Reconstructing Water Infrastructure with Technology

Underground infrastructure maintenance is a huge expense for local governments. Manually inspecting pump stations and pipeline networks is rigorous. Networks of water mains and pipes in any one city are far too vast to analyze completely, but the good news is technology can help.

This comes at a good time too, as accountability for water losses is increasing and government officials have taken water loss more seriously. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers Infrastructure Report Card, there are an estimated 240,000 water main breaks every year.

To address this, electronic devices and smart systems are increasingly being built and connected to pipes and pump fixtures for a better understanding of water infrastructure. The Internet of Things (IoT) can offer water infrastructure new solutions.

In some public utility systems, leakage is such a serious problem that most of the water is not accounted for. Installing sensor devices of varying technology connected to a cloud can help workers know where the problem areas are located.

Water quality monitoring stations make it possible to keep an eye on residual chorine, pH, and temperature in real-time, which is important for maintaining water quality as a whole. An integration of existing databases can facilitate collaboration between utilities and a maximized use of gathered information. Remote water quality sensory devices are picking up steam in the water industry.

There are also ongoing advances in the material sciences. Parking lots and pavement can now be built to infiltrate water directly through the ground, instead of shunting rain straight into the sewers for expensive stormwater treatment.

These innovations are just the start of ways to improve the water infrastructure in the country and bring it into the future.

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