1.4.2 Lack of Condition Assessment Protocols
Based on a survey of twenty-four North American sewer agencies using condition assessment protocols, Rahman and Vanier (2004) identified the lack of consistent, standard condition assessment protocols as a critical gap. The survey results showed 68% of the respondents used a protocol based on that of the National Water Research Council. The biggest gaps identified were systematic collection of data and use of formal risk assessment methods to prioritize resources for maintenance and rehabilitation activities.
1.4.3 Lack of understanding about capabilities and limitations of technologies
There is a gamut of technologies available for assessing the condition of water and wastewater pipelines, but more than often utility managers are ill-informed about their capabilities and limitations. The lack of knowledge with technology providers about their technologies also adds to the gap in knowledge. e.g., in case of acoustic fiber optic sensors, technology providers claim that the technology is capable of detecting and identifying all type of acoustic signals in the close proximity of pipes. But, more than often, false alarms are experienced by utility managers. In order to address this issue a case study was developed to investigate the existing gap in knowledge. The case study is presented in Chapter 5, which identifies the need of advanced signal processing to better understand the capabilities and limitations of acoustic fiber optic technology. This case study thus proves the lack of understanding about the capabilities and limitation of condition assessment technologies at present.
1.5 Problem Statement
At present very few technologies like CCTV survey, Ultrasonic Inspection, etc. have been successful in finding much acceptance in the industry. The reason is that the utilities depend on consultants for technical advice regarding technologies for carrying out inspections. The consultants follow the practice of risk minimization and promote a handful of technologies which have been proven through experiences. Moreover, lack of awareness about the performance and economic parameters of all the commercially available technologies acts as a major draw-back in the use of these technologies. As discussed in the previous section, there is also a definite lack of protocols to aid in selection of the most appropriate condition assessment technologies for water and wastewater pipelines. There is also a lack of knowledge about the evaluation parameters for assessment technologies. It is often observed that even after using the condition assessment technologies the utilities are not able to collect data relevant to their assets; this is because not all the technologies are applicable in all the situations. Thus, there is a need to develop a protocol/tool to assist utilities in selecting appropriate condition assessment technologies for water and wastewater pipelines.
1.6 Objective and Scope
Most of the world’s...