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Attribute Inspection Enables Safe, Efficient, Successful Operation

The City of Longmont operates and manages 154 miles of overhead line and has 38,000 active consumers. Longmont Power and Communications (LPC) was in need of updated electric facilities attribute inspection and spatial location information and needed GPS technology and different measurement devices to ensure the continued operation of their utility system. LPC’s existing mapping data was outdated and did not meet current safety guidelines. There were many instances where data was either missing or incomplete.

Problem

ESC engineering encountered several navigational challenges while collecting data for the city grid in a 42.3-square miles service area; 22.3 miles which lies within the city limits. The LPC service area represents a total of 395 miles of underground lines and 154 miles of overhead lines. LPC required measurements of all road crossings, distance from phase to joint use connections on their poles, and a full field inventory conducted within a six-month timeframe, which also included testing and collecting data in a beta software product with weekly deliverables.

Approach

The GPS inventory and mapping process was conducted on a city grid location basis with GPS, sonar, and a GPS-enabled camera. The attribute of each pole was verified and adjusted to ensure the right connections and equipment at each pole. Upon completion of the quality control field and in-house work, the circuit of a specified area was updated to the existing GIS, helping LPC to more efficiently manage its pole assets and NESC indicators for violation possibility.

Result

The execution went according to plan, despite encountering software issues at start-up. ESC was able to work through these issues in a timely manner and deliver the solution in accordance with LPC’s expectations. A nine-step quality assurance process was conducted to validate the GIS’s dependability and LPC received an effective end result within the required six-month scheduling timeframe. Although GIS solutions like this one typically provide a return on investment within three to five years, LPC recognized the benefits immediately in keeping their customers and employees safe.