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Condition Assessment Takeaways from ACE19

AWWA ACE19 Top 5 Takeaways

AWWA’s 2019 Annual Conference and Expo did not disappoint for those of us interested in condition assessment and rehabilitation. I went home feeling energized and proud to be part of the water sector in these exciting times. What did ACE19 make you realize?

Here are my top five takeaways: 

1.  Continuous Growth of Condition Assessment 

Condition assessment continues to grow in the water industry. The value of condition assessment of pipelines is being recognized by the water sector as the number of people and technology firms focused on the topic area continue to grow. While visiting the exhibit hall, there were so many new or growing firms focused on condition assessment, it was not practical to visit all the firms on a single day. Great news for water utilities.

2.  New Condition Assessment Technologies

There are several new condition assessment technologies on the market. All assessment technologies have unique capabilities, but also limitations that are important to understand. By combining different technologies on a condition assessment project, technology limitations can be addressed and a more comprehensive understanding of a pipeline attained.

3.  M77 Manual Released

The much needed AWWA M77 Manual is now available. With all the technologies and assessment methodologies available to water utilities, this manual provides an objective source of information on condition assessment methodologies for water mains. Congrats to our own Dan Ellison who was the chair of the committee that wrote the manual. Our other contributors were Mersedeh Akhoondan, Jeff Giddings and Dave Spencer, who were chapter leaders or major contributors. My colleagues are excited to share this tool with utilities. 

4.  Asset Management x Condition Assessment

The intersection of asset management and condition assessment continues to develop and is a great area of collaboration. Condition assessment and asset management have a symbiotic relationship. Asset management risk technique helps determine the “right” approach to assess pipelines; and condition assessment provides the data needed to make the “right” pipeline management, operating and capital decision. This area continues to evolve with several new firms providing improved analytical capabilities.

5.  We Expand Pipeline and Condition Assessment Expertise

We have unique strengths in the topic area — our staff presented at two sold-out workshops and presented throughout the week at ACE19. We have expanded its pipeline and condition assessment practice in the last year in both size and expertise. We’ve established national leadership by appointing Susan Donnally, Jeff Giddings and Luis Leon in our east, central and west regions, respectively. Our condition assessment experts have expertise in pressure pipelines, gravity pipelines, corrosion control and facilities assessment.  

Director, Condition Assessment and Rehabilitation
Insight Topic