Attracting The Next Generation of Water Leaders

Attracting the next generation of water leaders 

Explore the unique journey of water industry startups as they navigate challenges like procurement hurdles, brand recognition, and technical readiness. Learn how accelerators, lab programs, and direct procurement strategies offer pathways to success, fostering innovation and building trust in a competitive market.

Customer Engagement Insights for Water Startups Blog

Customer Engagement Insights for Water Startups

Explore the unique journey of water industry startups as they navigate challenges like procurement hurdles, brand recognition, and technical readiness. Learn how accelerators, lab programs, and direct procurement strategies offer pathways to success, fostering innovation and building trust in a competitive market.

The Importance of Lateral Junction Repairs in Pipe Rehabilitation blog banner

The Importance of Lateral Junction Repairs in Pipe Rehabilitation 

Dive into the critical realm of Lateral Junction Repairs (LJR) in pipe rehabilitation. Explore its significance in maintaining infrastructure, the innovative trenchless techniques used, equipment essentials, and potential risks. Compare leading LJR options like LatSeal and TopHat to make informed decisions. Safeguard your sewer networks and ensure wastewater systems operate efficiently.

Creating the fastest way to the right pipeline decision

5 Ways to Improve the Accuracy of Pipe Inspections 

Elevating Precision in Pipe Inspection​

5 Ways to Improve the Accuracy of Pipe Inspections 

1. Embrace the Power of Technology​
2. Comprehensive CCTV Pipe Inspection
3. Regularity in Sewer Pipe Inspection
4. Delving into the Stormwater Inspection Process
5. Adopting a Standardised Pipe Rating Index

Revolutionise Your Asset Management

How AI is Revolutionizing CCTV Pipe Inspection

How AI is Revolutionizing CCTV Pipe Inspection

In today’s fast-paced technological landscape, how we monitor and maintain our essential infrastructures are evolving rapidly. One of the most transformative shifts has been the integration of artificial intelligence into the realm of CCTV pipe inspections.

The New Era of AI-Driven Pipeline Decisions

Traditionally, assessing pipelines, especially those for stormwater or sewer systems, was an extensive task that required hours of manual review. Enter AI, and the narrative changes.

AI in Sewer Pipe Inspections: With the help of cutting-edge tools and software, not only has the efficiency increased, but the accuracy of these inspections has skyrocketed Technologies like VAPAR are making waves by empowering asset owners with AI-driven pipeline decisions, ensuring the fastest and most accurate outcomes.

AI in Stormwater Pipe Inspections: Much like their sewer counterparts, stormwater pipelines benefit immensely from AI integration. The precision in identifying potential issues before they escalate can save municipalities, councils, and asset owners vast amounts of time and money.

VAPAR: Leading the Charge in Advanced Pipe Inspection Techniques

In a realm where precision, speed, and reliability are paramount, VAPAR’s AI software stands out. It’s not just about quicker assessments—it’s about making smarter, more informed decisions. 

Benefits Include: 

  • Faster turnaround times, drastically reducing project durations. 
  • Heightened accuracy, minimizing human errors in assessment. 
  • Predictive analysis, anticipating potential future problems.

Authenticity in AI CCTV Pipe Inspection

As professionals deeply passionate about this transformative technology, the question isn’t just about how AI is revolutionizing the space—it’s about the authentic value it brings to stakeholders: 

CCTV Contractors: With tools like VAPAR, contractors can offer comprehensive services, backed by the latest in AI-driven assessments. 

Engineers: Engineers now have access to more accurate data, ensuring their projects and maintenance work stand the test of time. 

Councils: Ensuring public safety and efficient resource allocation becomes more streamlined with AI-backed data

Why This Matters for Asset Owners and Councils?

Asset owners, more than anyone, need reliability and precision. With advanced pipe inspection techniques powered by AI, the actionable insights provided are invaluable. It’s no longer just about identifying the problem—it’s about foreseeing them and strategizing accordingly.

Final Thoughts on Artificial Intelligence in Pipe Inspections 

As we peer into the future of infrastructure management, the synergy between AI and CCTV pipeline assessment is evident. It’s a union of technology and practicality. And as we’ve seen with VAPAR and the integration of tools like Minicam, this is only the beginning. 

About the Author

Mark Lee is the Business Development Manager (AUS/NZ) at VAPAR and a former Senior Asset Engineer who has spent more than a decade managing the asset lifecycle of infrastructure. He has extensive experience managing pipeline networks, including design, construction, condition assessment and decommissioning.

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Roots in sewers

How to Get Rid of Tree Roots from Your Sewer and Stormwater Pipes: Rooting for Effective Solutions!

How to Get Rid of Tree Roots from Your Sewer and Stormwater pipes: Rooting for Effective Solutions!

Tree roots in sewer lines can be a real drain on the efficiency of your municipality’s wastewater management system. These pesky roots can infiltrate and obstruct sewer pipes, causing blockages, backups, and even structural damage. But fear not! In this article, we’ll explore some effective solutions for tackling tree roots in sewers, so you can keep your wastewater system flowing smoothly without any “rooty” interruptions! 

