Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission Begins Pipe Condition Assessment

June 12, 2013
Echologics is assessing the condition of 35 miles of cast iron distribution mains that are currently scheduled to be replaced starting July 2014

Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) has adopted Echologics' acoustic pipe condition assessment service to assess the condition of selected water distribution mains.

A division of Mueller Co., Echologics is a developer and provider of acoustic-based technologies for water loss management, pipe condition assessment and leak detection. The contract with WSSC, which is valued at $850,000, is Echologics' second-largest contract.

WSSC is among the largest water and wastewater utilities in the United States, serving 1.8 million residents in a service area that spans nearly 1,000 square miles.

Echologics is assessing the condition of 35 miles of cast iron distribution mains—ranging from 6 to 14 in. in diameter—that are currently scheduled to be replaced by WSSC starting July 2014. WSSC will use the data provided by Echologics to cost-effectively identify sections of pipe that are in the poorest condition and prioritize their replacement.

WSSC selected Echologics as a result of a pilot survey conducted in March 2012, in which Echologics assessed more than 17,500 ft of distribution mains that were already scheduled for replacement. Echologics found that approximately 70% of the pipes did not need to be replaced, as they still had effective levels of remaining wall thickness or were at or near their original condition. WSSC validated Echologics' findings through extensive third-party testing of excavated samples of the surveyed pipe.

"Efficiently prioritizing capital expenditures and reducing water loss are important goals for many utilities," said Marc Bracken, vice president and general manager for Echologics. "By partnering with Echologics, WSSC can more efficiently achieve these goals and better understand the remaining service life of its water infrastructure assets—without costly excavations or service disruptions."