Advances in Brazilian water management
Field teams from DMAE (Municipal Department of Water and Sewer) for the Brazilian city of Porto Alegre, are using Leica Zeno 10 GNSS/GIS solutions to improve the quality and accuracy of asset data collection. The investment in advanced technology supports the city’s plan for sustainable growth and a commitment to improve services for consumers.
Porto Alegre, the capital of the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, is home to approximately 1.5 million residents. DMAE is responsible for the management, supply, treatment and distribution of water and the collection and treatment of sanitary sewage.
With the responsibility to oversee and maintain the existing services whilst also steadily seeking to expand and improve the network capability, it was important for DMAE to be able to capture, collect and record asset and attribute information to a new and precise level of accuracy.
Working from a reliable and definitive database would make the management and administration of water and sewer assets more technically efficient, whilst also reducing costs, increasing profitability and ultimately providing a better service to more users.
Using 13 Leica Zeno 10 handheld data collectors, together with a Leica GR25 reference station, field teams no longer rely on the time consuming and less accurate cadastral survey method for asset data collection. The old workflow involved taking measurements with a tape, collecting the position data with a GPS navigation tool and then sketching all the information on paper. The data collected on site had to be rewritten in the office and was only accurate to 1 metre (39 inches), unlike the new workflow, which results in measurements accurate to 40 centimetre (16 inches).
All data can be transferred to the GIS database direct from the field, using Leica Zeno’s ‘EasyIn’ transfer routine and then processed in Zeno Office. The data can also be exported back to the field, when required, using the ‘EasyOut’ tool.
Using the reference station allows all the data loggers to receive real-time positioning corrections via NTRIP (Networked Transport of RTCM via Internet Protocol). If communication between the reference station and data logger is not available, the collected combined data can be post-processed in the office DMAE engineer, Fernando André Neuwald commented, “With Leica Geosystems’ tools the geo-referencing of network assets takes less time, yet achieves greater precision. We are building a high quality Geographic Information System so future decisions affecting assets and consumers can be made from a fully informed perspective.”
Accurate data with rugged tools
Porto Alegre’s subtropical climate means field work is often carried out in conditions of high humidity and significant rainfall. Summer temperatures often rise above 32°C (90°F) in summer and can drop to below zero in the colder months but precipitation can occur year round. The rugged and durable nature of Leica Geosystems devices are particularly suited to such environments as they carry an IP67 dust and waterproof rating and are fully operational at temperatures ranging from – 30°C to + 60°C (– 22°F to + 140°F). Sun readable touch screens make the data loggers particularly easy to use.
Fernando André Neuwald added, “It is essential for us to know the existing structures, and to be able to include in the database condition details that will assist teams to carry out preventative maintenance and improvements. In emergency situations, having the right information gives us the means to take fast, corrective action.”
Written by Ruth Badley and Ricardo Serrato