Dr Robert Ross and Intelligent Water Networks (IWN) program lead Dean Barnett have provided a valuable video insight into the Pipe Probe Penetration Robot (PPPR) project.
Ross, from La Trobe University, and Barnett from Western Water, have been working on the concrete pipe testing machine as part of the Leak Detection, Condition Assessment and Infiltration program.
Acidic hydrogen sulfide gas (H2S) can build up in concrete sewer mains, softening concrete pipe walls and causing cracks and eventual collapse. The ability to accurately detect pipe deterioration early would minimise repair costs and service disruption.
Western Water 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.
Watch the video update on the project below.