Aquam Pipe Diagnostics were selected to assist the City of Santa Monica to initiate a strategic approach to pipeline condition assessment, with the objective of identifying and prioritizing a list of water mains to be replaced as part of future CIP projects.
A dedicated team of pipeline inspection professionals were deployed into the field, to apply their expertise and industry experience, to determine pipe and asset condition on live pressurized pipelines. A series of pipelines were selected by the City for assessment, ranging from 4-20” in diameter with varying pipe materials, age and operational pressures. Wet barrel fire hydrants were selected as access points, and the inspection would encompass a minimum of 50ft upstream and downstream of the insertion point.
Aquam Pipe Diagnostics applied their patented Investigator technology, which is a visual condition assessment and acoustic leak detection platform, to successfully complete the project.
Like many other water utilities today, the City of Santa Monica are being forced to address the daily challenges presented by an ageing and deteriorating water infrastructure. Poor operational performance, a high incidence of leakage and increased operational and maintenance costs, among others, prompted the City to investigate the condition of their pipes. They were unaware where the vulnerabilities lay within their system and therefore struggled to diagnose pipe condition, prioritize capital improvement projects, and determine what remediation techniques needed to be introduced, if any.
The Results and Benefits
Working with Aquam Pipe Diagnostics, the City of Santa Monica concluded that age is not a reliable indicator of pipeline condition. Prior to project commencement, the City had selected a series of pipes to be replaced based on their age, however the inspection data contradicted this methodology. Consequently, the City can minimalize unnecessary expenditure on remediation and repair of low priority pipes, and focus investment in high risk areas. In addition, the most vulnerable sections within the study area were accentuated, giving the City a good foundation for establishing a remediation plan. The inspection also identified various mapping discrepancies and asset defects, facilitating GIS updates and the development of an asset management strategy.
Moving forward, the City of Santa Monica can prioritize their investment and design a capital improvement plan with a greater level of confidence.