New project for the inspection of drinking water pipelines during operation

© Gelsenwasser AG

Optical inspection systems are already in widespread use in the wastewater sector. A recently launched DVGW research project is to explore the potential of optical-acoustic systems for drinking water pipelines from October 2021. TZW is using a “watersnake” of the Gullyver company, which will be tested in the practical parts of the project at the participating water supply companies. The practical test, scientific monitoring and systematic evaluation will be led by experts from TZW together with IWW.

For the economic operation of drinking water supply systems, a rehabilitation and renewal oriented to the network condition is of central importance. For this purpose, it is essential to have the most accurate information possible on the condition of the systems. Therefore, water suppliers are looking for methods for the object-specific evaluation of pipes of the drinking water system. There is a particular need for methods that can be used during operation while ensuring compliance with all safety and hygiene regulations. In the wastewater sector, optical inspection is already used extensively to assess the condition of pipelines and fittings. This indicates that optical methods offer added value for the operation of pipeline networks. However, this potential has not yet been exploited in the drinking water sector.

An interesting approach for the drinking water sector is the WaterSnake system of the German company Gullyver. This is an optical-acoustic inspection system that can be used to inspect pipe lengths of up to 2,500 m without having to empty the pipe. Due to the high relevance of non-destructive inspection and the positive feedback from the practice workshop, TZW will equip itself with the optical-acoustic system from the company Gullyver in order to investigate the potential of this method for the industry.

In the course of the research project, concrete inspection projects will be carried out at about ten water utilities in order to be able to evaluate the possibilities and limits of an optical-acoustic inspection for practical use. So far, a number of large and medium-sized German water suppliers have already agreed to participate in the project.

The research project "OptInspekt" is funded by the DVGW and supported by water supply companies. The project is scheduled to start in October 2021. Other interested companies are cordially invited to participate. Contact Dr. Andreas Korth to find out more about the opportunities.