Susan Reid, a contractor working for Thompson-Nicola Regional District’s utility department, has been driving to Vavenby twice a week from Kamloops to collect geographic information system (GIS) data for the town’s water system.
This data will be used by the TNRD for day-to-day maintenance and planning. At the end of May she started her work by gathering the available information on the system, which she could get from past and present engineering drawings and technician notes, so that she knows what to look for and where it should be. Reid entered the information from the drawings into the GIS software and then she came to Vavenby to find everything “on the ground.”
When Reid finds something like a valve, she will measure its distance and direction from something that is fairly permanent, such as a property line or hydro pole. She makes notes about the valve such as the distance from the edge of the road, how far from a retaining wall or fence corner, and any unusual conditions such as how deep it is buried or if it is protected by a cast iron cover.
The notes are to help other technicians locate the items later, such as in an emergency in the winter when snow hides their location.
Reid also makes notes on its condition and takes a picture. When taking the picture she puts a bright traffic cone next to the valve for easy visibility. The picture shows the condition of the infrastructure but can also help technicians quickly locate it later as the picture shows the valve’s position relative to other features in the area.
All of the data gets checked over and then it is ready for the TNRD to put in their system and use. Reid started her work at the end of May and expects to be finished gathering all of this information by the middle of July.