San Diego Water Department (SDWD)

The Company

San Diego Water Department (SDWD), the water operations division of the City of San Diego, serves 1.2 million people populating more than 200 square miles of developed land. They are responsible for supplying 250,000 metered service connections, operating and maintaining three water treatment plants, water lines, water pump plants, pressure zones, and millions of gallons of potable water storage.

SDWD holds all current and archived maps and records to serve the public and their crews for facility information, main breaks, new building projects, etc. More than 100 years after entering the municipal water supply business, San Diego’s water infrastructure has become one of the most complex in the United States.

The Challenge

Serving such a large and continually expanding area, along with increasing demands and tighter budget constraints, SDWD needed a more efficient way to view and manage their extensive number of documents. The need for document management began when the department converted from hand drawn maps to GIS data (Geographic Information System). They began to scan all current paper documents in order for them to be accessed digitally. Once this system was put into place, the city wanted all of the historic data that went along with the current maps to be archived.

SDWD pushed their hardware, software, and operating systems to the max. Their current solutions did not meet their needs. They attempted a solution internally, but did not have the time, staff, or resources to maintain the project.

In seeking a document management solution, SDWD first looked at the document management systems other departments in the city were using. They found those solutions to be overkill with unnecessary options and requirements that were cumbersome and expensive. SDWD simply needed to view their documents without the need for editing or versioning. While researching other companies, the results showed low quality products at a high price or companies unable to show proof of their ability to manage a project of this sort.

The Solution

SDWD’s Principal Drafting Aide, Rod Vigil, then met with Axacore and was introduced to their document management system, XDOC. “Axacore was able to show me what they were able to do for us and back up
that claim by showing us what they had already been doing,” Vigil stated. “They were upfront and forthcoming with a simple solution. We were thrilled.”

With the implementation of XDOC, all paper documents and hand drawn maps were scanned and digitally stored for quick access and retrieval. Since SDWD has many different types of documents, Axacore met with SDWD and reviewed each type to determine what indexes to capture. XDOC was configured to accommodate different indexes for each type to ensure user friendly searching.

When a request for information comes in, SDWD is able to find the document with just a few clicks and answer the question without ever leaving their desk. They are also able to share documents with other city employees via a secure link with password protection.

In addition to rapid access to documents, XDOC serves as an archival mechanism to safeguard the irreplaceable, one-of-a-kind documents.

The Results

Since the installation, XDOC has been used by almost 500 SDWD employees on a daily basis. Customer service has been increased because any questions that come in from a citizen or crew member can be easily answered by accessing the documents through the XDOC interface. “The city is old school and protective,” said Rod. “When they first put it out there people were skeptical. When we proved it worked with what we used it for the city wanted everything in.”

“When compared to the other options we had,” stated Rod, “Axacore seemed almost out of sorts. So we decided to give it a trial run.” The results? “XDOC is a simple solution with simple imaging – cut and dry! We were able to view the documents and install security, and with no maintenance or added software.”

Additionally, SDWD needed little to no training with the easy to use interface. Employees were trained in minutes, right over the phone.

For More Information

Axacore is a core technology provider of faxing and document imaging solutions. Axacore develops solutions that help organizations streamline paper-intensive business processes and automate the flow of documents to team members, customers, partners and vendors. For more information, please visit us at or 1.858.427.4301.