The Root of the Problem: Understanding Tree Root Infiltration in Sewers

In this section, let’s discuss how tree roots find their way into sewer pipes and cause problems. As trees grow, their roots naturally seek out sources of moisture, including the small cracks and joints in sewer pipes. Over time, the roots can penetrate the pipe walls, creating a tangled mass that obstructs the flow of wastewater. This can result in backups, overflows, and costly repairs if not addressed promptly. Check out this recent video from a plumber extracting 20 feet of tree roots from a sewer pipe here. 

Roots in sewers

Figure 1: Root ingress causing blockage 

Best Practices for Tree Root Removal from sewer pipes

To tackle tree roots in sewers, it’s important to employ effective root minimising techniques. One commonly used method is using root-minimising chemicals that are formulated to destroy tree roots while being safe for the sewer system and the environment, when used properly. These chemicals can be applied through various means, such as foams or liquids, and are typically introduced into the sewer line through access points, such as cleanouts or manholes. 

Going the Extra Mile: Preventative Measures to Keep Roots at Bay

Pipe relining

Figure 2: Spiral Wound Lining of Pipe

While eliminating existing tree roots is essential, it’s equally important to take preventive measures to keep them from coming back. One effective approach is to install sewer pipe linings, such as cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) lining, which creates a durable barrier inside the pipe, preventing tree roots from infiltrating. This method can help extend the lifespan of your sewer pipes and reduce the need for frequent root-minimising treatments.

Staying Ahead of the Game: Regular CCTV Inspections for Early Detection

Sewer pipe inspection

Figure 3: CCTV pipe inspection of post-lining work

Regular sewer CCTV inspections are a proactive approach to detect tree roots early on, before they cause significant damage. By using high-tech cameras to inspect the interior of sewer pipes, you can identify root intrusion, cracks, or other issues in real-time. This allows you to take prompt action and address the problem before it becomes a costly headache.

Conclusion

By employing root minimising techniques, implementing preventative measures, and conducting regular CCTV inspections, you can effectively manage and eliminate tree root intrusion in your municipality’s sewer system. So, don’t let tree roots “root” for clogs in your sewers, take action today and keep your wastewater management system flowing smoothly!

About the Author

Amanda Siqueira is an Australian civil and environmental engineer who has worked in design, construction and remediation of drainage and sewer pipes in Australia, New Zealand and the UK. She has passion for all things pipes and is also one of the Co-founders of VAPAR.

 

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Laser in sewer

How Laser Scan Technology Enhances Small-Diameter Sewer Pipe Inspections

How Laser Scan Technology Enhances Small-Diameter Sewer Pipe Inspections

Laser in sewer

Photo courtesy: https://flic.kr/p/nSfp6K

Small diameter sewer pipes can be challenging to inspect and diagnose for issues due to their size and accessibility. The emergence of laser scan technology has provided an innovative solution for inspecting small diameter sewer pipes where CCTV inspections methods are not a viable solution. 

What is it?

Laser scan technology uses a centrally placed rotating laser to create a digital 360-degree image of the pipe interior, providing accurate and detailed information about the structure and condition of the pipe. This method is suitable for pipes with diameters as small as 2 inches, making it an ideal solution for inspecting small diameter sewer pipes. Small diameter sewer pipes make up much of the network (https://www.vapar.co/sewer-pipe-material/). 

How it works ?

The laser scan technology works by emitting a laser beam that rotates within the pipe. As the laser rotates, it captures millions of data points that are used to create a 3D image of the pipe’s interior. The resulting image is highly detailed and provides engineers with information on the pipe’s size, shape, and any defects or obstructions. 

Benefits of laser scan technology

One of the significant benefits of using laser scan technology for small diameter sewer pipes is the non-invasive nature of the inspection. Traditional inspection methods often involve excavating the area around the pipe to access it. However, laser scanning can be performed with minimal disruption to the surrounding area, reducing the impact on communities and businesses. 

Additionally, laser scan technology provides a more comprehensive view of the pipe’s interior compared to traditional methods. The highly detailed 3D images generated by laser scanning can identify defects and obstructions that may not be visible through CCTV inspection. 

In general, in the construction industry, laser scanning has been shown to reduce construction time by up to 50%, according to a report by Trimble. This is due to the highly accurate and detailed information provided by laser scanning, which allows for better planning and coordination during the construction process. 

Challenges of laser scan technology

Despite its benefits, laser scan technology for small diameter sewer pipes still faces challenges. The technology is expensive and requires specialized equipment and trained personnel to operate. The accuracy of the scan is also dependent on factors such as the condition of the pipe and the presence of debris, which can affect the quality of the resulting image. Additionally, interpretation of the data requires skilled engineers, and the high-resolution data generated by the laser scans can lead to large data files that require significant storage and processing power. 

Advancement in the technology

Laser scanning technology is an exciting space and has made significant advancements in recent years, particularly in the inspection and assessment of sewer pipes. One of the key benefits of laser scanning is that it is a non-destructive testing method, meaning it does not require physical alterations to the pipe or surrounding environment. Additionally, portable devices have been developed, enabling inspections of previously inaccessible areas.

