Water utilities and councils typically inspect only some of their sanitary sewer assets yearly; it would be costly and may take years to inspect all assets.
The high cost of inspections
Depending on the size of their sewer network, utilities may inspect from 1-10% of their wastewater systems annually. Assuming inspecting an average of 5% of the sewer network, using each country’s total network length, and based on an average price of USD 2/ft, AUD 8/m, and GBP 6/m, utilities in the USA, Australia, and the United Kingdom spend an annual US$ 422.4 million, AU$ 42.8 million, £104.1 million, respectively.
These numbers mean that it costs utilities too much to not maximize the value of inspections. It also means utilities need to prioritize which assets to inspect as there is typically not enough budget and time to inspect 100% of their sewer network.
Increase the return on your CCTV inspection investment
Before being able to maximize the use of inspections, asset managers need to efficiently find the right inspections, historical and latest ones with the coded defects and the related media files. With so much inspection data, it is not uncommon for utility teams to use them once and forget about them, or manage them in silos from their asset system – or in the worst-case scenario, lose them altogether.
Best practices are for your asset management application to associate them to the correct asset and use a thematic map of assets. It leads to efficient location of assets and management of inspections.
Once you can quickly locate your inspections, Autodesk’s asset management solution can maximize the return on your CCTV investment. Inspections usually help asset managers understand asset condition and performance issues by scoring asset defects following a local inspection standard, such as the PACP and MACP (NASSCO’s Pipe and Manhole Assessment Certification Programs) in the US or the MSCC (Manual of Sewer Condition Classification) inspection standard in the UK. Defect scoring helps inform asset owners about a pipe’s structural and maintenance or service condition grades. The asset condition can be used in further analysis to help prioritize asset intervention.
From asset inspections, you can also capture and update asset details, such as asset material, size, or depth, in your asset registry or in your GIS or hydraulic model by integration. The benefit for GIS professionals and hydraulic modelers is to keep their GIS and hydraulic models up to date with what is observed and recorded in the field.
Prioritising asset intervention
The asset condition can be used to partly determine business risk exposure and individual asset risk, with the ultimate motive to prioritize fixing and renewing assets before any economic or environmental impact or disruption to the public occurs.
The asset condition scoring is used to generate grades and indexes that can determine a pipe structural and maintenance condition grade. The asset grades can “feed” the likelihood of failure models, which, combined with the consequence of failure models, determine risk.
Once business risk exposure is determined, it can be combined with action cost, asset condition, and inspection history to prescribe specific asset actions.
We have seen that from asset inspections and condition to risk analysis and asset intervention planning, you can inform and conduct a specific operation and maintenance or capital improvement action to address an asset problem. Or you can keep monitoring some assets if it makes more sense.
There is more than one way to use your inspections. Assessing condition is the most evident use. But you can extend your inspection value to determine business risk exposure and derive effective asset actions.
Download our e-book
To learn more about how to achieve a proactive asset management approach that leverages your inspections, download our e-book “Maximizing the value of inspections to improve critical assets” or request to be contacted.