LEAK DETECTION, CONDITION ASSESSMENT AND INFILTRATION PROGRAM
Water loss via leaking assets is a significant issue for the water industry. Not only does it result in lost revenue but it can also cause property and environmental damage. Rather than replacing large amounts of pipework to solve the problem, this program focuses on investigating new technologies that can pin point where the issues are, so as to refine the pipe replacement process, reduce costs and minimise service interruptions. This program also investigates technologies designed to resolve inflow and infiltration issues, as these often result in additional pumping costs and premature treatment plant upgrades.
New Technology calling
Dean Barnett from Western Water is the IWN Leader of the Leak Detection, Condition Assessment and Infiltration Program. The 2019 program is currently being developed. If you are a technology provider and have an innovative product that you would like IWN to trial on behalf of the Victorian water industry please contact Dean.
Sewer Access Point Penetration Review Robot (SAPP2R)
SAPP2R came out of a long term relationship with La Trobe University, which had previously helped develop the Sewer Concrete Pipe Penetrating Device.
SAPP2R is a sewer access point condition assessment tool that’s designed to measure concrete degradation and prioritise remedial works using data.
Description of trial
The trial was designed to try and eliminate the problem of H2S degradation of sewer access points, while being able to reliably quantify this requirement with repeatability and minimise risk and cost through factors such as confined space entry.
SAPP2R uses a probe to sense how soft the concrete is and collects three pieces of data: depth of penetration, force exerted and effective diameter of manhole.
The robot is controlled via a mobile phone used by an operator above the ground, which connects to SAPP2R via a wi-fi module. The robot facilitates rapid, safe and repeatable analysis of SAP condition, while operators can understand asset integrity and prioritise work as well as isolate problems.
The device has been trialled with Western Water in Bacchus Marsh, Goulburn Valley Water in Seymour while a final field evaluation will be at Central Highlands Water in June.
Rezatec Detection Services – Satellite Asset Risk Monitoring trial
Rezatec / Detection Services have evolved satellite technology as an asset risk monitoring solution, which can potentially deliver leak detection as an output. A proposal was received to conduct an asset risk monitoring trial in Bright on behalf of North East Water (NEW) as they recently completed a leak detection program in Bright, and could be used as a comparative verification tool.
Description of the trial
The purpose of the trial is to validate that the use of satellite data and advances analytical techniques can detect hotspots of activity and locations of heightened risk attributable to the failure (collapse or leakage) of pipeline assets. These data layer deliverables include:
· Terrain motion
· Vegetation intrusion
· Pipeline asset risk
· Asset risk zones
The contractor will provide identified leaks via the street address, and each leak will then be marked on an individual site plan and validated using existing site acoustic methods
This trial isn’t focus solely on leak detection, but it should also be used to assess if the combination of outputs add to potential leak detection benefits. It should also be used to provide early warning of ground movement, both horizontally and vertically. There is also the potential for this technology to detect ground slumping caused by infiltration into stormwater and the wastewater network.
An asset risk critically assessment was provided in relation to linear assets that potentially could be at a higher risk of failure. A heat map was provided to NEW for the water network identifying high risk assets.
The long-term benefits to IWN members is an early warning ‘big picture ‘assessment of their assets. This can include all assets, water, draining and waste water as well as roads, reservoirs, dams, water courses, pump stations and critical trunk mains. The criteria mentioned above will be used to validate the technology and will be evaluated as part of the final IWN report.
A trial was conducted with a MD Profiler at Central Highlands Water and South East Water to determine if this technology can survey large diameter sewer pipes (375mm – 900mm). The MD Profiler incorporates laser, sonar and CCTV technology to provide a comprehensive inspection of assets over the course of 1,000 metres. It is hoped that the data gained will be able to accurately identify which sections of the sewer need to be repaired or replaced. Our final IWN report is pending.
More information is also available at: http://www.redzone.com/technology/msi-md-profiler
Concrete sewer pipe testing
Acidic hydrogen sulfide gas (H2S) can build up in concrete sewer mains, softening concrete pipe walls and causing leaks and eventual collapse. The ability to accurately detect pipe deterioration early would minimise repair costs and service disruption.
