Wastewater pipeline leakage is an emerging concern in Europe, especially with regards to the potential effect of leaking effluent on groundwater contamination and the effects infiltration has on the management of sewer reticulation systems. This paper describes efforts by Australia, in association with several European partners, towards the development of decision support tools to prioritize proactive rehabilitation of wastewater pipe networks to account for leakage. In the fundamental models for the decision support system, leakage is viewed as a function of pipeline system deterioration. The models rely on soil type identification across the service area to determine the aggressiveness of the pipe environment and for division of the area into zones based on pipe properties and operational conditions. By understanding the interaction between pipe materials, operating conditions, and the pipe environment in the mechanisms leading to pipe deterioration, the models allow the prediction of leakage rates in different zones across a network. The decision support system utilizes these models to predict the condition of pipes in individual zones, and to optimize the utilization of rehabilitation resources by targeting the areas with the highest leakage rates.

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