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 2018 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.
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. Authorities are encouraged to register their interest in the Concrete Pipe Tester with IWN.
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/
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/