Introduction

Over the last few years we’ve successfully delivered more asset capture and assessment projects than we care to remember! Many of these projects have been to capture and assess stormwater drainage assets (pits and pipes), which are usually owned by your local Council. We think the solution we’ve implemented is efficient, cost-effective, and can be used by just about anyone. Furthermore, it’s been rigorously tested and refined by our field crews on tens of thousands of pits and pipes. Read on to learn more about the system and its benefits.

Drainage Assets

Urban drainage assets are one of the most significant items on a Council’s balance sheet, yet there is often only limited (and inaccurate) information available on the number, condition, and value of these assets. In many cases, the number of assets can be underestimated by 30-40%. Furthermore, Council’s often base their decision making on a multitude of datasets, of wildly varying accuracies, which makes the task of managing drainage assets an impossible one.

These issues have a negative impact on the Council’s financial position, decision making, and ability to respond to events such as flooding. To address these issues ThinkSpatial has worked with Councils to develop an accurate and affordable asset capture system for stormwater drainage assets.

In the Field…

We employ a hybrid approach to asset capture that consists of survey-grade GNSS technology (positional accuracy of ±30mm) in conjunction with consumer-grade mobile devices (to capture asset attributes and photos).

Our approach minimises costs, as a professional surveyor with high-end equipment is only required for a brief period of time. The majority of the work (lifting, attribute collection, etc.) is performed using cheaper resources.

The drainage attributing software, which we developed, operates on a wide range of consumer-grade mobile devices and facilitates the entry of attributes such as pit and pipe sizes, materials, invert levels, condition, comments, and pipe connections. Once collected, attributes are automatically validated (in the field) before being stored in a centralised database. Attribute collection and validation is based on the D-SPEC standard.

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In the Office…

The collected data is processed on a desktop computer, linking pipes not linked in the field, and performing a variety of Quality Assurance procedures to ensure the drainage network is complete, logical, and accurate. Any queries are sent to the field crew to resolve.

The final products delivered to clients are:

  • Points feature layer for pits, with numerous attributes including: type, material, size, depth, condition, photo, and location details such as street and locality.
  • Lines feature layer representing pipes, containing attributes such as: diameter, length, material, upstream and downstream inverts, upstream and downstream pit ids, and location details such as street and locality.
  • Excel spreadsheet of the above attribute tables.

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Real-Time Project Tracking!

Throughout the survey and data collection stages, clients are given access to a project specific webmap to track progress in real-time. This has proven invaluable for demonstrating progress and even locating survey teams should there be community concerns. This is especially important on large-scale projects with staged invoicing and milestones to keep on top of. Clients are also able to download a snapshot of the data for reporting purposes.

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The Benefits…

The benefits derived from engaging ThinkSpatial to perform your Drainage Assessment Surveys include:

  • Accurately determine the number, condition, and capital value of drainage assets.
  • Confidently calculate depreciation, written down value, and remaining useful life of drainage assets.
  • Consistent, authoritative, and up-to-date drainage network dataset.
  • Make informed, evidence-based, decisions about future maintenance programmes.
  • Easily identify problematic “hotspots” in the drainage network.
  • Perform flood studies and/or hydraulic analysis to identify deficiencies in the drainage network.
  • Track project progress in real-time.