Electronic Monthly Operating Report (eMOR) System
For years, Illinois community water supply operators have been required to submit hard copies of their monthly operating reports to the IEPA, despite the fact that increasingly more facilities are keeping their reports in electronic form and have the ability to send the reports in Excel format via e-mail. For various reasons, the IEPA regional offices cannot accept e-mailed reports. Paper reports reside at the regional offices for 30 to 36 months, until they are used for engineering evaluations of individual facilities. The reports are then sent to Springfield for storage. Some efforts have been made to scan the documents and store static images, but the original electronic data cannot be accessed directly.
An Electronic Monthly Operating Report (eMOR) system is being devised, modeled loosely on the IEPA's electronic Discharge Monitoring Report (eDMR) system, which enables wastewater operators to electronically submit monthly reports of their wastewater discharges.
The central goals of the eMOR system, which consists of a secure Web site accessible to IEPA staff and water operators, are (1) to cut down on the paper load for both IEPA and operators and (2) to make monthly data instantly accessible to IEPA engineers. The system enables operators to upload monthly operating report files to yearly folders and serves as an archive of those reports for IEPA staff. Those staff can access folders and view or download files for individual facilities in order to assess facility operations.
Findings to Date: There is a wide range of computer literacy among operators, and varied personal instruction is necessary to enable operators to save their files in the proper form for uploading. Some nationally-based private water utilities also impose firewall restrictions on accessing the eMOR system – an issue yet to be resolved. Plans are to create a mini-Web site accessible at the ISWS main Web site to publicize the system and to provide a number of procedures for both operators and IEPA personnel. The site will be mirrored at the IEPA Bureau of Water.