Australian Utility Wins Award for Research Project on Predicting Pipe Failures

Hope of project participants is that the findings can help utilities world-wide better address pipe failure issues.
Australian Utility Wins Award for Research Project on Predicting Pipe Failures
The award was presented to Sydney Water Oct. 12 at the IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition in Brisbane, Australia.

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Sydney Water recently won the International Water Association’s (IWA) Project Innovation Award in Applied Research for six years of research that focused on better understanding pipe condition and predicting when and where a pipe may fail. The award was presented at the IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition in Brisbane, Australia.

Sydney Water led the project, with additional funding help from the Water Research Foundation and UK Water Industry Research Ltd. Other water agencies and universities across Australia also participated in the effort.

“This project demonstrates how water utilities, universities, and research organizations can collaborate internationally to develop innovative solutions to predicting pipe failures,” says Rob Renner, CEO of the Water Research Foundation. “As many countries grapple with aging infrastructure, methods to determine the useful life of that infrastructure are crucial for the water sector.”

“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,” adds Dammika Vitanage, Asset Infrastructure Research Coordinator, Sydney Water. “Our prime focus was to undertake research which would lead to providing improved services to the customers of water utilities world-wide.”

The project found improved methods for estimating remaining pipe life considering available information, including 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. Finally, the project developed a realistic predictive model for pipe corrosion in soil, including the collection of data sets for measured pit depths and associated soil conditions. As a result of this project, the hope is the international water community will be able to address critical pipe failure issues more accurately, efficiently, and economically, with improved customer service.

More information about this project can be found at www.criticalpipes.com, or on the WRF website.

About the Water Research Foundation
The Water Research Foundation is the leading not-for-profit research cooperative that advances the science of water to protect public health and the environment. Governed by utilities, WRF plans, manages, and delivers scientifically sound research solutions on the most critical challenges facing the water community in the areas of drinking water, wastewater, stormwater, and reuse. Over the last 50 years, WRF has sponsored nearly 1,500 research projects valued at $500 million, and serves more than 1,000 subscribing organizations.



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