4 Steps to Proactive Pipeline Management

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act offers an unprecedented opportunity to modernize the nation’s water infrastructure. Condition assessment can help utilities prioritize where to spend capital funds and facilitate a shift from reactive to proactive pipeline management.

Most critical pipelines in the ground today are still in good condition. Only a small fraction of inspected pipes shows signs of deterioration, and even fewer need immediate repair or replacement. With advanced technology and insights, utilities can determine where to focus capital resources to maintain reliable infrastructure.

See how the data-driven approach outlined below could help you successfully mitigate risk and increase confidence in the overall operation of your pipelines and valves.

1. System planning and risk analysis

Risk helps guide which pipelines to inspect and what assessment methods to use. Utilities can manage many pipelines safely using lower resolution techniques. However, a more detailed assessment of pipe integrity is warranted where the social, environmental, and economic impacts of a failure are very high.

2. Pipeline and valve inspection

A pipeline health check identifies red flags and helps justify further action. Transient pressure monitoring, leak and gas pocket detection, and above-ground surveys are cost-effective screening options. For more confident decision making, utilities can collect comprehensive pipe wall condition data. Xylem offers a suite of inspection and monitoring technologies to meet your operational and data resolution needs.

When a pipeline is worth inspecting, it’s valves are also worth assessing. A proactive valve assessment program ensures each critical valve is locatable, accessible, and operable — saving valuable time during an emergency. Our experienced crews can rehabilitate most valves during regular maintenance.

3. Actionable insights

Inspection data can restore confidence in the safe operation of your pipeline assets. For pipes with deterioration, engineering analysis helps utilities decide what action is warranted. It informs whether pipes need to be replaced immediately or if they can be prioritized for future repair or reinspection.

Xylem can also forecast the future condition of each pipe by combining your pipeline data with our unmatched inspection database. Forecasting provides reliable, actionable information about when intervention will be justified.

4. Smart planning

Data and insights gathered through the previous steps will give you a much clearer picture of asset condition and risk. This empowers pipeline owners to prevent today’s problems with precise, planned repairs. Utilities can plan for tomorrow with predictive analytics that guide smart capital and operations planning and defensible asset prioritization decisions. This long-range view helps utilities maximize the life of their pipelines and focus resources in the right place, at the right time.

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By taking a data-driven approach to pipeline management, utilities can make the most of every dollar spent on their buried infrastructure.

Learn more here.

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