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Guides

How Should IT Departments Adapt to EPA eReporting?

12
min read

Look out! It’s coming: EPA’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Electronic Reporting Rule (catchily referred to as the “NPDES eRule”) reaches full effect on December 21, 2025. And it’s up to water utilities’ IT teams to bring them into compliance. The NPDES eRule requires water utilities to move all their reporting to a standardized, digital format, using online portals either provided by EPA or custom-created by individual states. That means no more submitting spreadsheets, docs, or PDFs by email, and certainly no more hard copy paper reporting by snail mail.December of 2025 may seem a long way off, but the NPDES eRule is broad, sweeping, and impacts every form of EPA reporting a water utility is responsible for. IT teams need to get moving now if they’re going to meet new compliance requirements on time.

This article provides all the information you and the rest of your team needs to understand new electronic reporting regulations, and bring your water utility up to date ASAP.

What Is Electronic Reporting?

For the purposes of this article, “electronic reporting” (or “eReporting”) refers to using standardized online tools or web portals to submit reports to EPA. This is distinct from submitting reports by email, which many utilities did (and still do).The NPDES eRule was published on October 22, 2015, and came into effect December 21, 2015. It’s still in the process of being implemented. It will be fully implemented on October 22, 2025.The eRule has two phases: Phase I and Phase II.Phase I of the NPDES eRule is already in effect. It only requires utilities to eReport DMRs.Phase II was slated to come into effect December 2020, but the deadline was extended. On September 23, 2020, EPA signed an extension into effect. The new effective date for Phase II is December 21, 2025.The full list of reports affected by Phase II include (per EPA’s website):

  • Notices of Intent to discharge (NOIs) under a general permit
  • Notices of Termination (NOTs) of coverage under a general permit
  • No Exposure Certifications (NOEs) under a stormwater general permit
  • Low Erosivity Waivers (LEWs) under a stormwater general permit
  • Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) Annual Program Reports
  • Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Program Reports
  • Pretreatment Program Annual Reports
  • Significant Industrial User (SIU) Bi-annual Compliance Reports in municipalities without approved pretreatment programs
  • Sewer Overflow/Bypass Event Reports
  • Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 316(b) Annual Reports

As you’ve probably already realized, preparing these reports is much more labor intensive than preparing DMRs. For every instance at your water utility where they exist in the form of spreadsheets or written documents, you will need to convert these documents to electronic formats compatible with new eReporting standards. The most effective way to prepare for the full, Phase II rollout of the NPDES eRule is to transition now to a compliance and reporting system that is compatible with EPA’s new online reporting systems.

What Stage Are You at in Your Electronic Reporting Journey?

In order to get a clear idea of what steps your department must take to implement new, eRule-compliant reporting at your water utility, it’s essential to complete an audit of your current system. Refer to the following categories to get an idea of where you stand, and plan the next steps you need to take to fully digitize your reporting and become compliant with eRule.

bundles bales of paper documents. stacks packs pile on the desk in the office

Stage 0: Cluttered Desk

Your reporting systems are tied up in a byzantine system of printouts, hard media (anything from floppy disks to USB sticks), and even the occasional quilt of Post-It notes. Completing a report means cracking open the filing cabinets of multiple stakeholders, and sometimes literally digging up old files.If this sounds like your utility, you can take some comfort in the fact that you are not alone. A surprising number of water utilities across North America are still using analog—and often disorganized—systems to store and transmit data.It comes with a lot of potential pitfalls, including:

  • Hard copy data lost in transit or misplaced
  • Files without backup copies being damaged or destroyed
  • Significant time costs associated with manual and analog processes
  • Loss of access to documents as older team members retire

If you’re at Stage 0, you’re most likely still filing reports by snail mail. You’ve got a long road ahead of you to come into compliance with the NPDES eRule. The good news is that, if you start now and get set up with a digital system that’s in full compliance with the new reporting standards coming into effect at the end of 2025, you should be able to meet the deadline.

spreadsheet

Stage 1: Basic Electronic Reporting

You create, share, and file your reports (and associated data) on the computer. When filing reports or sharing information with colleagues and across organizations, you save data in the form of Microsoft Office or Excel files, or PDFs, and send them as attachments to emails.All of the digital data at your water utility is stored in-office, on employee computers, or on a shared local server accessible via intranet.Common pitfalls at this stage include:

  • Lost data, as hardware is upgraded or experiences failures
  • Duplicate data, in the form of multiple files stored natively on different employees’ desktops (changes to files aren’t synced, so different copies may disagree with one another)
  • Vulnerability to viruses and ransomware
  • Danger of sabotage or information theft. Email is one of least secure means of transmitting data online, and leaves you open to interference from a variety of bad actors, from amateur hackers to hostile foreign governments
  • Information islands. An individual who relies on DIY Excel “cheat sheets” to access data or complete reports can become a weak link in an organization. When such an individual leaves on vacation or retires, even if their files are accessible, they aren’t necessarily usable by other people in the organization—leading to knowledge gaps and stalled workflows

If your water utility falls under this category, you’re one step closer than Stage 0 to meeting the requirements of the NPDES eRule. But, broadly speaking, you still have the following steps to complete:

  1. Assess the scope of migrating to a new compliance and reporting system compatible with the NPDES eRule
  2. Compile data from across disparate storage methods and file formats
  3. Input it into the new system
  4. Retrain personnel in the new system
  5. Adapt workflows so that all data entry and recall and report filing are completed exclusively within the new system

Completing Step 1 should help you understand the time cost of the transition. The sooner you get started, the better.

Avoid Spreadsheet Overload With SaaS

Think you can get by on spreadsheets? Think again. Using spreadsheets as databases often creates more problems than it solves. Download the guide and book a demo of Klir today.

Stage 2: Web-based

Your water utility is already using a reporting and compliance system that is fully compatible with the NPDES eRule.This system could be:

  • Fully customized. As a one-time purchase from a software company, your water utility management suite was custom-coded by their in-house engineers to meet the specific needs of your organization. Most likely, it’s locally hosted on your own servers. Changes to the software may require hiring engineers to modify the code.
  • Fully configurable. The software you use was created with as many configurable variables as possible, so it can be used by a large number of utilities across a wide range of use case scenarios. It’s hosted externally, in the cloud, using standard bank-grade encryption. The software automatically updates to ensure it’s always in compliance with changes to reporting standards.

You can learn more from our article, Configurable vs. Customizable Software: A Cost-Benefit Breakdown. In either case, your system should be up to the task of completing, filing, and storing copies of reports in accordance with the NPDES eRule. If it isn’t, you should contact the manufacturer regarding updates—or else begin looking for a new software solution. If you have a system like this in place, you’re head and shoulders above most water utilities in terms of coming into compliance with new reporting standards and improving the overall performance and data security of your organization. If you don’t have a system like this in place, getting to Stage 2 should be your number one priority. It’s the surest way to help ensure you’re in compliance with the new rules.On top of that, using a web-based compliance and reporting system means:

  • Data entry is easy. Predetermined forms and fields set specifically for your needs and standardized across the organization streamline the process of entering data and keeping it securely stored.
  • You spend less time searching for forms and information. A searchable database with organization-appropriate tagging makes it easy to look up info when you need it. No more long email threads as you try to track down misplaced files.
  • Everyone is on the same page. Whether data is hosted on a local server or in the cloud, team members are always referring and making changes to the same, authoritative file. No more out-of-sync duplicates.

To better understand the benefits of a web-based solution, check out our article, Why SaaS Makes Sense for Water Now More than Ever Before.

EPA

Stage 3: CROMERR and the Future

Even though Stage 2 should be your number one goal, there is an extra level of compliance that will soon become relevant to your water utility. The Cross-Media Electronic Reporting Rule (CROMERR) sets standards for NPDES-compliant electronic reporting systems. In particular, it ensures that all data entered is legally defensible, and includes a Copy of Record.