Description of the trial
IWN partnered with La Trobe University in 2016 to develop and trial a Concrete Pipe Testing device. The technology comprises a small robotic tractor with a CCTV camera, which is lowered into an active sewer main via a manhole. The tractor records footage and tests the density of the concrete (relative to new concrete) at regular intervals, for up to 150 metres in either direction of the manhole. This data is analysed to determine the remaining life of the sewer and which, if any, sections require immediate replacement.
The Concrete Pipe Tester was found to be very effective at detecting the degree of deterioration in concrete sewer mains.
The device was further validated following a successful trial in Western Water’s region. It will now be trialled at South East Water, before being offered to the industry. IWN is also considering developing a similar tool for larger diameter concrete sewer pipes and manholes depending on industry interest. Final deployment occurred at SEW and the trial will be extended to cover larger diameter sewer pipes. There is external interest in the purchasing of the unit, which includes all intellectual property.
Sharing the learnings
IWN will be sharing the learnings of this project at OzWater 2018. More information can be found at: http://www.ozwater.org/program
WaterCam Group Project
WaterCam Group - located in Orange, NSW - has developed a live CCTV system to assess assets. This new technology, which can be inserted into operational water mains without interrupting service, comprises a full pan and tilt camera and is capable of recording high resolution footage.
This system was trialled by Wannon Water and Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water in November. The learnings from earlier JD7 Investigator & LDS1000 trials were taken into account as part of this project. The provider is also available for work in Victoria. Our final IWN report is pending.
More information is also available at: http://www.watercam.com.au/
Sewer Access Point Penetration Review Robot
The first prototype of the Sewer Access Point Penetration Review Robot was trialled this week out at Western Water region in Bacchus Marsh.
The device is designed to probe the inner wall of the sewer access point, while the information gathered will be used to prioritise remedial repair works and understand the condition of these assets.
The Intelligent Water Neworks (IWN) are assisting Western Water with the trial, and this technology could be a massive benefit to the water sector. Western Water have over 20,000 sewer access points, so it’s important that they have a scientific way of evaluating their condition.
Success for the technology would result in lower costs for water authorities around Victoria, as any results from the trial will be shared across the Victorian Water industry.
Sewer pipe blockages are always an issue for water utilities around Australia and the task to identify these blockages and where the occur are not always straightforward. Pipelines can get blocked over a period of time and unless these pipelines are regularly monitored via flow/pressure instruments, the blockages may not be picked until the blockage completely prevents the flow of sewage and gets back up to the nearest manhole and overflows. The Sewer Pill will combat this problem.
Description of trial
The sewer pill concept which would be a device that would be introduced into the sewer lines either through manhole, section of pipework or flushed down the toilet. The device would be monitored and would trigger the observer when it comes across a blockage and transmit the GPS location data through to the user.
Hence, the proposed design would provide useful information into the asset management system, renewal programs as well as the preventive and corrective maintenance programs.
Current assessment programs for sewer system are slow, costly, require significant resources, may not be accurate and are not highly predictive. It can be difficult to determine utilising current methods where these blockages may or may not be occurring. Using traditional CCTV methods require specialist resources/expertise and can only be done one at a time depending on funding. Currently at South Gippsland Water, the CCTV inspection program is based on historical data which in itself is not highly accurate.
The lack of reliable data, tying up resources to possibly carry out unnecessary monitoring could possibly be a poor way of utilising resources and may not be the most efficient method of sewer condition monitoring. The proposed solution will provide a reliable means of identifying potential sewer blockages and could be used for sewer predictive maintenance. As a means of initial conditions assessment, this would free up resources in smaller utilities such as South Gippsland Water.
All trials have now been completed with the device ready to be handed over to the IWN. A procurement or sales strategy will need to be considered moving forward.
IWN/Telstra sewer smart lid
A sewer smart lid proposal is being developed in conjunction with Telstra. This lid will monitor movement, level, flow and H2S. Communications will be via Telstra’s NBIoT service.
Subject to approval, six lids will be trialled. Two devices at Yarra Valley Water, two devices at Western Water and two at another Victorian water corporation.
WIOA Network Operator Development Program 2019
This program has concluded with the completion of 3 x IWN training sessions on the Leak Detection, Condition Assessment & Infiltration Program. The same sessions have been offered in the 2020 WIOA Network Operator Development Program starting in February and will finishing in September 2020.
The Aquapea is an innovative product, capable of repairing leaks from inside the pipe with zero excavations, whether the pipe is polyethylene, copper, galvanized steel or lead and can be used in various pipe sizes from 15mm to 50mm.
