City Of Ark City Implements New GPS Tech

The City of Arkansas City recently implemented Trimble GPS technology to aid in high-efficiency surveying. Implementing this state-of-the-art technology has been a few months in the works, according to a news release from the City.

Nick Rizzio, Municipal Project Manager, explained that residents might see city employees utilizing the new GPS, mounted on a 6-foot poll, in the next few weeks. Employees will walk block to block using the latest technology to locate possible missing valves, determine the condition of shutoff valves, and get a condition of the streets.

Kyle Irwin, Distribution & Collection Maintenance Worker I, demonstrates the Trimble GPS technology to aid in high-efficiency surveying. (Photo courtesy City of Ark City)

The new GPS equipment aims to aid city officials during a water leak. Instead of searching for a shutoff valve, the technology can be used by looking at a map and seeing the valve’s location. The GPS system will also help locate hydrants, sirens, and anything that’s required of the city to be located. The previous equipment used by the city to locate water leaks has not been updated since 2014.

The information collected from the GPS devices will then be placed into Geographic Information System that will store, retrieve, manage, display, and analyze all geographic and spatial data types. The GIS software allows the production of maps and other graphic displays of geographic information.

In the event of a water leak, city crews will use field maps that show where existing pipes, valves, hydrants, etc., so they can make the proper assessment on how to proceed. The system will allow city crews to locate a valve within 10 centimeters.

“It is going to be very precise within a shovel length that they can locate now exactly where it is at and shut off the water. It will help us be more efficient when we have a water leak,” Rizzio said.

The Trimble GPS also allows the city to create an inventory list of valves and their condition.

“The system helps us understand what we are working with; sometimes, employees are hesitant because they do not know where the shutoff valve may be or its condition. If you touch the valve, it will probably break, and you will have another leak. The GPS lets us know the situation rather than sit back and let the problem come to us,” Rizzio said.