To be clear: It isn’t up to your water utility to apply for CROMERR. Rather, software manufacturers for water utilities must ensure their products are compliant and apply. CROMERR is not fully in effect yet. However, if you are choosing an electronic reporting and compliance system for your water utility, before purchasing one, you should either make sure it is already CROMERR-compliant, or that the manufacturer has a clear timeline for bringing its software in line with CROMERR standards.

The Time for Action Is Now

EPA’s new eReporting rules may seem like a major obstacle. And there is no denying that, for many water utilities, becoming compliant will take a considerable amount of planning and effort.But these new standards are simply an indicator of the direction water utility reporting is headed. Across a wide range of industries, fully digital and cloud-based reporting and data storage are becoming the norm. Utility reporting is no different. There are many benefits that come with bringing your water utility in line with the new requirements, including increased efficiency and less risk of data damage, loss, or theft. Even if making the transition poses some difficulties, it will pay off in the long run.

If your water utility is at Stage 0 (“Cluttered Desk”), you can save yourself a significant amount of time and energy by skipping Stage 1 and going straight to Stage 2. Plugging data into spreadsheets is a stopgap solution, at best. Eventually, all utilities will need to become NPDES eReport compliant, and that means using a web-based solution like Klir.

Harness The Power of SaaS With Klir

We believe that utilities deserve world-class software custom-built for the water industry. Ready to see how scalable, flexible, continuously improving SaaS tools can help your utility overcome its biggest data challenges? Book a demo and get a demo of Klir today.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Software Comparisons

Klir vs. SAMS by NJBSoft: Picking An Operations and Compliance Management Suite That Works For You

8
min read

For utilities managing multiple programs like drinking and wastewater, cross connection control, and industrial pretreatment, bringing operational and compliance data from across the organization into one environment can be a big undertaking.

Over the years, numerous engineering, IT consulting, and software companies have developed tools to help utilities manage this process. But while they might be a step up from paper and spreadsheet-based data management, not all operational and compliance management software is created equal.

Today we’re going to explore some of these differences by comparing two platforms:

Klir

An all-in-one cloud-based operating system for water & wastewater utilities. Klir pulls compliance, sampling, reporting and more into an easy to use dashboard, cutting down on administration and record-keeping work while providing a level of organization-wide visibility unmatched by other systems.

SAMS

An operations and compliance management suite from NJBSoft built for managing water, wastewater, industrial pretreatment, backflow, stormwater, air quality and asset management programs.

Klir: A Quick Intro

Until recently, the information that operators and managers at water utilities needed to do their jobs was fragmented, dispersed across numerous systems, incomplete, or otherwise difficult to access.

Launched in 2018, Klir is the first system to bring these disparate functions together into one complete, all-in-one operating system (OS) for water & wastewater utilities.

Instead of relying on a mishmash of different systems and software, Klir brings the entire team onto one platform and pulls in data from lab reports, LIMS, SCADA & GIS to create a single source of truth for sampling activities utility-wide.

This allows operators to:

Work With Trends

See trends across the entire water system—from sampling, to permitting, inspections & more—and make decisions with clarity and confidence.

Use Automation

Automate manual tasks and data analysis that were once tracked in Excel or Outlook, from scheduling sampling runs, to interpreting sampling results, and generating regulatory reports, eliminating 1+ days of admin work each week.

Receive Alerts

Have peace of mind knowing that Klir’s automatic alerts for MCLs and non-compliance will trigger in case anything ever goes wrong, and feel confident that every sample has been completed on time.

SAMS: A Quick Intro

Launched in 2009, NJBSoft’s Sampling and Monitoring System (SAMS) began as an integrated operations and compliance solution for the Civil, Environmental and Municipal Engineering sector.

Today, the company offers seven separate ‘SAMS’ covering different aspects of water utility data management, including:

  • Compliance and permit management for drinking and wastewater utilities (SAMS Water and SAMS Wastewater)
  • Suites for managing industrial pretreatment (SAMS IPP), cross connection control (SAMS Cross Connection) and stormwater (SAMS Stormwater) programs
  • A tool for managing Clean Air Act and other air quality compliance (SAMS Air Quality)
  • A new asset management module (SAMS Asset Management)

Klir vs. SAMS: Which One Is Right for You?

While SAMS and Klir might have a lot of overlap, there are three major differences that set the two platforms apart: degree of customizability vs. configurability, how each platform handles data visualization, and collaboration tools. Here’s what each of them means for your utility:

1. Customizability vs. Configurability

Generally speaking, users get the most out of NJBSoft’s SAMS by customizing and changing the tool to fit their specific situation.

Organizations that have substantial IT and computer engineering resources have the ability to make code-level changes to SAMS, which can result in a tool that is closely tailored to a specific utility or department’s data management needs and situation.

Klir’s “click not code” approach to configurability, on the other hand, means that any user can automate processes and manage tasks without the steep learning curve.

While customizable software might offer users a more tailored approach, it’s also more expensive, both from a financial and human resources perspective.

When budgets get tight, the last thing your department needs is to sink thousands of dollars into hiring engineers to customize software you’ve already paid for. Meanwhile, configurable software is cheaper to adapt to your specific needs, and cheaper to maintain.

2. Data Visualization

We can make a similar comparison between the two platforms when it comes to another important function: pulling and synthesizing large amounts of operational and compliance data into easy-to-understand dashboards and reports.

While both platforms offer data visualization, the SAMS platform requires complex, time-consuming queries to pull operational data into dashboards.

Klir’s single-click reporting and dashboard capabilities, on the other hand, are focused on saving time and being as user-friendly as possible. There’s no need for an experienced ‘power user’ to immediately start getting value out of Klir. Powerful out-of-the-box dashboards make data more digestible for everyone, whether you’re a seasoned Klir user or using the platform for the first time.

Pulling data into reports is a similarly painless process. With a single click, operators can generate compliance reports that are instantly ready for submission to state and local regulators.

Overall, Klir’s fully configurable platform offers a simple yet comprehensive solution for all users to set up their dashboards, notifications, and forms, making it easy to visualize important information such as inspection outcomes, compliance status, and sampling results at a glance.

3. Collaboration

SAMS internal collaboration and communications tools are limited, forcing teams to handle most project management work outside of the app. If you’re looking for a tool that prioritizes project management functionality and other automation-enabled collaboration tasks, you should consider Klir instead.

Klir provides a single collaborative platform that paves the way for more proactive, collaborative programs, offering an internal chat and reply functionality, user tagging, and commenting, turning the platform into a single channel for collaboration and project management across the organization.

Conclusion

While SAMS’ operations and compliance management tools might meet the needs of power users with substantial IT and engineering resources, Klir’s out-of-the-box, user-friendly approach makes it the clear favorite for the average program manager.

  1. Klir’s focus on configurability cuts down on the substantial time and effort users must invest in customizable platforms like SAMS.
  2. Klir’s intuitive, user-friendly interface and query-free dashboard interface makes it the more powerful tool out-of-the-box. Users with little to no experience using the platform can immediately start creating data visualizations and generating reports for regulators.
  3. Klir’s focus on project management and in-app communication also makes it the clear choice for utilities and programs looking for a single tool to encompass all aspects of program management.
  4. Klir is committed to providing your utility with continued personalized support throughout your entire journey, including a dedicated Klir Customer Success Manager and a comprehensive change management plan to make the transition as seamless as possible.

Operations And Compliance Management For Everyone

Interested in learning how to get configurable dashboards without a computer science degree? Learn more about how Klir can cut down on administration and recordkeeping work, create new opportunities for collaboration, and provide a level of system-wide visibility unmatched by other water data management systems.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Blog

From Graveyards to Goldmines: Leveraging the Compliance Data Challenge

10
min read

Over the past 30 years, the amount of data wastewater treatment plants typically generate has increased exponentially. Systems for storing and organizing that data have struggled to keep up.

