What is longer than two soccer fields and weighs more than 19 African elephants? A fatberg that was recently found in east London, that’s what. The fatberg, coined ‘total monster’ by The Guardian, weighs 130 tons and is 820 feet (250 meters) long. Thames Water and Lanes Group, WinCan Web sewer asset management software users, found this massive deposit of fats, oils, grease, wipes and other household waste during a routine inspection in Whitechapel, in London’s East End. Sources say it will take sewer workers three weeks to break up the fatberg and restore the sewer pipe. Once broken up, the waste will be sucked up and taken for disposal at a local recycling plant.
As cloud-based storage becomes more popular municipalities, utilities and contractors must consider the potential benefits cloud-based solutions provide, particularly for sewer inspection data management.
A cross bore occurs when one underground utility line intersects another. Cross bores are particularly dangerous when a gas line intersects a sewer line. This happens during horizontal directional drilling (HDD), a technique for installing a gas line using a remotely piloted drill head. During HDD, installers must rely on city asset maps to avoid existing sewer pipes. Erroneous or incomplete map data can create the potential for a cross bore. When a cross bore occurs, the intersecting gas line can snag debris in sewer effluent, causing a clog. If that clog is forcibly cleared, the gas line may rupture and leak into adjoining buildings, where it presents a serious potential for explosion.
Not only is precise mapping of a municipality’s underground assets important for maintenance and inspection purposes, it can help avoid cross-bores from directional drilling. The challenge is that municipalities can’t count on as-built plans for accurate mapping of underground assets. In the past, municipalities have relied on locators or on digging up pipes to get a visual. Both of these solutions can prove inefficient and sometimes inaccurate. Increasingly, municipalities are deploying geospatial probes, special sensors that are capable of tracking their position in 3D space using a technology called inertial navigation. The data provided by these sensors can be read by WinCan’s 3DGS Scan module to create in real-time a virtual 3D computer model of underground assets.
As UK Water Companies have taken on increasing responsibility for wastewater networks, the need to ensure easy, clear and speedy access to pipeline condition survey data has become ever-more important. This has been very much one of the drivers behind the adoption by Southern Water of the WinCan Web system recently launched by industry-leading CCTV reporting software provider, WinCan.
Southern Water has for some years utilised an alternative document management system for the compilation and storage of its pipeline survey data. The system whilst useful was by current standards somewhat cumbersome and not very user-friendly. With survey data being provided largely on DVD, the method of electronic storage meant that should engineers wish to view a survey, first the data file had to be retrieved and then the whole video had to be watched to find the location of interest as the system could not utilise effectively location selection.
With a long-standing reputation for being conservative, the wastewater industry has sometimes been slow to embrace innovation. There are compelling reasons for that: health protection, security, and compliance concerns often eclipse the benefits of new technologies. Plus, short innovation cycles in technology typically do not match well with an industry that plans in long-term investments.
However, cloud computing is an innovation that is hard to refuse - not least thanks to its inherent cost advantages. IT infrastructure and management are centralized and can be scaled to project size. Plus, the initial investment is relatively small and pays off quickly thanks to saving on infrastructure management and through attractive added value opportunities. Many other industries are utilizing cloud services which enable them to react much more quickly and take corrective action before something becomes a real problem.
Heathrow airport is known the world over as the UK’s premier international airport and also Europe’s busiest international airport. Some 80 airlines fly from Heathrow direct to over 180 destinations worldwide, carrying on average, around 200,000 passengers per day into and out of the UK from its four terminal buildings. To ensure the smooth running of such a massive operation requires some major behind the scenes work, not least of which is the ongoing management and maintenance of the utility services serving the airport.
The airport is served by some 530 km of surface water drainage, the effective operation of which is vital to the continuing workings of the airport’s runways and aprons especially during the worst of weather. There is also a network of some 120 km of foul sewers that also need to be continually maintained to handle the product of so many passengers, aircrew and other airport staff. Across the whole pipeline spectrum, diameters vary from as small as 80 mm up to 1,800 mm diameter.
Situated 80 miles west of Philadelphia, the City of Lebanon, PA has become one of the fastest growing small cities in the United States. The City of Lebanon Authority serves as the water and wastewater authority for Lebanon, PA and surrounding municipalities. The Authority’s seven-member sewer inspection crew manages 90 miles of sanitary sewer lines and use WinCan VX inspection reporting and assessment management software to inspect their sewer lines and plan rehabilitation. Since implementing the software, not only have they realized benefits in terms of planning and efficiency, but they’ve also saved money on inspection and rehabilitation.
The High Speed 1 (HS1) route formally known as the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL), is a 109-kilometer (68-mile) high-speed railway between London and the United Kingdom. The HS1 is used for domestic and international train services as well as transporting freight.