Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

UtilNets: a decision support system for underground networks of utilities

UtilNets is a decision-support system (DSS) for rehabilitation planning and optimization of the underground pipe networks of water utilities. The DSS performs reliability-based life predictions of the pipes and determines the consequences of maintenance and neglect over time in order to optimize rehabilitation policy. The prototype of UtilNets was implemented for grey cast-iron water pipes, but can be used for other pipe materials. Since in general no complete information about the state of the pipe network is available, UtilNets has been designed so that is can yield reliable forecasts based on incomplete data. It included the following:
probabilistic models that give a measurement of the likelihood of structural and hydraulic failure of pipe segments over the next several years;
assessment of the effects that pipe condition can exert on water quality;
assessment of both the quantifiable and qualitative consequences of various rehabilitation options and neglect over time;
selection of the optimal rehabilitation policy for each failed pipe segment;
an aggregate structural, hydraulic, water quality and service profile of the network together with an assessment of the required rehabilitation expenditures;
an assessment of network reliability in terms of demand point connectivity and flow adequacy.

The system offers the possibility of doing long-term financial and technical planning for the maintenance of the underground network. It supports the co-ordination of measures in coherent regions. An essential advantage is the possibility to postpone rehabilitations on the basis of structural analysis as long as the concerned pipes are still reliable. The system enables the utility to comply with national and European Union (EU) regulations, which become more and more strict. Apart from financial advantages and a better supply to the consumer, the company can reduce traffic obstructions and other service disruptions by means of new technologies.

Reported by

Computer Technology Institute
Kolokotroni 3
26110 Patras
See on map
Follow us on: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Managed by the EU Publications Office Top