Water board Brabantse Delta, Maintenance department. The department’s primary duties involve the preventive and corrective maintenance of water treatment plants, sewage pumping stations and pressure pipes.
The inspection of 1700 metres of wastewater pressure pipe between the Oosterhout sewage pumping station and Dongemond treatment plant. This pipeline is made of asbestos cement and is no longer new.
The Acquarius took four hours to produce a comprehensive condition assessment. The dashboard converted the collected data into various reports and insights. These can serve as a base for predicting lifetime and risk assessments.
Water board Brabantse Delta manages countless kilometres of wastewater pipelines. Based on expected lifetimes, there should be a major spike in required replacements between 2020 and 2024. Which pipes genuinely need to be replaced, though, and which ones are actually still in a good condition? To the water board, this is essential knowledge.
Rien van Wanrooij, Maintenance Consultant (Civil): ‘We charted expected replacement times for all our piping. This was based on how many years we believe the pipes will last. Our board proposed a budget plan. We advised them to get everything inspected first. After all, you need to know what condition a pipeline is in before you can determine when it will require replacement.’
‘In 2013 we performed a risk assessment for our water network. Then we used that information to determine an inspection schedule. This was no simple matter. Before, our inspections were often ad hoc and based on our gut. The risk assessment allowed us to set better inspection priorities. One of the pipelines that topped the list was the one between Oosterhout and the Dongemond treatment plant.’
‘The pipeline that runs from Oosterhout to the Dongemond treatment plant is both lengthy and old. The pipe is nearing the end of its expected lifetime. Furthermore, it is made of asbestos cement, a risk factor. Though this material is hard-wearing, it is also sensitive to sulphuric acid. Good reason to subject the pipeline to a thorough inspection and see what condition it’s in.’
The results were impressive. In less than four hours, the tool had charted 1700 metres of pipeline.
‘We learned about Acquaint through the Landelijke Werkgroep Persleidingen (national pressure pipes work group). One of the work group’s objectives is to facilitate the sharing of data and knowledge regarding inspections and inspection techniques by water boards and municipalities. As a water board, we are in need of an inspection tool that allows us to inspect high-risk pipes and gain an accurate, comprehensive overview of the materials, location and condition.’
‘The Acquarius is such a tool that allows us to assess the condition. Using data analysis, we can predict a given pipeline’s remaining lifetime. Furthermore, we can apply the measurement data to similar pipes in risk assessments.’
‘A preliminary study revealed the pipeline’s suitability for inspection using the Acquarius. We did have to make several modifications to the pumping station and treatment plant to be able to launch and receive the Acquarius. Once that was done, we sent the Acquarius down the pipe. The results were impressive. In less than four hours, the tool had charted 1700 metres of pipeline. The data was subsequently analysed by Acquaint.’
‘The inspection revealed that the quality of the pipeline is still quite good. And if any failure does crop up, we will deal with them locally. That means we can wait to replace the pipeline at a later date without worries. This gives us the freedom to direct our efforts in the coming years towards pipes that are in more immediate need of replacement. We can spread out our estimated replacement peak, to avoid failure and budget more intelligently.’