Maintenance plans

Maintenance plans are prepared based on the maintenance strategy that has been formulated. The plan will outline the maintenance activities, their timing or frequency and the information needed for the record for each asset. It will also take into account the current condition of the asset, and its criticality (degree of importance) for the water supply system. Based on the plan, activities such as inspections, parts replacement and preventive maintenance will take place.

Retta is drawing up a maintenance schedule for various items at his water utility. In terms of criticality, how should he rank the following items?

  • The computer used for billing customers.
  • The pump at the water intake.
  • The vehicles used by the leak detection team.
  • The control system for the rapid gravity filter.

Show answer

A recommended ranking would be (starting with the most important):

  1. The pump at the water intake.
  2. The control system for the rapid gravity filter.
  3. The vehicles used by the leak detection team.
  4. The computer used for billing customers.

Spare parts

Many water treatment and supply systems fail because of a lack of spare parts. Managers should be proactive and order adequate quantities of the parts that fail frequently. Doing this has the benefit of allowing repairs to be undertaken immediately, instead of time being spent going to the market to search for the appropriate part.

Standardisation (meaning keeping everything the same) of equipment and parts benefits operation and maintenance because fewer types of each part need to be stocked (thus making stock management easier), and purchasing bulk quantities of the same type of part brings savings. Standardisation also reduces the number of skills required to install and maintain equipment, so that more members of staff would be able to carry out the work(Barreto Dillon, n.d.).

Asset register

An asset register is a listing of all the fixed assets of an organisation and information pertaining to the assets. For a water utility the assets would be a list of all the equipment and buildings. For a piece of equipment the following information would be recorded: a description of the item, with technical drawings, its acquisition date, its service life, location and cost; the manufacturer’s details; the serial number of the item; details of the warranty and insurance; operating instructions; and maintenance requirements. Details of failures that occur when the asset is in use, and how they were caused, are also useful as they help in drawing up supplementary guidance on operation and maintenance, based on experience with the equipment.

Last modified: Friday, 29 July 2016, 11:08 AM