Case Study

From Cease and Desist to Solid Asset Management in California

How Ross Valley Sanitary District is using advanced risk analysis to intelligently and effectively manage their wastewater infrastructure.


Related Topics

I&I Detection

Asset Management

Ross Valley Sanitary District is one of the Golden State’s oldest sanitary districts. Located in Marin County, RVSD serves the hilly communities of Sleepy Hollow, Fairfax, San Anselmo, Ross, Larkspur, Kentfield, Greenbrae, and Murray Park.

This stunningly beautiful area just north of the Golden Gate Bridge is partly wealthy, with freshly minted Silicon Valley millionaires living in custom-built, high-tech, modern houses. But the area also sports a significant, off-grid, hippie legacy, with small hand-built shacks dotting the landscape, some of them with rudimentary water and sewer connections or septic tanks.


This landscape, with its complex easements, aging infrastructure, and many local rivers, creeks, and ponds, presents a number of Infiltration and Inflow (I&I) challenges, especially when you consider that RVSD maintains 196 miles of mainline and trunk line sewers and 7.9 miles of force main pipe.

In 2012, they implemented a CMMS and began cataloging their assets, instituting CCTV inspections, and tracking incidents in their work. But it was too little, too late. In 2013, amidst a number of major failures, high I&Is, and SSOs (Sanitary Sewer Overflows), the California Regional Water Quality Control Board issued them a Cease and Desist Order (CDO).


They responded by proposing a comprehensive, risk-based asset management program – and they tackled it with utmost urgency. “With a combination of investment in tools and software as well as training staff, and collaboration with regulators, software companies, and other agencies with similar approaches, RVSD was able to exceed the CDO requirements,” says Operations & Maintenance Manager, Stephen Miksis.

Since then, RVSD has continued to adopt numerous Autodesk solutions, developing an asset registry, performing thorough condition assessments, and using advanced risk analysis to intelligently and effectively manage their wastewater infrastructure.

Challenges RVSD was facing when they received the CDO:

  • 194 mi Gravity Sewer
  • Over 15k EDU’s
  • 200 mi Private Laterals
  • 73% 6″ pipe or smaller
  • 40% of pipes on easements
  • 5,200+ manholes or rod holes


RVSD’s implementation of this risk-based asset management program has enabled the district to lengthen wastewater asset life. But perhaps more important, it’s given them powerful decision-making tools that improve over time as more data is poured in, helping them collectively improve the choices they make around asset maintenance, repair, rehabilitation, and replacement.

RVSD teams now monitor many more metrics. They use dashboards directly within InfoAsset Manager, and they have integrated it into Power BI to create custom-configurable dashboards. They track KPI metrics related to pipe cleans, incidents, inspections, manhole and pipe repairs, and resources, leveraging these metrics to improve decisions related to their asset management program. They’ve come a long way from written reports and post-it notes, and the difference is striking.

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