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Printer Friendly VersionSelected Information - Proposed Research

CP418  Better Service Pipe Information Business Planning
Project Appreciation and Objectives

Service pipe data held by Water Utilities are generally incomplete and of poor quality. Details such as exact location, construction material, diameter and age of these assets are not usually available. There are also concerns over service pipe ownership and whether Utilities will be expected to adopt supply pipes and maintain them in the future. This places Water Utilities at an immediate disadvantage in day-to-day operations and in understanding the impact of any changes to the current ownership / responsibility model.

Two issues that present immediate concern are the:

  • Requirement to reduce the maximum allowable concentration (PCV) of lead in drinking water at consumers taps from 25 µg/l to 10 µg/l by 25 December 2013. This will be achieved by water treatment and a targeted lead pipe replacement programme.
  • Need to reduce leakage from water supply pipes - considered to be one of the last areas where a significant reduction in leakage could still be made.

This project will improve the data gathering process for service pipe interventions, particularly lead pipe replacement and supply pipe leakage strategies, to support cost-effective network management. Existing working practices will be analysed to identify opportunities for improving data capture. Technological solutions for recording data in the field will be trialled in order to identify the most appropriate solutions for filling the data gaps.

Benefits to Clients

  • Improved data to support lead service pipe replacement and supply pipe leakage reduction programmes.
  • Identification of quick wins for implementing small changes to existing business processes.
  • Technology assessment to assist in developing business cases for future data capture projects.

Work Programme

  1. Determine information requirements for effectively managing service pipes.
  2. Review current working practices and identify improved processes for more effective collation of service pipe records.
  3. Examine possible technical options for more effective service pipe information gathering.
  4. In collaboration with participants, conduct proof of concept trials to identify effective options for service pipe information gathering.

Project Outputs

  • A guide based on good practice for the collection and management of service pipe data
  • For each company a report identifying specific opportunities for improvement.

Related WRc Work

  • Targeting Rehabilitation of Service Pipes and Reducing Customer Leakage, CP184, 2005.
  • Lead service pipe survey, (client confidential), 2009.
  • A Guide to Water Service pipes (3rd Ed), 2005.
  • Projects on lead pipe surveys and replacement programmes, various clients, 2003 - 2009.
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