Water: Sanitary Survey
The Electronic Sanitary Survey
DWA Develops Software for Personal Digital Assistants to Enhance Sanitary Surveys
The DWA has developed electronic versions of a sanitary survey for use by state sanitary inspectors equipped with personal digital assistants (PDA) or Tablet PCs. This project builds on an early electronic sanitary survey developed by the State of Idaho.
Electronic sanitary survey software incorporates questions from the eight elements of a sanitary survey into an easy-to-use checklist format. After the inspector answers several questions, the program selects a small subset of questions relevant to the particular system. States have the flexibility to customize the initial question set to fit their specific needs. Once the applicable questions have been determined, the inspector proceeds with the survey; data is saved into the PDA or Tablet and can later be downloaded to a database on a desktop computer. The software can automatically generate a sanitary survey report which allows the report to be generated and sent to the system more expeditiously.
The benefits of using computers in the field for sanitary surveys include standardizing the sanitary survey format; increasing the inspectors' efficiency both in performing the survey and in preparing a report following the survey; making the data from sanitary surveys more accessible to managers; and providing the ability to analyze the data from the surveys.
A work group of state staff, sanitary survey experts, and ASDWA developed the initial question set. EPA SDWIS/State staff also participated to ensure compatibility between the two programs. The software provides a significant amount of flexibility to the states to customize the tool, based on their requirements and the particular water system being inspected. The software is an Access database and data is migrated from the PDAs using XML protocol. Use of XML makes it easier for states that do not use Access to migrate the data to their databases, and also makes it easier for states to migrate the data to SDWIS/State.
Software is now available nationally at http://www.126.96.36.199/Downloads/SanitarySurvey
For more information on the project, contact Clint Lemmons (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 202-564-4623.