CETT, Canadian Universities and Aegion Launch Water Main Condition Assessment and Rehabilitation Survey

Management of aging water transmission and distribution systems is increasingly challenging for utilities across North America. As water pipelines approach the end of their service life, there are increased chances of adverse events such as water main breaks and sinkholes, as well as deterioration in overall water quality.

As for all buried infrastructure, there is limited data available when it comes to direct knowledge of the state of underground water pipes, and assessment is even more difficult in the case of pressurized pipes. Indirect measures such as break rates can give some indication of the health of a given system (i.e. across a municipality); however, often whatever information does exist is not readily accessible across jurisdictions. Yet, pooled information about the overall state of water systems can give important insights into effective management strategies.

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The Consortium for Engineered Trenchless Technologies (CETT) and its partners – including the University of Alberta, University of Waterloo, Aegion, and Benjamin Media Inc. – have designed a survey to fill these knowledge gaps.

This survey forms part of an overall research project entitled “Advancing Water Main Renovation and Design” focused on investigating methods to renew aging and failing water main infrastructure quickly and effectively. The primary objective of this survey is to gain an overall perspective on the current condition of water transmission and distribution systems across North America. A secondary objective is to advance knowledge related to the application of trenchless rehabilitation methods to water mains.

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While the CETT research team and collaborators have put their resources into developing, testing, discussing and refining the survey, they also need input from the industry at large.

The survey opens Jan. 26, and will stay open until March 10, 2021. It can be accessed at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/9ZP623P.

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Researchers would greatly appreciate 30 minutes of your time to answer the survey questions. As an incentive, all eligible participants will be entered to win an Apple Watch Series 6. Be sure to include your contact information in the survey.

By taking part in the survey, respondents are increasing the collective knowledge of the state of water main transmission and distribution infrastructure across North America and beyond, which is the first step to more effective management and decision-making around these critical assets. This in turn will help ensure the long-term integrity of water systems in communities across North America and worldwide.

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