In many cases, water utilities have come to see the sheer amount of data on file as a liability rather than an asset: something that needs to be constantly monitored, corralled, and inevitably pushed to the side.

However, as some researchers have noted, that massive pile of data overwhelming your water utility has the potential to become a goldmine.

When data is organized and shared effectively, it becomes a powerful tool for upgrading the efficiency and performance of your wastewater treatment system, anticipating disturbances before they happen and adapting to stricter standards of compliance.

The Explosive Growth of Water Treatment Data

One study showed that a single large wastewater treatment plant, serving 800,000 to 3 million people, can generate up to 30,000 data points. These include everything from sampling data essential for reporting compliance and meeting environmental regulations, to GPS coordinates, call logs, field notes, and more.

Such a large volume of data has an impact on individual personnel. For example: a single employee at a large water utility is often responsible for overseeing more than 40,000 backflow prevention devices, each of which generates annual inspection data. The system used to organize such data has an enormous impact on that employee’s day-to-day job, affecting their ability to share information, file reports, and ensure compliance.

On its own, the overarching project of compliance—particularly tracking permits—represents an enormous task. One water utility uses Klir to manage over 3,000 permits, a task that would be daunting without Klir’s fully configurable data management systems.

As Lluís Corominas, a researcher at the Catalan Institute for Water Research, writes:

Plant operators have an overwhelming stream of data at their hands, which is very difficult to process and analyze in a timely enough fashion to allow for better understanding or proper decision-making.

The earliest tremors of this explosion of data generation can be traced back to the 1970s, when one of the hottest topics at international wastewater treatment conferences was data collection from sensors.

The sensors being used were adapted from other industries and ill-fitted for use in wastewater treatment systems, but attendees were already discussing the best ways to automate the collection and management of data in their plants.

The same report lists four primary reasons why managing water treatment data (referred to as information, control, and automation [ICA]) has since become such an enormous task:

  • Effluent quality standards, which became more demanding and complex
  • Economic factors, which encouraged water utilities to develop automated, money-saving compliance management tools that generated more data than prior solutions
  • Plant complexity, one of the most important driving factors, which increased as methods of water treatment advanced
  • Improved tools, such as advanced remote sensors, which generated more data for water utilities to manage

With such a large amount of information to deal with, one of the most important tools at a water utility’s disposal is data centralization.

Aerial View WWTP

The Importance of Data Centralization

Utilities are increasingly data-rich but information-poor. As Corominas notes, a large number of utilities have become host to “data graveyards,” massive stores of data that cannot be easily navigated or accessed.

The data graveyard is a sort of invisible weight burdening a water utility, demanding resources to be maintained, causing a constant drain on time and money, but rarely producing outright catastrophic effects.

Individuals may be forced to enter the graveyard on a regular basis, in order to dredge up information for the sake of renewing permits, for instance, or to confirm the status of different backflow devices. But each of these is simply a slow, laborious task–one that creates drag on standard processes without ever pushing them to their breaking point.

The cumulative effect of the data graveyard may be huge, but it’s difficult to see. That’s especially the case when pieces of it are owned by different individuals and teams, or scattered across multiple disconnected databases.

If the cumulative effect of a data graveyard is difficult to grasp, its potential for good may be even more elusive. Your water utility could have a huge amount of data on hand that might be leveraged to speed up and improve processes, anticipate problems, and plan for the future. But so long as it’s a fragmentary mess and a headache to access, its potential is impossible to realize.

The first step in converting your data graveyard to a goldmine is centralizing it. Bringing all your data together in one place, under one administrative dashboard, lets you assess its potential.

The best tool for the job is a comprehensive software as a service (SaaS) solution. Learn more about why SaaS makes sense for water.

Once your data is centralized and easier to navigate, it’s ready to be mined.

Gold Mining for Data

To push the metaphor to the breaking point, once you’ve converted your data graveyard into a goldmine, it’s time to start mining for gold.

“Mining for gold,” in this sense, means converting raw data into information—becoming both data-rich and information-rich. The biggest opportunities for leveraging data into information fall under three categories: machine learning, improvement of remote and real-time monitoring, and increased collaboration.

The Increasing Promise of Machine Learning

Increasingly, machine learning shows potential to have a huge impact on how water utilities leverage their data to improve operations.

Machine learning is, in brief, the process of using computers to analyze large amounts of data, discover patterns, and use those patterns to make predictions, solve problems, and answer questions.

Already, machine learning has been applied to water utility data in order to track the spread of COVID-19, reduce energy usage, and detect compliance violations.

Machine Learning and Wastewater

By testing wastewater samples, infectious disease experts are already able to predict upsurges in COVID-19 infections three to seven days before standard swab testing does the same.

That makes wastewater a window into COVID infection rates among particular populations—provided you have the tools to examine the data accurately.

While current systems for monitoring COVID via wastewater suffer some gaps in information—partly due to reduced detectability in people who have been vaccinated—machine learning has shown promise when it comes to predicting upsurges and tracking COVID’s spread.

What’s more, similar techniques can be used to track other viruses, such as norovirus and polio. You can learn more from our article on wastewater-based epidemiology.

Improving Remote and Real-Time Monitoring Capabilities with Water Data

COVID-19 lockdowns around the world fast-forwarded a general trend, across many industries, towards remote-first work policies. The lockdowns also drove home just how important it is for organizations to be able to access and manage their data remotely.

In this sense, water utilities were ahead of the curve: Many utilities already remotely manage thousands of infrastructure assets using sensors, controllers, and transmitters.

That remote capability is wasted, however, if data is fragmentary—stored natively on a variety of different media (harddrives, thumb drives, backup devices, etc.), accessible only by particular teams or individuals.

Even utilities who stored data in a centralized fashion on their own local servers faced problems when moving to remote working arrangements, as personnel encountered technical barriers to accessing the organization’s intranet from offsite computers.

A cloud-based SaaS (i.e., Software as a service) is the best solution for utilities that want to make their data available to all relevant personnel, regardless of their locations, at all times.

With the help of such a system, a water utility can:

  • Cut down on work-related travel and site visits
  • Put in place more accurate and effective alert and notification systems
  • Shorten response times when issues arise
  • Scale new operations quickly across the organization
  • Respond nimbly to staffing shortages or future lockdown situations

Get More Value out of Your Wastewater Compliance Program

Curious about how technology can help your utility tackle NPDES and other wastewater-related compliance challenges for good? Download the guide and book a demo of Klir today.

How Water Utilities Can Use Machine Learning to Reduce Their Electric Bill

In Singapore, the Ulu Pandan Water Reclamation Plant used machine learning to analyze its operational data, and were able to reduce aeration energy usage by 15%.

Instead of using reactive control mechanisms, which adjust wastewater treatment processes in reaction to changing nutrient levels, flow rates, etc., the machine learning algorithm in use at Ulu Pandan creates predictive models, making fine adjustments to the system earlier than it would otherwise.

Effectively, the automated systems at the treatment plant spend less energy playing catch-up with changing conditions—opting, instead, to literally “go with the flow.”

Detecting Violations of the Clean Water Act (CWA) With Machine Learning

In theory, some water treatment facilities are more likely to violate the CWA than others—there’s just no way to know which ones. Unless you apply machine learning to the task, that is.

In 2018, researchers from Stanford demonstrated that machine learning could be used to predict the likelihood of particular water treatment facilities violating the CWA. In theory, with that information, inspectors could be sent to the facilities most likely to be in violation of the CWA, rather than to facilities with a very low likelihood of being found non-compliant.

As their paper in Nature Sustainability demonstrates, using such a system can double the number of violators caught, while allocating inspection resources more effectively.

There’s also an element of deterrence at work: the researchers theorize that, if water treatment facilities know their data is being monitored and that a machine learning algorithm will be able to anticipate any future violations, they will be more diligent, working harder to ensure violations never occur at all.

