IBM said the city of South Bend, Ind., is using the company’s Intelligent Operations Center for Smarter Cities software-as-a-service to overhaul its water management system as a way to preserve public health and save the city hundreds of millions of dollars.

South Bend is the first city in the world to manage its water systems in the cloud, according to IBM. The University of Notre Dame is helping the city with research and early development of a system that helps proactively manage combined sewer monitoring and control, one of the biggest resource issues for cities.

South Bend has an aging sewer infrastructure and is challenged with safeguarding the health of its citizens and the environment. The IBM Intelligent Operations Center (IOC) for Smarter Cities service, in conjunction with locally based business partner Emnet, has dramatically improved South Bend's ability to predict the potential overflow of hazardous wastewater, helping to protect citizens and the environment by reducing wet weather overflows by 23% and virtually eliminating dry weather wastewater overflows.

The new system also is said to allow South Bend to improve storage and water conveyance performance while avoiding $120 million in infrastructure investments and helping the city avoid more than $600,000 in potential government fines.

By offering IOC as a service on the SmartCloud, IBM says it’s removing the up-front cost and complexity for South Bend, which saves on IT infrastructure costs. The model allows the city to pay for software-as-a-service out of its operational budgets, enabling easier, faster procurement than if it were required to fund new IT infrastructure from its capital budgets.

South Bend plans to extend its new capabilities beyond the Public Works Department to support other city services and to promote cross-department integration and communications, including mobile device access to key data.

"Anticipating and preventing incidents before they happen is key,” Gary Gilot, member of the Board of Public Works for the City of South Bend, said in a statement. “Viewing all our aggregated data in real-time via the IBM SmartCloud will help us predict where incidents can occur and safeguard our citizens.”



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