Sydney Water awarded for pipe failure predictions
Sydney Water’s Advanced Condition Assessment and Pipe Failure Prediction project is the winner of the International Water Association’s (IWA) Project Innovation Award in Applied Research.
The award was presented to Sydney Water at the IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition in Brisbane, Australia.
This research encompasses a six-year program to enhance understanding of pipe condition and deterioration mechanisms. It aims to better predict when and where a pipe might fail, as well as outlining the best method to intervene in order to extend the longevity of a pipe.
“This project demonstrates how water utilities, universities and research organisations can collaborate internationally to develop innovative solutions to predicting pipe failures,” said Rob Renner, CEO of the Water Research Foundation.
“As many countries grapple with ageing infrastructure, methods to determine the useful life of that infrastructure are crucial for the water sector.”
The project found improved methods for estimating remaining pipe life by using condition assessment data. It also investigated a method to accurately predict sensor readings for a given geometric description of a buried large water main and obtain the best estimate of the pipe geometry from a set of measurements based on maximum likelihood principles.
In addition, the project developed a realistic predictive model for pipe corrosion in soil, including the collection of datasets for measured pit depths and associated soil conditions. As a result of this project, the international water community will be able to address critical pipe failure issues more accurately, efficiently and economically, with improved customer service.
“The success of this significant innovation for the international water industry is due in large part to the fact that we assembled the world’s best project team and to the leadership displayed by the collective water industry,” said Dammika Vitanage, asset infrastructure research coordinator at Sydney Water.
“Our prime focus was to undertake research which would lead to providing improved services to the customers of water utilities worldwide.”
The international research collaboration was led by Sydney Water, with additional funding and participation from Water Research Foundation and UK Water Industry Research Ltd (UKWIR). Other Australian co-sponsors included Water Corporation, City West Water, Melbourne Water, Yarra Valley Water, South Australia Water Corporation, Queensland Urban Utilities, South East Water Ltd, and Hunter Water Corporation. Monash University led the research effort, supported by University of Technology Sydney and the University of Newcastle.
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