By Field Technologies magazine
The City of Boulder, CO, serves approximately
104,000 residents. In 1989, the city created the
Storm Water Quality Program to monitor the impact
of urban runoff on Boulder Creek. Water quality is
examined to identify how it is changing over time
and to identify and mitigate pollutant sources.
Boulder had been using paper forms and logbooks for
these inspections and had a problem with its inspectors
not following the same processes. This led to inaccurate
data, discrepancies between inspections, and wasted
time trying to decipher inspectors' data. The paperbased
system Boulder used was costly, time-intensive,
and inefficient. It required inspectors to return to the
office and spend an average of 2 hours per day manually
reentering data collected in the field into the database.
Boulder needed a solution that would standardize
both procedures and data collection requirements
and improve documentation and data uniformity.
Also, inspectors had to carry multiple devices such
as a GPS receiver, a digital camera, a clipboard,
and a cellular telephone. The ideal solution would
eliminate paper and allow the inspectors to perform
their duties with one mobile device.
After additional research, the City of Boulder
chose Storm Water Inspector, a solution created by
Mobile Epiphany. The solution placed all inspections
into a single application, which is broken down
by the type of best management practices that the
inspectors could look for and enforce on a daily
basis. Productivity was optimized with the rich use
of media; reference images are carried into the field
on the mobile device, allowing for rookie inspectors
to work with minimal supervision and use Touch
Inspect as a training tool to guide them. This was
coupled with the Touch Inspect Report Manager to
generate reports and notices of violation.
Now, all of the data collected by inspectors in the
field is automatically transmitted to the database.
This saves more than 80 work hours per month in
rekeying data. Inspectors stay in the field longer
and conduct more inspections in the same number
of work hours — increasing overall efficiency.