DC Water’s new smart technology makes the cut in global competition
April 08, 2019
Computer program evaluates sewer pipe conditions to help utilities save money, prioritize repairs
DC Water’s technology team in cooperation with its development partner Wipro has created an innovative solution that will radically change the way it – and other water utilities throughout the nation—both inspect sewer pipes and prioritize repairs and replacements. By saving costs on analysis, utilities are able to spend more on capital improvements.
The software application, called Pipe Sleuth, analyzes video footage captured inside sewer pipes and quickly identifies defects, classifies them and completes the condition assessment for the pipe. The program analyzes hours of footage in minutes and generates a report that identifies the type of defect, its location and its severity. The application allows the user to interactively review the results quickly to ensure accuracy.
If additional review by a person changes the result, the program edits the report and the tool “learns” from the changes identified, improving the accuracy of future scans. The software can detect root intrusion, cracks, breaks, and deformities and can spot debris or deposits that have settled in pipes. It can also identify structural defects such as misaligned joints.
DC Water, through its nonprofit Blue Drop marketing arm, will work with Wipro to make this tool widely available for sale to other utilities around the world.
“This computer application provides valuable data we need to make investment decisions and to provide reliable sewer services,” said DC Water President and CEO David L. Gadis. “It will substantially improve operations and reduce costs.”
“Our teams continue to bring value to our customers and to DC Water with their creativity, effort and teamwork,” commented Thomas Kuczynski, Vice President, Information Technology. “This is one more example of how our talented staff are making significant contributions to the water sector.”
DC Water’s smart technology is a finalist in the Global Water Awards. Winners will be announced April 9 at the annual Global Water Summit in London. DC Water’s program is up against three noteworthy entries, including Cape Town, South Africa’s Day Zero Demand Management application. To see the shortlist, and learn about the projects, please visit: https://globalwaterawards.com/2019-2/