Avista Improves Regulatory Compliance by using Esri's ArcGIS for Mobile

Leak Survey App Enhances Gas-Main Intelligence; Speeds Leak Investigations; and Cuts Costs in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho

Redlands, California— November 20, 2014—Avista Utility, serving nearly 326,000 northwestern US gas users, started using a mobile leak-survey app last month to improve the company's auditing records, resulting in stronger data and faster service.

The leak survey app, a configuration of Esri's ArcGIS for Windows Mobile, helps field-workers survey more than 7,500 miles of natural-gas distribution pipeline by using a ruggedized mobile device. The app, called Leak Survey, also works offline and syncs when the device enters a networked area.

The app replaces the 8,000 annually printed maps previously used to inspect and maintain pipeline and investigate problems as part of a mandated annual leak survey.

"Converting from a paper solution to digital data collection will reduce manual errors [and] increase efficiency with regulatory compliance, and is expected to increase the trust relationship with auditors," Avista project manager Emmet Skaar said.

The app works in conjunction with several office map viewers, such as a dispatch and a correction viewer, configured with Esri's ArcGIS Viewer for Flex. Supervisors view the data in near real time.

The instant visibility of field data lets supervisors respond immediately to situations such as identified leaks or surveyors having trouble entering a location. The supervisors can also assign and monitor work orders from the office.

The elimination of paper-based surveying cuts printing costs and prevents errors due to lost paperwork, illegible handwriting, and invalid data collection.

"This will lower our audit risk, as paper forms can be time-consuming to search through or simply filed out of order," Skaar said.

The proactive move to comply with annual leak-survey regulations also shaves weeks off Avista's response time, thanks to personnel no longer being needed to input the paper survey records.

"Errors in the field-collection process can be caught and corrected in near real time by the vendor," Skaar said, "instead of two to four weeks later, when corrections are significantly more difficult to achieve and require Avista personnel to accomplish."

Avista has been using Esri desktop technology for 15 years. This year marks the utility's 125th anniversary in energy production, transmission, and distribution.

Learn more about Esri technology for gas utilities at  esri.com/gas.

Since 1969, Esri has been giving customers around the world the power to think and plan geographically. The market leader in GIS, Esri software is used in more than 350,000 organizations worldwide including each of the 200 largest cities in the United States, most national governments, more than two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies, and more than 7,000 colleges and universities. Esri applications, running on more than one million desktops and thousands of Web and enterprise servers, provide the backbone for the world's mapping and spatial analysis. Esri is the only vendor that provides complete technical solutions for desktop, mobile, server, and Internet platforms. Visit us at  www.esri.com.

Esri, the Esri globe logo, GIS by Esri, ArcGIS, www.esri.com, and @ esri.com are trademarks, registered trademarks, or service marks of Esri in the United States, the European Community, or certain other jurisdictions. Other companies and products mentioned herein may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective trademark owners.


Sarah Alban

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