6.2  The basics of operation and maintenance

Operation and maintenance of a water supply system refers to all the activities needed to run the system continuously to provide the necessary service. The two words are very frequently used together and the abbreviation ‘O&M’ is widely used. The overall aim of operation and maintenance is to ensure an efficient, effective and sustainable system (Castro et al., 2009). ‘Efficient’means being able to accomplish something with the least waste of time, effort and resources; ‘effective’ means being successful in producing the intended result; and ‘sustainable’ means able to be maintained at the best level over time – in this case, the supply of water.

6.1  How water utilities are structured

6.2.1  Operation