Condition Assessment Tool for Drinking Water Distribution Systems in Final Phase of Development

Oct 2015  •  Civil Infrastructure  •  Application Development

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Much of North America’s water infrastructure is at or past design life, and the cost of leaks and breakages are growing. Asset owners are facing a need to do more with less, while maintaining service to customers. Key to this is proactive asset integrity management, via condition assessment and inspection. Ideally, data is acquired in-service, while ensuring the maximum amount of information is collected non-disruptively to make repair/replace/operate decisions in an optimized and cost effective manner.

Historically, buried infrastructure has presented large challenges to accurate in-service condition evaluation. More recently, various acoustic technologies have been proven to allow good quality data to be collected for detection of leaks. A few technologies claim to allow bulk average wall loss measurements of water pipes themselves to be conducted. However, average wall loss measurements over large areas, while effective for screening, tell very little about actual condition. These techniques cannot determine if extreme localized pitting is present or a more uniform erosion is present. Additionally, certain other localization techniques, which could typically be deployed to establish wall thickness information (UT, RT, EC) struggle to provide conclusive information for certain common pipe materials (cast and ductile iron), pipe size (large diameter) and properties (buried, dirty, corroded) used in water infrastructure. 

Inversa’s technology and approach has a unique set of capabilities to provide conclusive condition assessment data to asset owners for situations not possible with other methods.

“In order to predict the remaining useful life of the water distribution system with a higher degree of accuracy, pipe wall thicknesses should be attained for the various pipe materials of various vintages.”

Inversa is currently developing a package of complimentary techniques to be bundled into a holistic product for the condition assessment and asset management of water distribution systems.