Pipeline Asset Management Using a GIS Solution

June 29, 2013

Effective asset management requires that utilities allocate scarce resources to high risk sections of their pipeline system while maintaining an acceptable level of risk throughout the system. This asset management approach requires the ability to evaluate criticality, extents of distress, and failure margin of each section of the pipeline system in order to identify pipes with unacceptable risk of failure. A geographic information system (GIS) containing pipeline design and installation data, pressure scenarios, results of condition assessment, and embedded programs for structural evaluation and failure margin analysis contributes to an asset management program by aggregating pipeline data and allowing Utilities to make risk-based decisions. GIS-based tools allow Utilities to continually update the risk of failure of pipes in their system based on the latest condition assessment results and to select the most critical pipes for rehabilitation. Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD) utilizes a GIS database as a part of their asset management program. TRWD has performed electromagnetic inspection of their pipelines using remote field transformer coupling (RFTC) technology for the past fourteen years, and the GIS allows TRWD to update the risk of failure of distressed pipes based on the latest RFTC results. By continually re-analyzing each distressed pipe’s risk of failure, TRWD has been able to repair the pipes at highest risk of failure.

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