Improving Collaboration with Centralized Water Data

Machine learning and the rise of the distributed workforce are both exciting aspects of water utility data management. In fact, they could have a major impact on the future of how water utilities operate.

But organizing and centralizing data has the most immediate impact upon a water utility’s most valuable resource: its people.

When data is accessible to all personnel, across all teams, collaboration becomes more fluid, easy, and intuitive. It’s easier for engineers, compliance professionals, operations management, and other stakeholders to take advantage of the utility’s vast store of data, and use it to everyone’s benefit.

Ready to Turn Your Compliance Data Into an Asset?

Klir’s compliance tracking tools help utilities get more out of their data while cutting down on administration and record-keeping work, create new opportunities for collaboration, and provide a level of system-wide visibility unmatched by other water data management systems. Learn more and book a demo today.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Software Comparisons

Klir vs. SwiftComply: Choosing an Effective Compliance Tracking Tool

6
min read

Whether it’s cross connection control, industrial pretreatment, or sampling, tracking regulatory compliance across the different programs and departments at a water and wastewater utility can be a massive undertaking.

Operators need access to a variety of data points to budget, plan for, and manage these challenges effectively, and many have turned to dedicated compliance tracking software to fill the gap.

While these tools are a step up from spreadsheets and post-it notes of the past, they aren’t perfect. Operators looking for a single tool to manage all aspects of compliance might find some of them outdated or limited in functionality.

Today we’re going to explore these tradeoffs by comparing two separate compliance tracking solutions:

Klir

An all-in-one cloud-based operating system for drinking water & wastewater utilities—and more. Klir’s inspection tools help utilities run more effective backflow, FOG and industrial pretreatment programs while cutting down on administration and record-keeping work.

SwiftComply

A compliance management tool offering backflow prevention, FOG management, and industrial pretreatment solutions.

Klir: A Quick Intro

Launched in 2018, Klir is an all-in-one operating system for drinking water & wastewater that brings your entire team onto one platform, pulling in data from lab reports, LIMS, SCADA & GIS to create a single source of truth for compliance utility-wide. This allows operators to:

Work With Trends

See trends across the entire water system—from sampling, to permitting, inspections & more—and make decisions with clarity and confidence.

Use Automation

Automate manual tasks and data analysis that were once tracked in Excel or Outlook, from scheduling sampling runs, to interpreting sampling results, and generating regulatory reports, eliminating 1+ days of admin work each week.

Receive Alerts

Have peace of mind knowing that Klir’s automatic alerts for MCLs and non-compliance will trigger in case anything ever goes wrong, and feel confident that every sample has been completed on time.

SwiftComply: A Quick Intro

Launched in 2016, SwiftComply began as a tool to help utilities manage FOG programs. In 2019, the company acquired XC2, a specialized backflow program management software vendor, which it began to replace with a newer updated tool called SwiftComply Backflow.

Today SwiftComply offers modules for FOG, backflow, and industrial pretreatment, stormwater, and customer management, building on its strengths in FOG and pretreatment and offering users powerful features like real-time compliance data monitoring.

Klir vs. SwiftComply: Which One Is Right for You?

SwiftComply and Klir have a lot of overlap, but there are four big differences between them that are worth keeping in mind when considering whether they’re the right fit for your operation: scope, collaboration, pricing, and data ownership.

1. One Tool For Everything

SwiftComply might work well if you already use it to manage your cross connection control data, and it might also work if you’re a solo operator looking for a tool dedicated to managing your backflow program alone.

But if you’re looking for a truly all-encompassing tool that plugs into the rest of your operation—including sampling, customer management, resource recovery and more—you might consider using a tool like Klir instead.

Klir’s commitment to building one unified platform for water utility management means it avoids the pitfalls commonly associated with legacy software suites—including duplicate data, overlapping processes, multiple licenses, uneven product development, and lack of cross-app integration—while ensuring that your team can be trained and brought onto a single, unified system.

2. Pricing Tailored For Growth

Another major difference between SwiftComply and Klir is pricing: the former follows a usage-based pricing model, whereas Klir offers personalized pricing based on a utility’s needs.

To most operators new to water data management software, a tool like SwiftComply can seem as good as “free.” There are no flat licensing costs, and if a utility does not upload any data to Swiftcomply, they don’t pay anything.

But while the financial barrier to entry might be low, usage based pricing can also work against you, discouraging use of the tool in general.

Going with a predictable, tailored fee like Klir’s means that you can keep a rapidly growing population’s drinking water safe without the surprise of a massive bill.

Klir focuses on enabling the utility to grow with its city, rather than penalizing it. If you’re keen on software that is as easy to use as it is to budget for, consider Klir.

3. Collaboration

SwiftComply provides users real-time data to monitor compliance. But like other legacy systems, it doesn’t include internal collaboration or communications tools, forcing teams to come up with their own off-platform solutions (usually email).

If you’re looking for a tool that does more than just monitoring, especially project management and other automation-enabled collaboration tasks, you should consider Klir instead.

Klir merges multiple data sources and processes into a single collaborative platform and paves the way for a more proactive, collaborative, and resilient water management program. Directors can independently access every aspect of the water management data—including compliance and sampling–with an easy-to-use executive dash dashboard, freeing-up the time of their subordinates and empowering them to get the data they need in an instant.

Klir allows teams to manage all of their tasks within the app, offering an internal chat and reply functionality, user tagging, and commenting, turning the platform into a single channel for collaboration and project management across the organization.

4. Privacy and Data Ownership

As utilities move more of their data from physical logbooks, spreadsheets and calendars into the digital sphere, who exactly has access to—or even outright owns—that data can become murkier.

One big concern for utilities who work with private inspectors and contractors on functions like  backflow is ownership over inspection data. With SwiftComply, third-party inspectors own the data that they enter into the system. With Klir, the utility has full ownership of inspector data.

Conclusion

Despite SwiftComply’s strengths in cross connection and FOG program management, Klir’s all-encompassing, user-friendly approach to data management makes it the clear winner for utilities looking to manage all of their programs out of one system.

  1. Klir’s focus on creating a single source of truth for all of your utility’s programs—from sampling and compliance to industrial pretreatment—provides program managers with the data and confidence they need to make important operational decisions.
  2. Klir’s straightforward pricing structure makes it easier to budget and doesn’t penalize users for increased usage.
  3. Klir’s focus on project management and in-app communication also makes it the clear choice for utilities and programs looking for a single tool to encompass all aspects of program management.

Operations And Compliance Management For Everyone

Looking for a simple, straightforward compliance tracking tool that you can use straight out of the box? Learn more about how Klir can cut down on administration and recordkeeping work, create new opportunities for collaboration, and provide a level of system-wide visibility unmatched by other water data management systems.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Blog

Configurable vs. Customizable Software: A Cost-Benefit Breakdown

9
min read

As you explore software options for your water utility, you’re bound to run across the terms customizable and configurable. While at first glance these terms may seem interchangeable, they have completely different meanings.Customizable software can be modified with the help of a software engineer. Configurable software can be adjusted and fine-tuned by the end user. That’s the most basic definition—but the differences go deeper.Understanding how customizable and configurable software options differ, and the pros and cons of each, gives you the power to make the most effective choice for your utility. In the long term, that saves you time and resources, smooths out bumps in the compliance and reporting process, and improves your bottom line.

Configuration vs. Customization: A Deeper Dive

Configurable software is adjustable within certain parameters set by the developer. Customizable software is, in theory, infinitely adjustable—so long as you have the resources to hire a developer to change the code for you.

The Chair Metaphor

Think of enterprise software as an office chair.

Your configurable office chair lets you set its height, increase or decrease lumbar support, adjust the tilt of the seat—just about anything you need to make it “just right” for whoever is using it.

However, you can’t take it apart. If you wanted to make really fundamental changes—like adding a lever-activated footrest—you’d be out of luck.Your customizable office chair is different. Sit in it for a moment, and you’ll realize there’s no way to adjust the height, the lumbar support, or the seat tilt. All of those are set by the manufacturer, with the aim of making the chair as comfortable as possible to the most number of people.

