Need: South West Water had funding to invest in the maintenance of communication pipes but no robust and auditable method for determining where to invest.
Challenge: B&V needed to find a balance between delivering a robust and auditable method to the client, whilst also meeting the challenging project budget. This required B&V to communicate closely with the client regarding their aims and objectives, to ensure that we delivered an appropriate solution.
Solution: B&V used key experience of working with clean water network data and performance analysis of assets to review the communication pipes company-wide. Pipe characteristics and environmental data were analysed and used as risk criteria which, together with work order data, were used to produce failure rates for all communication pipes. These failure rates were then used to create cohorts, or groups of pipes, which were performing in a similar way. A GIS hot-spot analysis was then performed to spatially identify locations with a cluster of high risk pipes These locations were grouped into sensible packages of work and prioritised into the final schedule of work. The method provides SWW with an auditable, transparent method, such that the reasons for investing in specific locations can be easily provided.
Benefits: Being able to prove why certain mains require maintenance is key in building a successful business case and the work that BV undertook provided a clear path for where SWW should invest. As a by-product of the analysis, B&V undertook a data gap review of all data used on the project and performed a number of tasks to infill missing data. In particular, South West Water did not have a complete communication pipe dataset and GIS was used to create a spatial dataset to represent the communication pipes using address points, existing communication pipe data and distribution main data.