Maryland Center for Environmental Training  

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Asset Management

What is "asset management"?   Simply put, asset management is a way of managing infrastructure capital assets that minimizes the cost of owning and operating those assets and maximizes their performance over time.

One of the main drivers behind asset management is the proposed set of changes to EPA’s NPDES permitting regulations which will require sewer agencies to prepare “capacity, management, operation and maintenance” (CMOM) plans for their wastewater systems.  These plans will likely include condition assessments of the system’s major assets, as well as long-range asset replacement and refurbishment components.  More than likely, these changes will directly affect (if they haven’t already) your day-to-day operations.

Another major driver is the phased implementation of the
General Accounting Standards Board Statement 34 (GASB 34).  This new asset reporting method requires that all public agencies (except federal) report depreciation on all infrastructure assets or alternatively, implement asset management systems and report the actual cost of maintaining the condition of their infrastructure systems.  These reporting standards will be effective for public agencies with revenues of less than $10 million beginning in fiscal year 2003-04 (or the period beginning after June 15, 2003).  If your revenues are greater than $10 million, your effective date is even sooner.

What are the real benefits to the utility?
Facilities who choose to implement asset management will not only be ahead of the curve when it comes to compliance with CMOM and GASB 34, but they will realize the benefits in their day-to-day management of their facility.  Because asset management is a way of looking at increasing system demands and aging infrastructure in an organized fashion, it allows utility managers and local officials to make the best decisions about how, when, and where to expend valuable, and often limited, resources.

What are the true costs of designing and implementing an asset management system?
The actual monetary costs of designing and implementing an asset management system (assuming you do it by yourself) are probably not significant; however, because asset management affects virtually everything about the way you do business, the cost in terms of time, effort, personnel resources, etc., are likely to be significant.  The thing to keep in mind is that the payback on that investment (particularly over the long term) is substantial.

How can I get help for my community?
MCET has developed a training program identified below to help communities implement asset management at their wastewater facilities.

Train-the-Trainer program:  The subjects covered in this Asset Management trainer's course include the establishment of management teams, developing objectives, conducting asset inventory and condition assessments, developing maintenance and rehabilitation programs, capital improvement planning and program administration.  Curriculum, complete with trainers guides, can be downloaded from this site.

This toolkit consists of three sections:  1) presentation slides and instructor notes covering asset management principles; 2) presentation slides and instructor notes for TEAMS – Total Electronic Asset Management System; and 3) an overview and introduction section, the TEAMS User’s Guide; and resource list.  This information is in PowerPoint and PDF format.

All of the reference materials included and cited in this toolkit were obtained from reliable public information sources; however, the Maryland Center for Environmental Training (MCET) makes no representation, expressed or implied, that this information is either accurate or necessarily applicable in any given situation. MCET bears no responsibility to update this work or to make notification of any changes in information or programs described in any of the included documents. The contents of this toolkit do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of MCET or of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), nor does mention of trade names or commercial products constitute endorsement or recommendation for use. Neither MCET, the College of Southern Maryland, nor EPA, assume any liability resulting from the use of, or reliance on, any information, guidance, suggestions, conclusions, or opinions contained in this toolkit.

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Download the Asset Management Guide for Wastewater Utilities

Train-the-Trainer Toolkit

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