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From the Head to the Hard Drive

FloDat is a database program serving as the central feature in the entire FloCis process. It can be conceived as the basic "library" used for managing both storm and sanitary collection system data. As the central management tool, FloDat is used to document, coordinate and schedule all preventative maintenance activities; as well as manage observations and measurements taken during routine inspections of the collection system.

FloDat uses unique asset identification numbers or "IDs" as key fields for records in the database. These asset "IDs" reference or are the link to mapped and inspected manholes, as well as pipe sections in the collection system. Using accurate maps with identical asset ID numbers, a small utility has the makings of an effective, albeit inexpensive GIS system. When all collection system assets are georeferenced, FloDat can complement a traditional geographical information system or it can stand alone as a powerful data management tool used with standard collection system maps. Because the file management portion of FloDat is an industry standard SQL database, FloDat records can be viewed inside a standard GIS program

Chart of the actual flow depth versus capacity and obstructions utilizing a QFlow automated calculation from FloDat

Unique to this program: once upstream flow rates are determined and the actual flow depth for the manhole is entered, FloDat calculates QFlow measurements automatically. This is a tremendous advantage over any other system in the marketplace because once all flow rate attributes are populated for the manholes, preventative maintenance managers are automatically alerted to potential obstructions or compromised areas requiring further investigation.

FloDat also manages all data associated with each asset including customer complaints, material construction, repairs and inspection reports. Maintenance schedules can be easily made once a functional amount of attributes are populated.

Below is the FloDat standard data entry form for manholes open pipes, storm drains and vaults. This is an example of the type of form that FloDat uses to populate data:

FloDat Screenshots FloDat Screenshots

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Click above to view screen shots

Another unique advantage of FloDat is the ability to automatically manage all manhole pictures. A digital photography database of the manhole inspections is an essential part of the FloCis process that can be difficult to organize and manage without FloDat.

It has been our experience that FloDat may require a cultural change within a utility in order for it to be effectively utilized. Discipline is essential for all utility staff using a centralized database; making it a priority to document all inspections, remediation and maintenance activities.