Mueller Water Products
Located in Southern California, Fountain Valley has endured its fair share of droughts and consequently, water conservation is at the heart of the city’s operations. In 2017, the city contracted the Echologics team to help roll out a five-year comprehensive condition assessment program.
The first four phases of the program tested approximately 43.4 miles of cement mortar-lined and coated steel, and asbestos cement pipes. The team completed phase five with 10.7 miles of 6 to 10 inch-diameter asbestos cement distribution mains within residential neighborhoods.
Using ePulse condition assessment technology, Echologics field technicians tested 123 pipe segments during phase five to determine the average remaining structural wall thickness. In 6% of the segments that were in good condition, there was less than a 10% loss in original average wall thickness. Most pipes were in moderate condition, with a 10 to 30% loss in original average wall thickness. 24% were in poor condition with over 30% loss in original average wall thickness.
Once the team determines the wall thickness of the remaining pipe, they will use another Echologics technology, EchoLife, to determine the remaining life of service. By using evidence-based condition assessment data, the city is taking a proactive approach to asset management, which can extend the lives of water mains by distinguishing those that are old from those that are truly impaired.
Fountain Valley plans to move forward with at least two more phases of the assessment to get a holistic view of their system health and identify areas for future improvements.