A trial was conducted with four pipe insertions in late July with consultation regarding the report in August and September. The final report is due in October.
p-CAT is a transient pressure wave technology developed by the University of Adelaide that enables non-invasive diagnosis of pipeline condition over long distances. This technology inserts transient waves of approximately 75kpa to conduct condition assessments of pipelines. The technology was validated against pipelines with known issues and the results compared. The 2015 trial recommendation is that p-CAT is suitable as a business as usual tool for pipe condition assessment.
More information is also available at: http://www.detectionservices.com.au/services/pipeline-condition-assessment/p-cat/
Live water main CCTV – JD7 Investigator
The JD7 Investigator, which records live Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) footage, was inserted into a live water main via a hydrant wizard to assess the condition of an asset. By using this device there was no customer interruption. The first trial provider was Water Investigation Services from New Zealand who no longer exist and the second trial was conducted by Leed Engineering and Construction in South Australia who no longer provide this service.
RedZone Robotics’ Solo system is an un-manned survey robot that propels itself on rubber caterpillar tracks through sewers ranging from 200mm to 300mm in diameter. It can travel for up to 150 metres in either direction from the manhole access, and capture 360-degree video footage to detect and log the GPS coordinates of obstructions, drop offs and manholes. The video footage is then assessed to determine whether the pipes are in need of repair or maintenance. Automated inspection of sewer pipes for deterioration, damage and blockages can reduce repair costs and service disruptions.
Description and outcomes of trial
Three robots were trialled by Gippsland Water and Goulburn Valley Water in August 2017. In total, the Solo robots successfully surveyed 2000 meters of 225mm and 300mm sewer pipes, via 46 manhole entry points, in under eight hours.
Based on the trial, some opportunities for improvement include:
· expand the Solo system range to cater for 375mm pipes
· reconfigure the Solo System to travel between manholes rather than returning to the entry point, to save time and reduce the need for private property access
· gain an intrinsically safe rating for Australia
· include ovality and inclination reporting
· have the Solo system retrieve itself to the tethering point
· provide the CCTV footage in a Wincam version
Redzone is committed to working with the IWN and will provide an updated Solo version in 2018.
More information is also available at: http://www.redzone.com/technology/solo
SewerSerpent is a geophysical tool used to detect leakages in sewer pipes. It comprises an extra-low voltage scan head and detector which can be pushed down the length of a sewer pipe filled with water.
Description of trial
East Gippsland Water and Western Water trialled the SewerSerpent tool to determine how effective it is at detecting sewer pipe leakages in field conditions, and if it can be used to detect leaking pipes that are infiltrating or exfiltrating. The trials were also used to evaluate its performance in comparison to other leak detection techniques and devices.
The trial results indicate that the technology can accurately detect pipeline defects, as these were physically verified on site. It is recommended that the SewerSerpent be considered for adoption by the industry as a standard business tool, as it is capable of detecting sewer leakages and can be used to complement CCTV footage.
More information can be found at https://www.uvstrenchless.com.au/products/sewerserpent
Satellite leak detection
This trial involved the use of satellite technology which was originally developed to find water on other planets. Because drinking water has a particular spectral signature, the system can use geological, meteorological and hydrological factors to locate leaks underground. This is done using a L band radar system at 1.3 GH.
Description of trial
The first trial commenced in late 2015, which yielded a leak detection accuracy of 18%. A second trial was conducted in late 2016 involving Western Water, Yarra Valley Water, City West Water and Lower Murray Water, which yielded a leak detection accuracy of 27%. Although the Utilis satellite technology successfully identified a number of leaks across both regional and metropolitan areas, and the second trial produced better results, the tool still performed below expectations and is not recommended as a business as usual tool for the Victorian Water Industry.
The IWN is currently conducting an international market sweep for any advancements in this type of technology.
IWN and the Water Industry Operators Association of Australia (WIOA) Network Operator Development Program
IWN is committed to the development of Network Operators within the Victorian water industry, which is why we contribute to the WIOA Network Operator Development Program. The program aims to identify, mentor and develop future leaders in the Network Operations field, and involves various workshops, field days, technical sessions and conferences. As part of the program, IWN shares their trial results and various learnings with the program’s participants to increase their knowledge of current and emerging technologies, and to provide them with innovative and customer-conscious ways of doing business.
More information is available at http://wioa.org.au/network-operator-development-program/