Walden Assists Municipalities in Developing Level of Service Goals for New York’s Wastewater Infrastructure Asset Management Plan Programs

by | Mar 14, 2024

NYS Asset Management Program for Publicly Owned Treatment Works

Walden is continuing work on an Asset Management Plan (AMP) for the Town of East Greenbush, NY. To learn more about what an AMP is, and how Walden is working with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation (NYSEFC) to further develop AMP programs in New York, see Walden’s blog from October 2022 on the topic. We described the asset inventory and condition assessment portions of an AMP in a previous blog. Today we will be discussing the Level of Service (LOS) component of an AMP and why it is a crucial step in developing a plan that will last long into the future.


Developing the LOS Profile

LOS is introduced after the completion of an asset inventory and condition assessment. But what is LOS? In order to properly plan for the future, utility providers must understand the needs and expectations of the people they serve. Such stakeholders include governing board members and employees, regulatory officials, and the people and enterprises within the community being served. LOS is the utility’s commitment to its stakeholders to ensure service by setting performance goals.

Developing LOS goals is broken down into three main service categories: social (health and safety), environmental (regulatory compliance), and financial (fiscal impacts). These three categories are linked to the fourth category of system reliability.

When creating a LOS profile, two main steps are completed. First, the utility must identify and survey stakeholders to make sure their needs are being met (where practical) and to identify any areas of improvement. This is important as a utility must have support for future investments in maintenance and capital improvements. Remember, different stakeholders have different expectations, and everyone should have a voice.

Next, the utility uses the feedback to set SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound) for the future. One goal is set for each category, which is used to track progress and report back to the stakeholders. For example, a SMART goal related to health and safety may be, “Reduce the number of beach closure events by 25% per year as compared to the previous calendar year. This is a health and safety goal to address stakeholder expectations (i.e., the expectations of the community).”

Level of Service Categories



Health and Safety

POTW Staff

Safe working environment


No exposure to untreated wastewater

System Reliability

Residential Customers

No service backups

Regulatory Compliance


Meet SPDES limits

Fiscal Impact

Rate Payers

Minimize emergency spending


Bringing It All Together

Once the goals are set, the categories are priority weighted by the utility and used for the Consequence of Failure (COF) analysis (stay tuned). Each of the four categories must have a minimum weighting, depending on the importance the utility determines for the category, in order to make meaningful risk calculations.

How do these steps of LOS planning and COF planning tie back to the assets and the overall plan itself? Now the capital improvement plan, operations and maintenance plan, and preventative maintenance programs can be influenced by the priority and consequences of the management of these same assets. A complete program is developed with a keen focus on the future.


How Walden Can Help

The key to a properly developed AMP is to have engaged and knowledgeable individuals construct a comprehensive plan, which can be communicated to all, and understood by all, with specific personnel assigned specific duties and responsibilities. The AMP is a living document, which should be reviewed and updated regularly.

The experienced team of AMP professionals at Walden can help develop and maintain an asset management program specifically tailored to your needs. To read about some of Walden’s related work involving asset management tasks, please visit our utility valuation and asset management planning services page. For more information about asset management programs or related tasks, contact Walden at 516-701-1681 to connect with an experienced AMP specialist today.

asset management, utilities, municipalities, wastewater, asset management program, level of service profile, asset management plan

Read Walden’s previous asset management blog here. Contact our asset management planning experts at 516-701-1681 to discuss the services available to your utility.