Pipeline Condition Assessment

Our goal is to provide water utilities in Australia, New Zealand and Asia with the pipeline condition assessment data they need to close the information gap with their pressurised water and sewer rising mains. This enables better asset management decisions to be made about the repair, replacement or rehabilitation of critical trunk water mains and sewer rising mains.

Bringing Pipeline Condition Assessment into the 21st Century

Too often utilities spend money replacing ageing water or wastewater pipelines with limited pipeline condition assessment or leak detection data. This may be information on soil corrosivity, spot checks on wall thickness at convenient locations or desktop assessments that don’t consider any ‘ground truth’ information.

Other water utilities react proactively to bursts (or pipeline age) rather than undertaking technology-driven pipeline condition assessment activities to prevent them. Despite increased spending on pipeline testing and real-time pipeline monitoring, the information gap around buried pipeline condition still exists despite non-invasive, non-disruptive technologies being available to collect higher quality data for asset management decision making. Using these advanced data collection technologies, and their associated data analysis, helps bring pipeline condition assessment into the 21st century and allows our utilities to be more resilient, proactive and informed.

What technology do you use for Pipeline Condition Assessment?

Aqua Analytics uses non-invasive, non-disruptive Tonal Pipe Assessment™ (TPA) from KenWave Solutions to address this problem. This acoustic pipeline condition assessment technology is designed for use on in-service pipes of all standard materials and diameters. Using TPA will provide detailed, reliable pipeline condition assessment and leakage information; including average wall thickness and strength for discrete pipe segments.

Our pipeline condition assessment technologies operate without disruption to your normal network operations, and with no risk of damage to the asset. The device is simply installed on the pipeline during normal operating conditions and data measurements collected for analysis by expert engineers.

KenWave’s TPA represents the next evolution of leak noise correlators with improved sensor sensitivity and the ability to collect multiple data types simultaneously, all with a focus on safety and ease of use. For example, our ultra-sensitive hydrophones sit behind an acoustically transparent impermeable high-pressure membrane so that they never have to enter fluid column.pipeline condition assessment australia

Being an external tool, TPA can be attached to a variety of fittings so that it can inspect almost any water main or sewer rising main. Where fittings or valves are not available, both sound source and sensors can be attached directly to the pipe surface through small vacuum excavations on the pipeline.

Unlike acoustic leak detection which relies on leaks or flowing hydrants for a sound source TPA uses a tuneable valve box or a sonar introduce test signals specific to each diameter and material combination, without any risk of introducing water hammer to determine pipeline condition.

A physics-based acoustic model of pipes using ground propagation, dynamic loading, and impedance effects, gathers and analyses the sensor data, with special post-processing to handle spurious noise such as from vehicle traffic.

Lastly, a thermodilatohydrometer or THD, uniquely allows TPA to correct for the effect of changes in water temperature, pressure, and dissolved gas content on the acoustic dispersion curve.

How do you undertake Pipeline Condition Assessment?

First, we develop a multi-parameter acoustic model for the pipe to be inspected. Test signals are then computed and introduced via the TPA sound source, which are measured downstream by the TPA sensors.

Then, TPA compare the models with the measurements to deduce wall properties and anomaly locations.  Results are then validated and the TPA database and modelling algorithms are updated to make the next inspection more accurate.

What materials and diameters can you undertake pipeline condition assessment on?

TPA can be used to inspect pipes that transfer potable-water, wastewater, process-water, hot water, chilled water or glycol. The TPA technology is also designed for use on non-metallic and plastic pipes (including Asbestos Cement, PVC, MDPE, HDPE and GRP).

The TPA technology is also utilised for large-scale asbestos cement pipeline condition assessment projects, when a water utility has a large proportion of AC mains and needs to prioritise their renewals and investments. Many cities and towns in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Hong Kong are facing a problem with their ageing asbestos cement and metallic pipelines, with billions of dollars in renewals required over the next five decades.

TPA can inspect mixed material pipes such as when a small section has been repaired with ductile iron or PVC.  The following table summarises the pipes which TPA can inspect and the type of data it provides.

condition-assessment-table

Optimise your pipeline renewals – only replace the pipes at risk of failure!

Cities and towns around Australia, New Zealand and Asia are facing a ageing pipeline infrastructure crisis. Disruptive pressurised water and wastewater main breaks all stem from severe underinvestment over recent decades. At the same time, many small and medium sized water utilities do not have the financial capacity to upgrade significant amounts of their network.

By utilising the TPA non-invasive pipeline condition assessment and leak detection technology we can help find what needs fixing or replacing, and identify what is in good shape so it stays in the ground. This approach identifies the specific sections of the pipeline that are at risk of failure, so proactive repair works can be undertaken before it results in a large water main failure.

Specialists Pipeline Condition Assessment in Australia, New Zealand and Asia

The pipeline condition assessment data we collect assists with pipeline asset management and renewal planning to ensure sensible risk management approach to capital investments. The granular pipeline condition data we obtain can be used to make better decisions about asset replacements and rehabilitation; ensuring pipelines with residual remaining useful life are not replaced prematurely.

If you want to discuss our non-invasive and non-disruptive pipeline condition assessment technology, or your overall asset management goals, please contact us today.