The first step in the decision making process for proactive sewer rehabilitation is to assess the condition of conduits. In a risk-based decision context the set of sewers to be inspected first should be identified based on the trade-off between the risk of failures and the cost of inspections. In this paper the most effective inspection works are obtained by solving a multi-objective optimization problem where the total cost of the survey programme and the expected cost of emergency repairs subsequent to blockages and collapses are considered simultaneously. A multi-objective genetic algorithm (MOGA) is used to identify a set of Pareto-optimal inspection programmes. Regardless of the proven effectiveness of the genetic-algorithm approach, the scrutiny of MOGA-based inspection strategies shows that they can differ significantly from each other, even when having comparable costs. A post-processing of MOGA solutions is proposed herein, which allows priority to be assigned to each survey intervention. Results are of practical relevance for decision makers, as they represent the most effective sequence of inspection works to be carried out based on the available funds. The proposed approach is demonstrated on a real large sewer system in the UK.

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