewer overflow reduction requirements. A recognized leader in the wastewater industry, HRSD is introducing a regional hydraulic wastewater model that centralizes pipeline and pump station data from its system and the systems of the 14 localities it serves by implementing an online data validation and loading service powered by Safe Software’s leading spatial ETL platform, FME® Server.

The regional model will help HRSD identify areas of the collection system which can be improved to reduce the inflow and infiltration (I/I) overflows for the Chesapeake Bay water shed. To effectively integrate this data, HRSD needed to ensure that the incoming data's model was correctly standardized, and that the data met specified criteria. HRSD also wanted to prevent the need for manual data clean-up and integration tasks. Realizing how difficult and costly it can be to develop and maintain a custom system, HRSD decided to look for a commercial, online system that could automatically perform quality checks on incoming data, return a report, and load validated data into the centralized database.

HRSD selected Safe Software's FME Server, a scalable, web-based platform that provides flexible spatial data distribution and loading services. The platform offers self-serve upload and validation capabilities over the web so data contributors can remotely deliver their data to the centralized database. It can also provide contributors with specific feedback on any data which fails validation testing so they know exactly what to change before re-submitting it. Additionally, FME Server offers an intuitive graphical user interface for designing the custom data validation tests and any required data transformation tasks.

In starting their data centralization project, HRSD first determined which validation tests would be required. They then used FME to create a spatial data workflow for the geometric and attribute quality checks they needed to perform on the jurisdictions' pipeline data. They published this workflow to FME Server, making it available online for the data contributors. Using a web form, these contributors can upload their data and have it automatically run through the validation process. If corrections are required, a concise report identifies areas that need to be fixed before the data can be loaded. If the data passes validation, it is loaded into HRSD's centralized ESRI® ArcSDE™ database.

"We now have a system that can quickly get the jurisdictions' data into our hands, without having to worry about whether the jurisdiction is meeting the basic requirements," says Clay Wise, Senior Programmer Analyst for HRSD. "In the past, HRSD has had to pour a lot of resources into data centralization projects, including staff time spent manually cleaning up data coming in many different formats. By implementing FME Server, we can now complete a task in just a few minutes that other teams have taken over a week to accomplish."

The data validation project has been so successful that HRSD has found other areas where FME Server can be used to increase efficiency. They are now designing a service that will help the jurisdictions' modelers share data with HRSD engineers for their day-to-day operations.

In addition to its data validation and loading capabilities, FME Server provides flexible data distribution and real-time data transformation services that enable users to share spatial data in their preferred data model. It also offers the ability to integrate and load data from over 225 formats into popular spatial databases on-the-fly for centralization. Organizations interested in learning more can visit www.safe.com/FMEServer.

About Hampton Roads Sanitation District

HRSD, a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Virginia, was created by public referendum in 1940 and currently serves 17 cities and counties in southeast Virginia, an area with a population of 1.6 million. Its mission is to prevent pollution and protect public health by providing wastewater collection, treatment and related services.

About Safe and FME

Safe Software powers the flow of spatial data with its software platform, FME. The recognized standard in spatial ETL (extract, transform and load), FME is the only complete solution for data conversion. It delivers the most extensive format support for data translation and integration, and provides unlimited flexibility in data model transformation and distribution.

FME is used by thousands of customers worldwide in a variety of industries including government, utilities, and petroleum. Its powerful data access technology also makes FME the choice of leading GIS, CAD, and database vendors for integration into their own solutions. Designed for true data interoperability, FME unleashes spatial data so people can use it where, when, and how they want to. For more information, visit www.safe.com.


Lakhvir Brar
Acting Director of Marketing
Safe Software Inc.
Tel.: 604-501-9985 ext. 274
E-mail: Email Contact