Sewage systems are crucial for reducing the risks of waterborne diseases and avoiding the flooding of cities. Within these systems, a reliable inspection tool that could efficiently manage the cleaning process to meet real-time needs would be helpful.
The PIPEGUARD project developed such a system. It consists of an ultrasonic inspection device that detects the degree of pollution and damage, and uses this information to adjust cleaning through algorithms. The recorded data also provides a reliable cleaning audit trail.
Initially, research on ultrasonic sensors and ultrasonic modules was conducted, resulting in the selection of an inertial sensor system. The sensor had to be able to send data to a separate control unit.
To this end, PIPEGUARD worked on a configuration that included the use of video cameras and a distance meter. The aim was to read the sensor’s data, collect them and make them available in real time to the control computer.
A software programme was also written to synchronise communications, request data, add timestamps and log collected data into a file. Additional software to store the camera and distance meter signals was created as well.
The test system was inserted into a pipe and was able to successfully collect the required data. As such, the project achieved its goal of creating a multipurpose, all-in-one system for cleaning and inspecting sewage pipes. Further efforts will focus on miniaturising and optimising the system and user interface.
The on-demand PIPEGUARD product is expected to cut costs for cities. In fact, a saving of 35 % may be achieved in cleaning costs due to reduced fresh water usage.
Filed Under: Infrastructure