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Australia’s International Water Conference and Exhibition, ozwater’14, was held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre from 29 April – 1 May 2014. This event was organised and presented by the Australian Water Association as its annual conference.

Members of the Advanced Condition Assessment and Pipe Failure Prediction Project team conducted a workshop at ozwater’14 to outline key findings of the Project on failure prediction and management of large diameter water mains. Registered attendees included asset managers and analysts from water utilities, technology providers, representatives from regulators and government, and researchers.

After a short introduction from Project Manager Philip Stevens, the Industry Representative for the Project, Dammika Vitanage of Sydney Water, provided an overview of the Project. The Chief Investigator, Professor Jayantha Kodikara of Monash University then reported progress on Activity 1 under the headings:

  • Failure data
  • External and internal factors
  • Material behaviour
  • Prediction of pipe stress state and remaining life
  • Smart pipe monitoring

Associate Professor Jaime Valls Miro from UTS outlined progress on Activity 2 including:

  • Work conducted on the Sydney Water test bed to gain a better understanding of condition assessment techniques of technology providers
  • Exhumation of reference pipe sections for forensic investigation
  • Development of models through machine learning to predict remaining wall thickness including uncertainty
  • Provision of software modules to technology providers for initial evaluation in their own condition assessments

Dr Robert Petersen from the University of Newcastle presented results for Activity 3 on developing models for the prediction of in-ground corrosion of cast iron and unprotected steel pipes. These  models are to be used as input to structural failure models of Activity 1 in order  to determine pipeline remaining life.  Results include:

  • Building of a simple model for long-term corrosion which can then be calibrated
  • Performance of an initial calibration on data from Hunter Water field trials.

Professor Kodikara then outlined the plan for Activity 4 which is concerned with improving confidence in critical pipe failure prediction.

In the final segment of the program attendees were able to engage with the presenters about their own issues for water pipe infrastructure management.

Author: Derek