How to use Mobile Data Collection tools for Mapping and Inspecting Water and Sewer Utilities

As a public service provider, planner or decision-maker in water and sewer utility industry, you need an efficient and precise asset collection, inspection and condition assessment system for manhole and sewer infrastructure. Find out how to make your utility asset data collection and inspection process faster and easier with GIS Cloud web and mobile apps.


mapping and inspecting water and sewer utilities


Constant urban growth is an ongoing trend in almost every city in the world. Rapid urbanization leads to an increasing development of underground and ground utility networks which requires frequent and accurate inspection and monitoring system. The most significant challenge for public service providers is to acquire accurate and updated information on the location, characteristics and the condition of manhole assets.


Performing the collection and inspection of manhole assets can be time-consuming for two reasons: a large number of assets that need to be mapped and paper-based methods used to collect the data. Locating, aggregating and searching through these paper survey forms to detect and inspect the condition of a single asset is an ineffective and unproductive process.


With advances and innovations in GPS and GIS mapping technology, it becomes easier to monitor the condition and manage maintenance activities for different utility assets in real-time. With Mobile Data Collection (MDC) app, field crews can precisely mark and store location information and/or update any changes to location or characteristics of a single manhole asset. In addition to that, field crews can update correct locations and attributes of manhole assets from past, paper records to build a digital database of their assets network.
Find out how one of our clients, Liburnian Waters, implemented GIS Cloud data collection apps for mapping Water and Sanitary Infrastructure.
Inspecting water and sewer utilities form




Rather than struggling with paper forms, with MDC app you can create a custom online survey forms with different types of questions and attribute fields. When field crews need to perform different types of field operations such as asset inspection, condition assessment or leak detection surveys, they can switch between different survey forms in one click in a dropdown list. If you need to make changes to some parts of the survey form or add a question, with MDC, you can quickly update the form and the changes will be registered immediately with the  Auto Sync function.     



MDC app allows you to collect data in real time with mobile devices. If you’re inspecting assets in areas with low cellular coverage, you can download the map, collect data in offline mode and sync the data whenever you want. Field collectors can precisely mark the location of the utility asset using mobile device GPS, or by pinpointing the exact location on the map. You can also increase your GPS accuracy with external centimeter-accurate GPS devices.



MDC app offers a range of different types of form items you can use to create questions for the data collection survey forms. You can set up single or multi-choice questions, numeric or textual inputs or capture geotagged photos or audio files. One powerful feature in MDC can make your data collection process even faster and easier; the dependency function. It allows you to set up rules to control the display of the following survey question. If the rule is not satisfied, the next survey question won’t be visible, which makes your data collection faster and reduces errors.



Managing your organization and workforce has never been easier. Build your organization in the Manager app, create a single user or define a group of users. Share the inspection survey forms to your field teams using different permissions. You can organize teams in a way they only collect new asset information, or you can set up teams with a task to update existing records. Updates and edits will be visible instantly and you can review the entries in the office.



Access and view the collected data from your mobile device or from GIS Cloud web app. If you click on the feature in a map, the info pop-up window will open with all the collected information and documents on a single asset. In MDC app, you can use search tool to search for asset name or ID number and get detailed asset information as fast as possible. You can search for data collector’s name to track and supervise daily performance and activities. You can also edit and update information for your existing data, both in mobile and web app.


Find out how to integrate GIS Cloud solutions in Water Resource and Watershed Management in the following article.


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We hope you find this article useful. If you are interested in utilizing GIS Cloud technologies for utility collection, inspection and maintenance process, contact us or sign up here.