Modernizing Gas Leak Survey - Part 3: Making Audits Easier

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04-19-2021 11:47 AM
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TomDeWitte
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By Tom DeWitte and Tom Coolidge

Part 3 of 4

There is nothing worse than having someone waiting impatiently for a requested piece of information, and you simply cannot find it.  If you are responsible for your organization’s compliance program, the thought of having a regulator impatiently waiting for you to find the survey records for a specific leak survey area may be the kind of thought that gives you indigestion.

Worrying about whether you have all your leak survey inspection records ready and easily accessible is a stressor no one wants.  So, how can a gas organization keep their leak survey area records organized, easy to manage, and accessible on demand?

The answer is ArcGIS with a simple configuration for Leak Survey.

In this third blog of a four-blog series, we will look at how to configure ArcGIS to enable gas organizations to more easily manage, organize and access their Leak Survey records. This builds on the seven of ten top traits of modernized gas leak survey that we discussed in the previous two parts of this blog series.

8 - Easily Accessing A Leak Survey Area’s Full History

To meet the needs of gas compliance, both the current leak survey inspection information and the previous leak survey inspection records need to be easily accessible. This is accomplished with a configured web application to allow a user to simply click on an individual leak survey area to see its current state.

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A second click on the embedded link in the pop-up opens the list of all the leak survey history records for the specified leak survey area.

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You now have a listing of each completed leak survey inspection for the leak survey area for the specific regulatory type of leak survey. The listing includes the dates when those inspections were performed, which often is all that a user wants to know.

To know more about a specific historical leak survey inspection, simply click on the desired record.

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With three clicks a user can see the current leak survey record, a list of all previously completed leak survey inspections, and see the details of a specific historical leak survey record.

This easy, interactive ability to view leak survey records should prevent a gas compliance staff from never being able to find a record.

Current Inspection Vs History

So, what is the difference between the current Leak Survey record and the historical leak survey records for a Leak Survey Area.

                -Current Record: This is the recorded information about the Leak Survey Area for the current inspection cycle. The information stored is organized and accessed to understand the leak survey area’s status within the current inspection cycle. Included in this record is the results of the previous inspection.

                -Historical Records: This is every previously completed leak survey inspection.

The organization of this information is very straightforward within the Geodatabase.  The current record is stored in a polygon featureclass. The Historical records are stored in a table which is related by a relationship class to the polygon featureclass.

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The relationship class connects the two sets of information together. The GlobalID field in the Leak Survey Area featureclass is the primary key field. The leaksurveyglobalID field in the Leak Survey History table is the foreign key field.

9 - Automating Management of Leak Records

The last piece of configuring your ArcGIS system to provide these capabilities is to simplify the management of the information that will be flowing from the leak survey featureclass to the leak survey table when a survey inspection is completed.

The desired behavior of the ArcGIS system is to have a leak survey record in the polygon featureclass to be automatically written to the leak survey history table when a leak survey inspection is completed. The mechanism within ArcGIS to implement this desired business rule behavior is called attribute rules.

Here is a screenshot of the arcade script used for this attribute rule.

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With this attribute rule in place, the leak survey history table is automatically updated. For GIS administrators responsible for maintaining this information, this is significant.  It means that the leak survey data does not need to be archived or prepped at the end of an inspection cycle. The ArcGIS system is automatically managing these otherwise manual tasks.

Where can I get This Schema and Attribute Rules

The ArcGIS for Leak Survey schema and attribute rules are provided as a free download on the Esri Community site (formerly called Geonet).

You can directly download the zip file containing the scripts, schema and installation instructions with this link.

This simple configuration of ArcGIS provides gas compliance staff with the ease and organization they need to manage this regulatory required compliance information. The data automation provided by the recent enhancement of attribute rules automates data management insuring a consistent and reliable flow of information.

No longer does the gas compliance staff have to worry about not finding a requested inspection record during a regulator audit.

Additional Information

If you missed our previous blog articles on improving Leak Survey, here are the links to those articles. Those two blog articles explained how ArcGIS can improve other aspects of a gas compliance Leak Survey program. 

Part 1: Modernizing Leak Survey

Part 2: Automating Management of Inspection Dates

We have now covered 9 of the top ten traits of a modernized leak survey. The fourth and final article for this blog series will cover the tenth trait, which is how to manage digital breadcrumb trails with ArcGIS.

PLEASE NOTE: The postings on this site are our own and don’t necessarily represent Esri’s position, strategies, or opinions.

About the Author
Technical Lead for Natural Gas Industry at Esri
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