Good news, though: This chair can be taken apart. You just have to pay someone at the company that manufactured it to come over to your office and make the changes. Or, you may be able to hire a freelance chair engineer to take care of it instead.

Both types of chair, configurable and customizable, have their benefits and drawbacks. Climbing out of the chair metaphor and returning to enterprise software, that’s what we’ll cover below.

Configurable Software: Pros and Cons

The benefits of configurable software have to do with reduced cost and ease of maintenance, while the drawbacks have to do with hard limits on how much the software can be adapted or changed.

Pros of Configurable Software

  • Lower Initial and Lifetime Costs – Because configurable software doesn’t need to be customized for each user, it’s cheaper to develop and deploy on a per-user basis. Those savings are then passed on to the customer. Since configurable software doesn’t need a computer engineer to make updates to code or perform maintenance, the cost of keeping it running is less than that of customizable software.
  • Straightforward Scalability – In many cases, the capabilities of configurable software can be expanded by upgrading to a more advanced pricing package, or by purchasing an additional package that integrates with the current software. In the case of customizable software, making such changes typically requires paying engineers to change code. That costs more money, takes longer, and requires more administrative back and forth.
  • Guaranteed Compatibility With Updates – Once an engineer changes software code, that software may no longer be compatible with upgrades from the original developer. So, even if you’ve managed to change the software to suit your needs, you may not be able to get updates essential for maintaining security and performance. When you use configurable software, none of the changes you make as a user alter code. Your software is always ready to be updated, and often does so seamlessly and automatically.
  • Lower Cost of Cloud Hosting Is Passed On to End User – Cloud-based enterprise software is gradually overtaking locally hosted software in popularity, thanks to ease of maintenance and the reduced cost of hosting. Both configurable and customizable software can be hosted in the cloud, but only configurable software benefits from multi-tenant hosting. Multi-tenant hosting allows one instance of a particular application to run, while serving many users, each of whom has their own particular settings. Customizable software can’t do this, because each version of the app is different for each customer. A technical detail like this may seem like it would only be relevant to a software developer. But it affects your bottom line: the reduced cost of running multi-tenant enterprise software in the cloud gets passed on to you, the customer.

Cons of Configurable Software

  • A Definite Limit on Expandability – Configurable software is only configurable within limits set by the developer. If you require a high level of customization—beyond what the vast majority of users is looking for—you may find yourself constrained.
  • Too Many Options – Highly configurable software may present a huge swath of options to the user, making it adaptable to many different uses. For some, this can be overwhelming and difficult to navigate, compared to customized software that has been built for one specific use by one specific organization.

Configurable Software Tools Purpose-Built For Water Utilities

Klir brings all of your utility’s mission-critical data together in real time, so you can run a more efficient and sustainable organization. Book a demo of Klir today.

Customizable Software: Pros and Cons

While customizable software is more expensive than configurable software, and adapting it to your needs may be more arduous, it may still be the right choice for organizations with highly specific needs.

Pros of Customizable Software

  • Can Be an Easy Switch if You Already Have Engineers Working for You – If you already use a customizable software platform, but you’re upgrading to a new one, there’s a chance you already have in-house IT specialists or computer engineers working for you, or that you’ve developed a working relationship with contractors familiar with software in your industry. In that case, the cost of making necessary code-level changes to software may be less expensive or complicated than it would be for an organization that didn’t have these resources—making the cost-saving advantages of configurable software less significant.
  • Potentially Limitless Customization – If you have a unique set of circumstances that sets you apart from everyone else in your field, you may need a software platform that can be considerably altered to suit your needs. While configurable software is typically designed to meet the needs of a diverse set of customers, there are some cases where the options available to you just don’t fit. In that case, customizable software may be your best bet.

Cons of Customizable Software 

  • Expensive to Develop and Deploy – As covered in the Pros of configurable software section above, customizing software to suit your needs costs you (or the developer) considerably more than purchasing configurable software and adjusting its settings.
  • Potential for Getting Locked Into an Older Version – Since there is typically no guarantee that customizations you make to your software will be compatible with future versions, you may not be able to access updates from the developer—putting you at risk of performance issues or even security breaches.
  • High Cost of Maintenance – Changes to customizable software that may require hiring a computer engineer can be handled in configurable software by changing settings, upgrading your pricing package, or purchasing a new package from the developer. The result is a higher bill and more work to employ the services of an expert.
  • Need for Greater In-house Technical Expertise – Even if you hire an experienced engineer to make changes to your customizable software, you aren’t off the hook in terms of tech knowledge. Communicating your needs to an engineer, and communicating their feedback to stakeholders in your organization, requires a certain amount of familiarity with technology and the software development process. That may be a small amount, if your engineer is particularly good at communicating and the changes you’re requesting are fairly straightforward. Or it could be a large amount if neither is the case. Whereas configurable software is designed to be as user-friendly as possible, customizable software, by its nature, requires some background in tech, and a willingness to get “in the weeds” when it comes to technical matters.

Why Configurable Software Makes Sense for Water Utilities

If it seems like configurable software is—for most users, most of the time—the best choice for the majority of users, that’s because it is. But a few factors make configurable software the higher value option for water utilities in particular.

Every Water Utility is Different

The water utility of Juneau, Alaska has different needs from the water utility of El Paso, Texas. But each requires a software solution that can be adapted to fit its specific situation. Configurable water utility software like Klir is designed with such differences front of mind, so it’s a complete solution for every user.

Your Bottom Line Matters

When budgets get cut, the last thing you need is to sink thousands of dollars into hiring engineers to customize software you’ve already paid for. Configurable software is cheaper to adapt to your specific needs, and cheaper to maintain.

You Can Give Feedback on Changes That Matter

The developer of your configurable software didn’t personally alter the code to your specific needs, but that doesn’t mean they ignore their clients. All successful enterprise software platforms got where they are because they listened to their customers’ feedback while planning updates and new features. To take Klir as an example, we’re continually fielding suggestions and new ideas from our clients, so we can keep delivering a product that suits their needs while providing the most configurability possible.

Harness The Power of Configurable Software With Klir

Ready to see how configurable software can help you build a more resilient, streamlined and effective water utility? Book a demo and get a tour of Klir today.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Blog

Why SaaS Makes Sense for Water Now More than Ever Before

4
min read

Software as a service (SaaS) has transformed the way we build businesses, organize information and communicate with other people, but the water sector has lagged behind. Most utilities continue to use desktop-based legacy software to manage everything from compliance data, to assets, to customer billing and spatial data. For a sector known for its conservative approach to technology and limited budgets, it’s understandable that utilities would be slow to embrace these tools. But SaaS applications present water and wastewater utilities with a unique opportunity to budget more effectively, improve internal processes, and buy tools that are uniquely tailored to their needs.Here’s why and how utilities can fully take advantage of this exciting new wave of technology and services.

What is SaaS?

If you’ve ever used tools like Dropbox, Shopify or Salesforce, you’ve used Software as a Service (SaaS) applications. They’re delivered to the customer through a web browser interface via the cloud, are continuously and automatically updated, and are provided to the customer on a subscription basis. These tools have transformed the way we use software, making it accessible to anyone with an internet connection, easier to maintain and improve on the developer’s end, and also faster to deploy for the organization. Today they play a crucial role in the modern workplace, particularly at large organizations where implementing new technologies and bringing users up to speed with new tools can be a challenge. But for water utilities in particular, SaaS presents a few crucial benefits:

1. Ease of Configurability and Integration

How 'configurable' something is refers to how easy it is to adjust and tailor an existing piece of software without altering a single line of code. The more configurable a system is, the more adjustments the user can make. SaaS applications tend to be highly configurable, making them cheaper and easier to use than custom-built software.Software integrations bring together different kinds of software to produce a single, well-oiled, unified system.Integrations don’t just save you time: they allow your system to do things that individual software modules simply wouldn’t be able to do by themselves, like pull data into dashboards, generate and submit reports, mine large datasets for interesting insights, and more.Many SaaS applications boast powerful integration capabilities, making it easier to seamlessly integrate them into your existing processes.When it comes to the water sector, configurable SaaS with powerful integration capabilities presents an exciting opportunity. Gone are the days of using applications built for other industries with a raft of features you don’t need. With SaaS tools like Klir, utilities get all off the functionality they need, and nothing they don’t need.

