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Managing underground assets by accurately mapping depth

Accurately mapping the depth of underground assets is critical for safety, planning and efficiency but has been an industry-wide challenge due to a reliance on records inherited and updated following acquisitions, mergers and network expansion. Furthermore, changes in the field technology used to record depth mean data has not always been available or reliable.

NWG and 1Spatial have designed a new data model using 1Spatial’s inference solution, underpinned by their 1Integrate product, to infer the depth of buried pipes based on known business rules.

It’s estimated that the project will help the water company save over £400,000 over three years, with efficiencies coming from the likes of reduced roadwork delays and less damages to pipework.

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Reaching new depths in Innovation; Driving forward a ground-breaking safety project, despite being in the middle of a global pandemic

“Having this new data in place will mean any planner or field worker can ask “How deep should I expect to find the pipe at this point and how certain are you of the answer?” As a result, NWG can continue to deliver and exceed excellent customer service levels, knowing their teams can work in a safer way while minimising disruption to the water supply.”

Clive Surman-Wells Operational Solutions Manager, Northumbrian Water Group
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Northumbrian saves £8.75 million with digital asset management and mapping

Northumbrian Water (NWL) assumed responsibility for an estimated 13,500 km of private drains and sewers when the law changed to transfer ownership from property owners to local water companies. However, only 5% of the inherited network was mapped.

NWL’s original plan was to manually survey one third of the estate in the current AMP planning period. Learnings from this first period would then be applied to the remaining, unmapped network. However, the project to map one third of the network was estimated to cost £10 million and take five years.

The firm needed a faster, more cost-effective solution.

Case Study

Northumbrian saves £8.75 million with digital asset management and mapping

“We’re really proud of this project. It’s been a great success. We feel that we’re probably further ahead than anybody else in the water industry in accurately positioning our transferred drains and sewers.”

Clive Surman-Wells Operational Solutions Manager, Northumbrian Water
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