Technology Innovation for Sewer Condition Assessment – Long-distance Information-system

TISCALI project aims at utilizing, integrating, and further development of relatively low-cost, off the shelf, techniques to arrive at an objective detection and quantification of defects in sewers and to determine the constructive strength and stability of sewers. Pivotal to the success of this research is the integration of the knowledge fields and existing infrastructure from the three faculties of University of Twente, namely, EWI, CTW, and ITC and industrial partners. The anticipated approach explores and integrates remote sensing techniques to identify weak spots on areal and street level and in-situ sewage inspection carts to sense local conditions on pipe level.

Problem statement

A large challenge in the urbanizing world of the 21st century is the proper maintenance and rehabilitation of the underground utilities such as gas/water pipelines, electricity/telecommunication/ fiber optic cables and sewage systems. Lack of accurate and sufficient information about this vast multi-layer underground network has made localizing and assessing the condition of each utility difficult.

Sewage system maintenance has shown to have the highest service interruption, environmental damage, cost, and pipeline collapse among the underground urban assets. The traditional approach towards maintenance of sewage systems is in a reactive manner by trying to have a direct access to the leaking or collapsing section of the pipeline. This requires digging the ground and it’s often erroneous; a slight mistake in locating the pipeline causes damages to other utilities and imposes excavating other locations until the source of problem is found.

Although technologies have been developed for pro/re-active sewer system assessment, they are often very costly and they demand highly skilled human operators who know how to use the devices and how to interpret the results; even so, full confidence in accuracy of the results and development of a generalized solution for locating and assessing sewage systems is still to be achieved.

Role of RaM in the project

In collaboration with Department of Construction Management and Engineering, RaM is responsible for the Assessing Sewer Condition (ASC) sub-project. The goal is (a) To quantify the sewer condition locally by means of an in-pipe robotic inspection, and (b) To build a smart subsurface information system, or toolkit, that supports objective sewer condition assessment.  

Project website: https://www.utwente.nl/en/tiscali/


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