PCA (Pipeline Condition Assessment) Group began, as a business unit within Tubemakers Water, in 1996 to provide expert consultancy services to Australian Water Industry. Initially, the group extensively utilised intelligent pig technology from Canada, and successfully assessed approximately 25km of cast and ductile iron water and sewer mains. Later the group expanded its technology offerings, based on experience prior to the formation of the group.
Since then the group has specialised in the condition assessment of pressurised water and wastewater mains, with a particular emphasis on buried ferrous metal mains, and has operated as a separate profit centre within major international businesses including Tyco Flow Control and Earth Tech Engineering. Today it is a Division of ADE Consulting Group Pty Ltd.
PCA’s experience in this field has remained unmatched by any other service provider in Australia and has conducted genuine condition assessment (not leak detection on reticulation pipes) on thousands of kilometres of water mains in Australia and overseas. It is unique in operating as both a Consultant and Contractor.
Since its formation, PCA has trialed a number of techniques for assessing the condition of water mains and has during that time continued to develop and refine its approach. PCA has arguably grown be one of the leading world experts in the condition assessment of pressurised water mains.
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Probability of failure
Consequences of failure
Level of risk
Cost of replacement
By consideration of the cost of replacement and level of acceptable risk (probability of failure), a CAPEX program can be determined for replacement/rehabilitation of an existing main.
Example of CAPEX output for System of pipelines
The economic lifetime of any pipe system can be optimised by targeting the areas of critical mains most likely to fail and prioritising their proposed rehabilitation or replacement cost. The result is to reduce expenditure on mains failure risk while maintaining customer supply. Thus, a tool for quantifying risk and replacement can be given to the owner of the asset to
match risk against budget.
Savings in capital expenditure can be channelled into an increased level of pipeline monitoring which can fine tune the inputs into the above model. Comprehensive telemetry linked to integrated asset management systems are one example of this, expert diagnosis of failure sites and mechanisms is another. An increased understanding of acquired data leads to accuracy in
assigning failures to known strata which can effectively target resources to replace and rehabilitate appropriate lengths of pipe. Compiling a reliable database of overall inputs can facilitate future pipeline assessment strategies.