2. Continuous and Automatic Improvement

By their nature, SaaS tools are easier to update and improve. Instead of getting bogged down in manual patches or updates, developers can simply push them to the cloud, with little to no involvement needed from the end user. On the developer’s end, this makes it much easier to build ambitious roadmaps and continuously improve. While users enjoy uninterrupted access to their tools, developers can monitor how they’re using them in real time and make adjustments on the fly. Instead of improving reactively, developers can adopt a proactive approach to making the product better, anticipating users’ needs even before the user does. It's also important to note the service element of SaaS. Many developers today will go beyond what customers normally expect from a support team, using customer success teams to continuously liaise with and work on the product with customers to facilitate quick communication and iteration. With SaaS, developers and customers will often work together as partners to set priorities, shape the product roadmap, and build a product that is truly responsive to the end user's needs.

3. Pricing Is Simpler, More Flexible and Easier to Predict

Many traditional pricing models for software require you to pay for both a license up front, and also any maintenance, technical support, new versions and upgrades the developer releases down the line. If you plan on using that software for a while, those upfront and recurring costs can accumulate quickly and unpredictably. SaaS solves this problem by rolling all of those costs—support, maintenance, upgrades, patches, new releases, etc.—into a single subscription fee, simplifying and making your costs more predictable. Not sure you need all of the functionality of the full version? SaaS pricing also makes it easier to pick exactly what you need out of a software solution without paying for what you don’t with by-the-feature pricing. This can be especially useful if you aren’t sure yet how many users on your team will be using a particular app, or how much your use of the app might scale in the future. When it comes to SaaS, the name of the game is flexibility and speed. Buy and use exactly what you need, deploy it in your organization quickly, and let the developer take care of the rest.

Harness The Power of SaaS With Klir

We believe that utilities deserve world-class software custom-built for the water industry. Ready to see how scalable, flexible, continuously improving SaaS tools can help your utility overcome its biggest data challenges? Book a demo and get a tour of Klir today.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Guides

Water System Permitting and Compliance 101

10
min read

Key Takeaways:

  1. While managing the mountain of permitting and other compliance-related responsibilities involved in running a utility can feel daunting, surveying the compliance landscape and developing familiarity with major EPA programs is a great starting point.
  2. Becoming acquainted with the EPA's new eReporting requirements and preparing for them is a great way to cut down on administrative work and signal that your utility is serious about streamlining reporting processes.
  3. Staying ahead of new regulations related to PFAS and Lead and Copper will be key to staying on top of compliance challenges and building robust permitting management programs.

Managing the storm of permits, rules and other regulations involved in running a water system can be a time-intensive, daunting, and even exasperating task. It isn’t unusual for larger utilities in the U.S. to juggle hundreds or even thousands of permits and regulatory responsibilities at any particular moment.

The rules in these programs can change often, and the knowledge required to stay on top of them often lives inside the heads of a handful of veteran employees. If you’re just starting out, wrapping your head around everything you need to do to stay compliant can feel impossible.

One of the most effective ways to reduce the time you spend tracking and organizing mandated testing for these permits is to adopt an effective permit management system like Klir.

But it also helps to take a step back and to acquaint yourself with federal and state organizations that issue permits, reporting requirements, and recent changes.To bring you up to speed, this guide reviews three important topics in water permitting:

  1. First, we’ll introduce some of the most important permit-issuing authorities in the United States at the federal and state level.
  2. Second, we’ll take a look at the reporting requirements for those programs, including important changes to those requirements, like the EPA’s eReporting initiatives.
  3. Finally, we’ll review some of the newest regulations in water and what you can do to prepare for them today.

EPA-Related Permits and Regulations

As a federal agency, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is necessarily responsible for key permits relevant to water systems.EPA permitting covers the mandates of the Safe Water Drinking Act (SWDA), hazardous waste permitting regulations, and the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). It also covers the Clean Air Act (CAA), which is relevant to water facilities producing certain minimum amounts of air pollution.

SDWA Drinking Water Standards

Through the Public Water System Supervision (SWSS) program, the EPA protects 90 percent of the USA’s drinking water. In partnership with individual states, the EPA monitors the analytic testing results of samples taken by water systems, ensuring they stay within threshold amounts of chemical and microbial contaminants.

Consumer Confidence Reports (CCR)

The EPA also partners with states to make sure that local water systems follow the Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) rule.

This rule requires local water systems to prepare and distribute a brief annual report summarizing information about water sources, compliance, detected contaminants, and educational programs. 

The aim is to increase consumer awareness about how their water systems run, provide information on safe water use, and increase dialogue between consumers and their water utilities.

The water system must deliver a copy of this report to state authorities. Additionally, if it serves over 100,000 customers, it must post the report online using EPA’s CCR iWriter tool.

Hazardous Waste Permitting Regulations

The EPA also partners with states to administer hazardous waste permitting regulations. These regulations are intended as a “cradle to the grave” management system for hazardous wastes, controlling how they’re produced, transported, stored, and eventually disposed of.That being said, hazardous waste permits aren’t only relevant to facilities that manage and dispose of waste. Gasoline, diesel, and batteries all qualify as hazardous wastes. And facilities running industrial boilers, furnaces, or generators may also need permits to operate.

Clean Air Act (CAA) Permits

When a water system produces enough air pollutants, it’s required to obtain a Clean Air Act (CAA) permit—typically, a Title V Permit. In some cases, this is provided by an EPA Regional Office. But typically CAA permits are handled by state, local, and tribal authorities.

Title V permits

Broadly, any source that has the potential to emit (PTE) 100 tons per year of air pollutants is classified under the CAA as a “major source,” and needs a Title V permit to operate. Pollutants fall into six categories:

  1. Particulate Matter
  2. Carbon Monoxide
  3. Ozone
  4. Lead
  5. Sulfur Dioxide
  6. Nitrogen Dioxide

A source also qualifies if it emits more than 100,000 carbon dioxide equivalent tons per year, uses a solid waste incinerator, or meets a few other specific thresholds. You can learn more about qualifying for a Title V permit here.

Title V permits last for five years after they’re issued. In order to keep their permit, a major source must monitor, record, and report their pollutant output. The specific methods for measuring and reporting vary according to each type of pollutant.

Other Permits at the Federal Level

Outside those permits directly administered by EPA, there are a number of federal-level permits that water systems may need to obtain.

Section 401 Water Quality Certifications

Under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act (CWA), before any federal agency issues a permit allowing discharge into US waters, the state or tribe responsible for the area where the discharge originates must issue a Section 401 permit.

They can also waive certification—either expressly, or by failing to issue a 401 within a reasonable amount of time.

Even though they’re administered at the state and tribal level, 401s are federally mandated; there’s nowhere in the USA that a water system can get a federal permit to discharge into US waters without applying for a 401.

US Army Corps of Engineers Permits

In order for a water system to perform any construction or dredging in the USA’s navigable waters, it must apply for a permit from the US Army Corps of Engineers.There are two types of permits:

  1. Individual or standard permits, issued when projects have “more than individual or cumulative impacts,” and must be evaluated based on environmental criteria, requiring a public interest review.
  2. General permits, issued for projects that will have minimal impact. They’re issued on the individual, nationwide, or category-specific level

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Preliminary Permits and Licenses

Any water utility involved in the construction of a hydroelectric project must be licensed by FERC. The licensing process typically begins with application for a preliminary permit, good for four years, that reserves the organization a spot in FERC’s queue of license applicants while the organization explores the potential location and other considerations prior to beginning construction. In order to start construction, the organization must obtain a hydropower license from FERC.

