Framework to Assess and Visualize the Likelihood of Sewer System Failure

To overcome accidental breakages and sewer collapses due to the aging of sewer systems, quantitative approaches are used to identify the assets with the highest likelihood of failure. Because of the lack of availability of extensive datasets in practice for most authorities, qualitative models can be sufficient to strategically plan renovation.

This paper presents a qualitative method to identify weak spots within a sewer system and represent the results in a visual manner. It combines multiple information and influence factors to create heat maps of sewer failure to improve the effectiveness of sewer pipe replacement. The method was applied to a sewer system located in Hoboken (NJ, USA) upon calibration with local expert knowledge and validated with Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) images. The model agrees well with the data, opening the possibility to be applied to other sewer systems for similar studies.

Keywords: aging infrastructure; data visualization; decision making; sewer asset management.

Authors: M.J.W. Bach & N.B. Hoving