Water Main Condition Assessment
For utilities with aging pipeline infrastructure challenges, Echologics' condition assessment technology is ideal to quickly understand the structural strength of buried assets and optimize rehabilitation and replacement programs. The ePulse® technology uses acoustic signals and advanced computer algorithms to assign a grade of good, moderate or poor based on the actual condition of the pipe segment. This actionable data can be directly used by the utility or input to the EchoLife™ remaining pipe life estimation tool which provide additional insights in to pipe replacement timing. Knowing the actual condition of these buried assets enables utilities to optimize replacement programs, despite limited budgets.
Water main condition assessment services are being used for:
- Baseline understanding of water main condition
- Replacement and rehabilitation planning
- Rate case justification
- Due diligence support for water system acquisitions
- Strategic deployment of intrusive (Internal NDT) condition assessment technologies
- Reduction in the number water main breaks experienced by a city
Numerous utilities are adopting Condition-Driven Asset Management (CDAM) to save millions in unnecessary pipe replacements. This best practice includes a tiered approach to condition assessment incorporating an asset management desktop model, pipeline inspection, and permanent monitoring (for critical assets). The amount of inspection is driven by the pipeline criticality. This approach mitigates failures risks while optimizing the use of precious capital.
A common challenge is that once utilities identify their pipes that fail regularly, they struggle to prioritize their programs. Utilities are crediting advances in non-invasive, acoustic condition assessment as a key element of their CDAM programs. This approach can augment the typical master planning approach to verify and augment a desktop model. These utilities are realizing a real return on assessment costs by simultaneously determining the structural integrity of pipe segments and accurately pinpointing leaks, all without breaking ground or disrupting service. With assessment costs of 2.0% to 3.0% of pipe replacement, acoustic condition assessment is being used for rate case justification, litigation questions, replacement and rehabilitation decisions, and due diligence support for water system acquisitions.