City of Melton's Asset Management Optimisation with VAPAR

About City of Melton

The City of Melton is the fastest-growing local government area in Australia, with an annual population growth of 6.4%. Alongside city expansion from greenfield development, the growing stormwater network has existing pipe infrastructure that is aging and sustained damage over time. 

Preventing collapse, ground subsidence, and localized flooding due to blockages has been identified as a key project to maintain service levels for the community.

Project Snapshot

Over 500 stormwater pipe assets analysed.

Approximately 8,000 pipe features and defects identified and categorised using AI.

Semi-automated risk classification of highest priority sections of the network.

Risk-based rehabilitation program produced over a 10-year CAPEX horizon.

The Challenge

Regular CCTV inspection of Melton’s stormwater network has been conducted for several years, with a large amount of inspection footage available dating back to 2016. Although this footage was delivered by contractors in video and condition-graded report format, the city found it challenging to allocate resources to review all the incoming data and identify where capital rehabilitation works were required. Consequently, a large and growing backlog of unactioned inspections accumulated, and pipe repair projects were unable to be completed at the rate outlined in asset management plans.

The AI-powered Asset Management Solution

VAPAR.Solutions is designed to analyse both pre-recorded historical CCTV inspection videos and new CCTV inspections by utilising artificial intelligence (AI) processing. VAPAR uses a machine-learning AI engine that converts video files into a series of frames that are analysed for the presence and classification of defects. Users can view, access, and report on individual inspections or entire job folders. The platform is specifically designed to improve accuracy, increase consistency, and reduce the reliance on spreadsheets to track the results, decisions, and work status of pipe assets as they move through a utility’s asset management workflow.

Solution Implementation

The City of Melton engaged VAPAR to rapidly process a large amount of their historic CCTV backlog. Over 500 high-risk asset inspection videos were selected and uploaded to VAPAR.Solutions for analysis, which used both artificial intelligence and automated smart logic to remove the most laborious and time-consuming tasks from the traditional process. The output for the asset engineers was a set of organised and easily accessible cloud-hosted results with repair recommendations, enabling efficient and consistent decision-making. 

Melton Case Study Asset Management VAPAR

Engineers were able to use VAPAR’s repair recommendation feature to apply risk-based decisions to the entire backlog and prepare a thorough business case that included a prioritised order of works for pipe repairs over a period of time. This risk-based prioritisation methodology provided Council repair options that could easily be use to approximate costs to assist in budget allocation. Once the approximate priorities and budgets were understood, allocating the right cohorts of works packages to the right financial years was a much simpler exercise and saved many hours in document preparation.

Benefit to City of Melton: Achieved significant resource savings and secured a capital works drainage renewal budget

The Engineering and Asset Services group achieved significant resource and time savings by utilizing VAPAR to convert their underutilized backlog of inspections into a fully formulated CAPEX plan. The City of Melton’s primary goal was to secure an approved capital works drainage renewal budget for FY24/25, with a high level of confidence that the funds would be directed towards the correct assets to reduce risk and avoid costly pipe failures. Using the VAPAR.Solutions platform and outputs specifically designed to support business case submissions, approval to proceed with the plans was granted, with Council feedback indicating that the annual rehabilitation proposal was well-prepared and aligned with strategic asset management policy. The value of the data was enhanced through increased availability and visualization across other systems, including GIS and Power BI. 

The approved plan by the Council will significantly reduce the city’s risk profile and allow many assets to be repaired using trenchless techniques before further deterioration necessitates much costlier and disruptive civil excavation fixes.

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