State and Local Level Permits

The permits covered above are all administered at the federal level, often in partnership with states and tribes. But, in order for any given water utility to carry out day-to-day activities, they must apply for and manage a swath of permits at the state and municipal level.

While these permits are absolutely necessary and may in fact comprise the better part of a water system’s compliance and reporting tasks, they’re so specific to each particular utility and locale that it’s impossible to cover them in detail here.

If you’re unsure about permit requirements at the local level for water systems, get in touch with your municipal and state authorities.

Know You're Compliant With Klir

Tracking permits is a massive task. Klir gives you an all-in-one solution that guarantees nothing slips through the cracks. Learn more about Klir’s powerful permit management solution and book a demo today.

What Is Electronic Reporting, and What Does It Mean for Utilities?

Rather than requiring you to stay compliant by submitting reports via physical mail or e-mail, the EPA is increasingly requiring utilities to do their reporting through online portals like NetDMR and the Central Data Exchange (CDX).

In most states the only report you’re currently required to e-report is the Discharge Monitoring Report (DMR), the form wastewater utilities use to self-report compliance with environmental law in the United States on a weekly or monthly basis.

But according to the EPA’s eReporting rule, utilities across the country will soon have to start using these portals to submit other reports like:

These reports are longer than DMRs and require a lot more manual work, which will make moving important reporting data out of paper and spreadsheets and into platforms like Klir all the more important.An exhaustive list of all the reports that utilities will have to start reporting under the eReporting rule is available under the "Phase 2" heading of the EPA’s eReporting website.

CROMERR and What It Means for Electronic Reporting

The Cross-Media Electronic Reporting Regulation (CROMERR) establishes standards for the systems that receive reports and other documents that utilities submit to satisfy many of the programs mentioned above.

CROMERR-compliant systems ensure the integrity of electronic documents, that a Copy of Record is created, and that documents are signed with a proper Electronic Signature.

Why eReporting Is Important

Because many of the EPA’s eReporting requirements aren’t due to kick in for another few years, you might wonder whether preparing for it now is worth the time and money.

It absolutely is. Eliminating paper documents and manual data entry from your workflows can save you hours a week in administration work and free up your staff for more important tasks.

Electronic reporting also cuts down on the risks of error, makes it easier to follow reporting requirements, and shows regulators that you’re serious about streamlining your reporting processes.

New Compliance Challenges and What They Mean for Utilities

In addition to changes around electronic reporting methods, regulators are also constantly changing and refining the contents of regulatory programs themselves.

Staying compliant means anticipating and preparing for new regulations, like the ones around effluents on the EPA’s UCMR lists. Here’s a brief rundown of the most important changes in the pipeline and what you can do now to prepare.

PFAS

Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS — pronounced “PEE-Fass”) are a class of synthetic “forever chemicals” that have been linked to everything from cancer to high cholesterol.

We’re currently in the eye of storm when it comes new PFAS-related regulations. Maine has already banned the chemicals, 29 states have introduced numerical PFAS limits for water, and the White House is publicly detailing its anti-PFAS plan. Recently the EPA announced that 29 of the next 30 pollutants it would look at under its Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR) would be PFAS. Most experts agree that it’s only a matter of time before utilities will have to start sampling discharges and biosolids for many of the chemicals on this list.

The EPA has awarded millions in grants for PFAS research and mitigation. The agency said data gathered from the latest Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule “will also serve as a potential source of information for systems with infrastructure funding needs for emerging contaminant remediation,” which makes compliance with UCMR 5 crucial.

Lead and Copper

Last year the EPA released the biggest overhaul to its Lead and Copper rule since 1991, and in November Congress included $15 billion for lead pipe replacement in its infrastructure plan, signaling that U.S. regulators were finally getting serious about lead in drinking water.

One of the biggest changes to the EPA's Lead and Copper rule so far has to do with sampling—specifically the new rule that requires a fifth-liter (L5) sample at homes with lead service lines (LSLs) rather than the original first-liter (L1) sample to demonstrate compliance with water lead level (WLL) limits.

In preparation for the effort to replace all lead service lines with copper ones, utilities must also start building out lead service line inventories, which collect as much information as possible about which service lines in a distribution system are made of lead.

In most cases the EPA has delegated responsibility for inventory requirements to states, which means rules around how exhaustive these inventories must be will vary. Municipalities without access to complete historical records for lead line installations, for example, might be able to apply probabilistic approaches to determining how much lead is in their system.

How Klir Can Help

Klir is a single, unified operating system for water, pulling compliance, sampling, reporting and more into an easy to use dashboard.

Learn more about how Klir can help your organization manage permits, cut down on administration and record-keeping work, and provide a level of organization-wide visibility unmatched by other systems.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Blog

Wastewater-Based Epidemiology Is Already Here. How Should Utilities Prepare?

5
min read

Wastewater-based epidemiology is a scientific field that’s surged in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Researchers have used wastewater to predict surges before they happen — a breakthrough that’s helped governments focus on preparation instead of reaction.

And it isn’t limited to COVID. Once the pandemic becomes endemic, researchers will still be on the hunt for pathogens that can cause issues for public health. In the best-case scenario, scientists could catch the next pandemic before it happens.

But the strategy requires gathering and sorting through huge amounts of data. That presents privacy and data management issues for utilities to overcome. We spoke with two experts about the possibilities of wastewater-based epidemiology, and what utilities should be doing now to prepare.

What Is Wastewater Epidemiology?

Think of wastewater-based epidemiology as reading tea leaves, but grosser.

Scientists take samples of human waste and analyze them for pathogens, like the virus that causes COVID-19. Researchers can then use the data to predict surges based on trends in where the pathogen is found and how much of it is there.

That allows local governments to ramp up public health measures like expanding health-care facilities and instituting mandates like masking or lockdowns.

The International Effort to Track COVID Using Wastewater

Most people have learned about wastewater epidemiology through the pandemic. Researchers’ ability to predict COVID trends has led to the field’s expansion.

Some public health officers have found it’s less helpful in their municipalities, though they’re sometimes not sure why. In a sign of the field’s still-emerging status, experts have debated just how much wastewater sampling can tell us about COVID.

In the United States and Canada, and many other jurisdictions, wastewater sampling decisions lie with local governments, limiting the data’s scope. But projects like COVIDPoops19 show the method’s worldwide spread and a glimpse of what it could become.

Its creator, University of California Merced professor Colleen Naughton, said she hopes every city in the world will eventually have its own wastewater epidemiology outpost — though she noted it’ll take a while to get there. Even though it’s cheaper than individual testing, “it still requires resources and … utility-level sampling, and then courier services, and then labs to analyze it,” she said.

What Could Wastewater Epidemiology Be Used for in the Future?

Some experts believe COVID tracking is just the beginning.

Naughton noted that the method was used to track polio outbreaks in the past. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now hopes to catch influenza, norovirus, fungal infections, hepatitis A and B, and antimicrobial-resistant (AMR) pathogens — bugs that have evolved to be resistant to antimicrobial drugs.

“We've had large hepatitis A outbreaks in California and Michigan, so it would have been nice to have more of a warning system about that,” she said.

Experts have long warned of AMR “superbugs” that could ravage the world in a similar — or worse — way to COVID-19. Wastewater epidemiology could potentially identify them before they spiral out of hand.

Wastewater testing could also be tested for opioids and other illicit drugs to combat the overdose epidemic, Naughton said.

Future-Proof Your Sampling Operation With Klir

Interested in learning how better data management can help you run more effective sampling programs? Book a demo of the Klir sampling module today.

What Challenges Will Wastewater-Based Epidemiology Create for Drinking and Wastewater Utilities?

