Wilson and Collinge Talk LCRR at the Esri Partner Conference

On March 10, Matt Wilson and Chelsea Collinge took to the main stage of Esri’s Partner Conference to share their story, “Using GeoAI to Identify Lead Service Lines.” 

Together they painted a picture of the monumental task U.S. water utilities currently face to identify and document all service line material within their systems by October 2024. The deadline comes from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s recently revised Lead and Copper Rule. 

Collinge said, “At HDR, we understand that time is one of our most precious resources and while we cannot create time, we can use the best technology available to maximize our efficiency and do remarkable things.”

Addressing St. Petersburg's Challenge

HDR supported the City of St. Petersburg, Florida, with advanced data analytics to prioritize field investigation efforts used to identify pipe material and develop the City’s lead and copper inventory.

The City owns approximately 96,000 service lines in its system; only approximately 1% of which had a documented known material type before this project. HDR assisted the City with the creation of its service line inventory using Esri’s GeoAI Solution (a digital model). 

By incorporating Esri solutions and our technical expertise, the model allowed disparate datasets to be aggregated, analyzed and visualized in ArcGIS Online — all of which increased the efficiency and accuracy of the data so that experts could make informed decisions and comply with federal requirements.

Wilson explains some of the key aspects of the model and ran live outputs for the EPC audience, but it was a specific table that he shared that pleased the crowd. He said, “To give you a picture of how much more efficient this made the process, over the last two years, St. Petersburg collected 1,600 records. Once they made the transition to field maps, they collected 500 records in just two weeks … that’s a 2,000 percent increase in efficiency.” 

The project is a highly collaborative effort between our drinking water industry experts, geospatial practice, spatial statistics analysts and strategic communications specialists. The model provides a structured, repeatable process that gives industry experts the resources they need to make data-driven decisions.