Case Study

Brunswick & Topsham Water District Achieves Significant Cost Savings With Trimble Water's Mapping Solution



The Brunswick & Topsham Water District had maintained extensive maps and information cards for the infrastructure of the water system. The job of surveying and mapping the hydrants, valves and other assets in the water system was a manual, labor intensive process. The District identified that automating the process would greatly reduce some of the field time dedicated to benchmarking, surveying and paper based map redlining. This data when returned to the office, resulted in the need for the data to be drafted on maps and distributed so the updates could be integrated into the card catalogs and data binders where the District tracked this information.


The Brunswick & Topsham Water District is a quasi-municipal utility serving the residents of Brunswick and Topsham since 1903. The water district provides service to the towns’ population of 30,000 people.



Working with Trimble Water’s Distributor in the state of Maine, EJ Prescott Inc., Brunswick & Topsham Water District chose the Trimble Unity™ AFC Mapper software running on Trimble GeoExplorer 6000 mapping handheld computers. Trimble Unity with AFC Mapper is a unified suite of apps for managing critical utility assets and field operations.

Using Trimble hardware, and software District crews are able to capture high accuracy GPS positions of water assets within single decimeter accuracy. The functionality of the Trimble Unity software running on Trimble GeoExplorer handhelds allowed for an optimized workflow for capturing, reviewing and updating GIS data. That included the ability to capture AFC manufacturer data through scanning using 2D barcodes attached to hydrants and valves, thus eliminating a time-consuming manual data entry process. This data can be wirelessly synced back to the office from anywhere in the field. In the office the data can be merged by the engineering department with the master database to update existing and add new infrastructure to the District's GIS mapping system.


The District experienced a significant savings by using the Trimble Unity AFC Mapper solution. Overall, the district identified roughly a 40 percent cost reduction in maintaining its GIS and asset registry - a significant cost savings for a water utility of any size. The savings was realized by avoiding the many redundant steps in the paper process of surveying and drafting as well as the time and expense of replicating this data manually to get it back out to the field. The District has the added benefit of capturing more data about the assets that the District was installing into their system, things like manufacture date and product codes that are embedded in barcodes on the hydrants, valves and pipes.

Efficiently plan, manage and monitor hydrant and valve inspections

Capture photos and GPS coordinates for audit reasons

Access hydrant and valve information spatially on their smartphones and rugged mobile devices

Streamline the field inspection process through intelligent inspection forms and efficient reporting of need to repair hydrants or valves