Naughton and epidemiologist David Larsen raved, unprompted, about partnering and working with wastewater treatment plants.

“They don't get a lot of recognition for their important role,” Naughton said. “We go to the treatment plants and they're always running around, you know, the phone’s ringing off the hook, and they're like, ‘Yeah, sure, we'll take an extra sample for you.’ It's just been amazing what they've done to help. So we really appreciate it.”

Plant operators are “really excellent people,” Larsen said. “They're a huge contributor to this public health initiative. And so I'm just really glad to be working with them and they've been great so far.”

Clearly, utilities are doing something right. But for those that want to get ahead of the game as wastewater testing expands in the coming years, the professors had some tips:

Equipment and Staffing

Some water utilities have absorbed extra epidemiological sampling requirements with ease. But others — especially rural and smaller plants — don’t have the equipment, time, or staff to spare, Naughton said.

Some that can only do a grab sample once per day have tried to time it with the morning flush to get the most data, Naughton said. But the “gold standard” of 24-hour composite sampling yields more complete data, Larsen said.

Naughton recommended small utilities keep an eye out for programs like the one from the CDC and Water Environment Federation (WEF) where they could apply for free autosamplers.

Smaller plants will also have more difficulty hiring enough people to carry out the sampling, then shipping it off, Larsen said.

Lots of government grants are going to labs for analysis — but more cash should be flowing to utilities to hire more staff to carry out the increased sampling load, Naughton said. Public health is “chronically underfunded,” Larsen said, adding that any increased burden shouldn’t come out of utilities’ budgets.

Coordination With Researchers

Scientists analyzing wastewater samples rely on utilities’ knowledge of their systems, the experts said. Things like the amount of industrial waste the facility processes, or how much salt is used on the roads in winter can make a big difference to sampling, Naughton said.

“So when we see things that are weird with the data, they can be like, ‘Oh, that clarifier went offline then, or we had this industrial flow,’” she said.

Developing those relationships is critical to a smooth working partnership, Larsen said.

“Know who the epidemiologists are and know who the environmental epidemiologists are,” he said.

Naughton added that she invites utilities she works with to meetings so they can ask questions and engage with public health departments.

Data Privacy

Health data is a sensitive topic, and utilities need to make sure security is top-of-mind.

As the population sample decreases, the privacy risk increases, Larsen said. Sampling for COVID-19 and other illnesses at a city level can’t put any individuals’ or groups’ data at risk. But what data is made public from sampling at smaller levels must be considered thoughtfully, the experts said. Generally, sampling becomes a data privacy risk at under 3,000 people, Naughton said.

“It's public information that public money is going towards… so you should see that data. But we do need to be sensitive to how that data is shared and what it's used for, and if it's targeting communities more than helping communities,” she said.

Larsen recommended reading the World Health Organization’s guidelines on public health surveillance. Arizona State University has also studied the field’s privacy implications.

And if local public health units opt to sample for drugs, Naughton said it should be to find out which neighbourhoods need more support — not to increase incarceration or otherwise punish communities.

Homework

Fortunately, there’s lots of reading on wastewater-based epidemiology for utilities to do — potentially an “overwhelming” amount, Naughton said.

She pointed to resources from the Canadian Water Network as a great starting point. Videos like the WEF’s that show what happens to samples can be helpful for utilities as well, she said.

“Our plants love seeing the data, and getting it back, and (knowing) that it's being used for something,” she said.

Better Data Management Can Help Utilities Better Prepare for Wastewater Epidemiology

Wastewater epidemiology requires sampling large amounts of data. Klir's sampling module allows you to stay on top of it all, so you can be ready when researchers come knocking.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Blog

Preventing Backflow With Better Customer Relationships: A Checklist

4
min read

"I heard only people with lawn irrigation have problems with backflow."

“How do I know this backflow assembly is really necessary?”

“Okay, so what’s the least expensive assembly I can buy?”

Sound familiar?

Water suppliers and backflow inspectors hear these questions from customers all the time.

While it makes sense that customers might have some questions about backflow, an uninformed or uncooperative customer can also create problems.

  • They could balk at the price of a new device, delaying installation and creating administrative and compliance headaches.
  • They might forget about inspections, leaving inspectors waiting at the door.
  • They can ignore easy-to-fix hazards existing in their own plumbing system, increasing backflow risk in general.

The fact is that effective cross-connection control is just as much about technical challenges as it is about nurturing good relationships with customers and ensuring they understand their responsibilities and obligations.

To do that, water suppliers have to be creative. Here are three successful approaches we’ve seen, and how they can help your backflow prevention program succeed.

1. Arm Yourself With Good Educational Materials

In addition to being a leader in backflow training and research, the USC Foundation for Cross-Connection Control and Hydraulic Research is an excellent starting point for water suppliers looking to raise awareness around backflow.

The foundation’s customizable brochures, video guides and slideshows all do a great job of explaining concepts like backflow, back siphonage and backpressure to a non-specialist audience, providing you with everything you need to start an awareness campaign in your community.

The American Backflow Prevention Association’s educational materials are another excellent resource, and its Buster Backflow series even provides younger readers with an entry point into the subject.

If you're keen on producing your own materials, the backflow incident case histories published by the AWWA and the EPA can also be invaluable. These vivid, at times jarring incident reports aren't shy with the details and include reported cases involving:

  • Gallons of seawater entering the soda fountains at a fast food restaurant
  • Propane entering a town’s water system
  • Blood coming out of a Michigan hospital’s drinking fountains

Chapter 2 of the EPA’s official Cross-Connection Control Manual (PDF) includes more than a dozen of these stories, each of which do a great job of communicating the dangers of backflow.

Prevent Backflow With Better Data Management

Interested in learning more about how better data management can help you run a more effective cross-connection control program? Download the guide and book a demo of the Klir backflow module today.

2. Set Testers and Inspectors up for Success

While they might not have the time to educate every single last customer, testers and inspectors can certainly help—provided you give them the right tools.

In addition to arming them with good information and literature they can leave with the customer, ensuring inspectors have access to accurate and up-to-date information about your cross-connection control program is the best way to set them up for success.

That includes:

  • Ensuring testers are clear on each customer's responsibilities.
  • Ensuring individual customer information is recorded properly and up to date to prevent confusion or delays during the inspection.
  • Informing inspectors of any risks or hazards that are specific to that customer.

One way to do this is to keep all backflow and cross-connection control-related data together in one system that inspectors can access themselves, eliminating the need for time-consuming paperwork chasing.

3. Cut Down On Administrative Work

If having a good backflow brochure and taking care of your inspectors is important, educating and engaging with community members directly is essential.

But building relationships with local businesses, institutions and other important water users in your community can be difficult when you're stuck in the office taking care of administrative work.

Cross-connection data management software like Klir can help free up some of that time by:

Automating Away Repetitive Work

Klir automates a lot of the busywork involved in maintaining asset inventories, creating inspection schedules and capturing cross-connection data in general. If you're currently using spreadsheets or software that wasn't built specifically for backflow, switching to Klir could save you hours of work per week.

Simplifying Inspections

Backflow professionals often tell us how difficult it can be to get backflow data in and out of a water supplier’s system. Customer files can be difficult to access, and inspection reports can be time-consuming to fill out.

A dedicated backflow data management solution like Klir solves these problems by bringing all backflow data into one accessible, easy to use system, giving inspectors access to all of the information and forms they need in a web-based app.

Making Your System Self-Serve

No one likes getting sternly-worded inspection reminders or water shutoff warnings. Making cross-connection control a self-serve process is one way around this, which is why we’re so excited about Klir’s community module, which will soon allow users to do exactly that.

Take Control of Your Cross-Connection Data With Klir

Klir’s backflow module helps utilities schedule, organize, and run effective cross-connection control programs, making it easier than ever to manage backflow data with powerful dashboards, asset mapping and project management automation. Learn more and book a demo today.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.