West Basin Municipal Water District (MWD) is a water wholesaler that provides drinking water and recycled water to nearly 1 million people. West Basin MWD is a recognized leader in the production of recycled water and is active in conservation and education, and is also exploring ocean-water desalination to create more reliable, local sources of drinking water.
West Basin was searching for a data management solution that would not only consolidate all of their data from their various facilities and laboratories, but would also optimize their internal processes as it relates to regulatory requirements. One challenge they experienced specifically was their ever-changing reporting parameters and large amount of analytes. The level of detail that was required was becoming overwhelming and they needed a solution to assist them.
West Basin also wanted a tool that would help them automate their California Integrated Water Quality System (CIWQS) electronic Self-Monitoring Reports (eSMR) and Discharge Monitoring Reports (DMR). They spent a great deal of time and resources compiling the data for quarterly reports from various sources and multiple labs for their five NPDES permits. From there, they would enter the information into an Excel spreadsheet, create all of the required calculations and then manually fill out their DMR reports. The manual nature of this process left room for error and took a lot of time, leaving little time to analyze the results and optimize performance.
“The DMR integrates seamlessly with the CIWQS database. The data validation feature of the DMR highlights any missing data or other issues in yellow making the process more effective.”
West Basin chose WaterTrax to help them consolidate their data and ease the reporting load. In addition to the CIWQS reporting tools, WaterTrax offers a built-in formula builder which further reduces the amount of manual data manipulation that West Basin was previously completing for each NPDES permit. Elizabeth Sala, Environmental Quality Specialist at West Basin, who was instrumental in the implementation of WaterTrax, stated that “before working with WaterTrax, our data was spread across hundreds of spreadsheets, in various files and folders. Now, we have access to all of that data in one location. We can quickly open up a lab report to investigate when WaterTrax notifies us of an issue through their automated email alerting function.” Ms. Sala has worked diligently since implementation to set up her CIWQS and eSMR2.5 report templates and has found the reporting process dramatically improved. “The process for setting up the reports the first time was very detailed, but once I had these templates set up with all of the analytes, generating the reports goes quickly.”
In addition to the CIWQS reporting tool, Elizabeth also is using the DMR reporting product. “The DMR integrates seamlessly with the CIWQS database,” she explains. In California, the DMR Report goes to the EPA through the CIWQS database. “The data validation feature of the DMR highlights any missing data or other issues in yellow making the process more effective.” (i.e. if the labs haven’t uploaded or if you are missing any results.)