Plummer has been working closely with The Woodlands Joint Power Agency (WJPA) and the San Jacinto River Authority (SJRA) in addressing aging infrastructure and associated I/I issues in The Woodlands Wastewater System. The overall wastewater system in The Woodlands consists of an integrated (retail and wholesale) conveyance system and three regional WWTPs. The integrated wastewater conveyance system is divided into two distinct parts:
The SJRA System – The SJRA System consists of 50.5 miles of larger gravity sewer mains ranging in size from 15 to 72 inches in diameter. The smaller MUD System sewer lines tie into the larger SJRA System lines at over 300 different locations to create an integrated wastewater collection system. SJRA also owns and operates 31 conveyance system lift stations and their associated force mains. The lift stations and force mains are typically used to lift wastewater to a higher elevation main as the flow is routed to one of the three regional WWTPs.
The MUD System – The WJPA operates and maintains the MUD System which consists of 320 miles of smaller gravity sewer lines ranging in size from 2 to 14 inches in diameter along with their associate manholes. The individual residential or commercial customer typically connects to the MUD system at the property line. The private sewer laterals from individual homes or businesses to the property line are owned and maintained by the individual property owners.
While The Woodlands wastewater system is relatively new compared to those in older Texas cities, as the pipelines approach 40 years in age they begin to exhibit signs of deterioration. Asset management allows a utility to shift from a reactive infrastructure management approach based primarily on staff experience and knowledge to a more proactive approach that predicts asset investment requirements as a means to achieve and fund sustainable infrastructure. As an asset management program evolves in an organization, detailed asset inventories, operation and maintenance functions, and long-range financial planning are incorporated to build system capacity and to manage its infrastructure repair and rehabilitation.