Paper: Implementation of Acoustic Inspection Technology at the City of Augusta, GA

Implementation of Acoustic Inspection Technology at the City of Augusta, GA was written in conjunction with a presentation given at the NASTT 2015 as a collaboration between InfoSense, Inc. and Augusta Utilities Department.

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The City of Augusta, GA manages 1,040 miles of gravity sanitary sewer mains over an area of 280 square miles. In February 2013, they began using the Sewer Line Rapid Assessment Tool (SL-RAT) to help prioritize cleaning operations. They have since added several devices and have worked toward incorporating the technology into their asset management program.

Currently, the SL-RAT is used by 2 person crews to perform acoustic inspections. The average rate of inspection is approximately 7,500 linear feet per day per crew. Inspection areas are planned out based on tax maps, and then the information obtained from the inspection is used to prioritize cleaning operations. Over 12,000 segments (3 million feet) have been inspected since the program started. Results from these acoustic inspections indicate that even a conservative cleaning policy guided by acoustic inspection would result in a substantial reduction in the amount of cleaning that needs to be performed. Based on these results, cleaning for the segments considered can be reduced anywhere from 60% to 85%.

Use of this device as a preliminary screening tool has resulted in substantial cost savings, while simultaneously reducing the amount of sanitary sewer overflows (SSO’s). Financial impact of using the technology, along with an evaluation of SSO reduction will be discussed. In summary, use of this technology has shown that acoustic inspections can be performed quickly and cheaply, and are an effective tool for asset management.


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