Water Management Week on WCN: Sewer infiltration

Sewer infiltration

Dec 14, 2016 – The latest study from the Centre for Research and Innovation for Groundwater Infiltration into Urban Infrastructure suggests that the issue of groundwater infiltration into sewers is a worldwide problem that can’t be solved immediately.

The Developing a Conceptual Framework for Linking Sewer Condition Assessment and Groundwater Infiltration study was completed in the summer of 2016 and highlights some of the sewerage network’s problems.

Adam Cambridge, technical authority for urban stormwater management at Atkins — one of the Centre’s partners — said: “We’ve completed a month’s worth of literature review around it — not just looking at the work or research that has been completed in the UK but around the world. We found that the UK is not alone in this, everyone around the world is struggling with this problem of groundwater infiltration into sewers and no-one has got the answer when it comes to the degradation of the asset.

“It just emphasises the point that this is not a problem that can be solved immediately — it requires not only a PhD on it but will probably require several over a long period of time.”

40% of the flow in the sewerage network is due to water seeping through the cracked pipes. According to Cambridge, the factors contributing for the deterioration of the sewer may vary depending on its location.

“It’s very difficult to go from a survey to a linear extrapolation across the whole system. We can’t do one survey and expect it to be representative of all the locations, when there are so many other variables affecting the integrity of that sewer.

“Determining sewer factors is not linear – many factors can contribute. It is just not a case of surveying everything, but maybe a case of developing new technology to monitor the performance and deterioration of that asset in time.”

The Centre’s first two years will be focused on groundwater infiltration into the sewerage network.



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