German Water Main Condition Assessment Trial

A major German water company responsible for the operation of thousands of kilometers of pipe infrastructure which distributes up to 25 million cubic meters of water yearly to about 370 thousand people initially planned an extensive replacement program of its water mains along with scheduled road works. The water company selected the Echologics® acoustic technology to assist in its pipe replacement decision-making process by assessing approximately 3,300 m of its decades-old asbestos cement (AC) and cast iron (CI) water mains.

With the objectives of determining the structural condition and detecting leaks on its critical AC pipes, the field engineers demonstrated Echologics' e-Pulse® acoustic condition assessment and leak detection technology. This non-disruptive method attracted several other surrounding water utilities to witness the deployment of the technologies, which required minimal advanced site preparation and was done without breaking the ground. Although no leaks were discovered during the survey, the remaining average wall thickness of segments of the water main ranging from good to poor condition were determined on each segment, and these results contributed a great support to the company in its planning effort to assign the replacement needs of the buried water pipe infrastructure.

These non-invasive acoustic methods are new among German water companies, and Echologics successfully showcased how effective and valuable the data can be as component of the asset management process for prioritization of pipeline rehabilitation and replacement.