Automated analysis using machine learning and artificial intelligence is another benefit, which has enabled the development of software that can identify and classify defects. Finally, real-time data capture provides immediate analysis and decision-making, resulting in more accurate and efficient pipe inspections and maintenance practices. 

Conclusion

In conclusion, laser scan technology offers an innovative solution for inspecting small diameter sewer pipes. With its non-invasive nature and highly detailed 3D images, it provides engineers with accurate and comprehensive information on the condition of the pipes. This technology has the potential to revolutionize the way we inspect and maintain small diameter sewer pipes. 

About the Author

Amanda Siqueira is an Australian civil and environmental engineer who has worked in design, construction and remediation of drainage and sewer pipes in Australia, New Zealand and the UK. She has passion for all things pipes and is also one of the Co-founders of VAPAR.

 

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sewer inspection software featured image

Sewer Inspection Software 

Sewer Inspection Software

Why is asset condition important?

One of the fundamental tasks of an asset manager is knowledge of asset condition. Whether this is buildings, bridges, plant, or pipes; collecting accurate information on the condition of the asset base is essential in understanding risk, developing budgets, and preparing asset maintenance and repair programs. 

 For those that manage wastewater and stormwater pipe networks, there is an additional challenge with the assets requiring inspection usually being located underground.  

What is the role of inspection software for sewer and stormwater pipes?

With cities and utilities managing vast pipe networks, there is a necessity for an efficient way to collect data and make decisions based on this information. The typical requirements of sewer inspection software are: 

  • Record defects and pipe features to inform pipe condition and details 
  • Apply consistent scoring of defects based on regional coding systems 
  • Provide a method to grade pipes to determine priority for maintenance and repair work that is required 
  • Generate informative reports to share inspection details with relevant stakeholders 
  • Deliver a structure for further data analysis, and information transfer to asset management software and geographical information systems 
VAPAR sewer inspection software

Figure 1 – Current generation of pipe inspection software

Regional differences between inspection codes

Different countries and regions around the globe have developed pipeline inspection codes in slightly different ways. The goal of each of these codes is typically the same; to provide a uniform standard for a region to apply a consistent approach to the inspection of pipes. 

Below is a list of some of the most common regions and codes that are used around the world. 

North America 

Code: Pipeline Assessment & Certification Program (PACP) Reference Manual 

Issuer: National Association of Sewer Service Companies (NASSCO) 

 United Kingdom 

Code: Manual of Sewer Condition Classification (MSCC)  

Issuer: Water Research Centre (WRc) 

 Australia 

Code: WSA 05 – 2020 Conduit Inspection Reporting Code of Australia 

Issuer: Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) 

 New Zealand 

Code: New Zealand Gravity Pipe Inspection Manual 

Issuer: Water New Zealand (with ProjectMax) 

 European Union 

Code: DIN EN 13508-2 Investigation and assessment of drain and sewer systems outside buildings – Part 2: Visual inspection coding system 

Issuer: European Committee for Standardization (CEN) 

 

pipe inspection manual picture

Figure 2– There is a variety of regional coding standards around the world 

How recording inspections has changed over the decades

Clay sewer pipes were first constructed by the Mesopotamians over 6,000 years ago, with modern city sewer construction beginning in the 19th century. Before inspection crawler cameras and computers, these underground pipe networks still required periodic inspection. This was initially a visual inspection that was carried out either by walking or floating through the underground infrastructure. 

Old sewer inspection by canoe

Figure 3 – Pipe inspection by canoe (1908) 

Inspections gradually moved to photography and hand-written logs of defects. The 1950s saw the first development of remote camera deployment into underground pipes. As videography become an option in the 1970s/80s, the opportunity to capture condition information in a video format became accessible to utilities.  

Sewer inspection software evolved as computers became commonplace in businesses. Software provided numerous advantages over written/typed records. Errors reduced, consistency improved and access to information became easier. 

VHS capture of pipe inspection

 

Figure 4 – VHS capture of pipe condition information 

Video capture then evolved from VHS to digital media storage, and as data capture and storage advanced, inspection file size also grew. This presented fresh challenges for organisations as the transfer and storage of substantial amounts of data required careful management to ensure the condition information remained accessible to those who needed access to it.  

The current generation of sewer inspection software is using artificial intelligence to automatically identify defects and automate many of the tasks that are logic based and ideal for computer-assisted decisions. Data storage is increasingly moving into the cloud to provide fast and organised access to the growing amounts of collected data with ease. 

Pipe inspections still require operator controlled (or staged) capture of data in the field, and results processed through artificial intelligence models are combined with human quality assurance. There is excitement in the industry as the next generation of software is being advanced to further improve the tools available to asset managers.  

Watch this space!  

About the Author Mark Lee

Learn more about Sewer Network

VAPAR automates sewer and stormwater pipe condition assessment for councils, utilities and CCTV contractors.  Learn how we help improve the monitoring and maintenance of the underground pipes using AI.