Planning Long-Term Rehab of Water Utility Infrastructure Using Autodesk Water Infrastructure

24 October 2022Digital Transformation, Industrial and Plant, Innovyze, Water/WastewaterInfrastructure, water utilities



Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) provides water, sewer and drainage services for about 1.3 million people in King County, Washington. According to SPU, the median age of the utility’s infrastructure to provide those services is over 80 years.

The utility wanted to be proactive in pipe inspections, rather than waiting until a leak or break required emergency response. In an Autodesk customer story, it was explained that SPU wanted to look at the wastewater infrastructure holistically, rather than on a case by case basis when problems arose.

For more on Autodesk Water Infrastructure software tools, see the Applied Software, Graitec Group blog: “Nothing Wishy-Washy About Autodesk Water Infrastructure.”

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Using Autodesk Water Infrastructure, SPU developed a strategy for its rehabilitation work that included:

  • pipe inspection,
  • condition evaluation,
  • risk assessment,
  • identification of rehab work needed,
  • implementation planning,
  • capital investment,
  • construction.
aerial view of city infrastructure with blue digital highlights
Water infrastructure

Since an aging sewer system requires more attention, the utility’s risk strategy would help plan for long-term rehab of that system. This required an innovative asset management software, and SPU used Autodesk Water Infrastructure.

SPU wanted to refine processes to make better use of work crews and contractors and deploy them efficiently. When it initiated its asset strategy project, SPU had inspected about 46% of its water and wastewater infrastructure system. Over the next four years that increased to 84%, and by early 2022 the utility was on track to have 90% of its inspections completed.

Seattle skyline with red and gold sunset colors in background, freeway in foreground
Seattle, WA; image: Shutterstock

For ultimate success, SPU took the following five steps using Autodesk Water Infrastructure asset management technology:

  1. Develop a deliberate assessment strategy.
  2. Improve understanding of system risk.
  3. Forecast future condition and investment.
  4. Secure funding and resources.
  5. Establish a long-term rehab schedule.

After step 5 was accomplished, the utility’s goal was to have a plan for system rehab for up to 40 years into the future. The rehab schedule balanced risk, equity and cost.

This effort also required SPU to update its risk algorithm to define likelihood of failure (LoF) and consequence of failure (CoF). The resulting risk matrix helped the utility define the best timeframes for rehab of the system’s assets. This allowed SPU to set risk-based priorities for repair and replacement of infrastructure, including scheduling work crews.

With its risk assessment forecasted into the future, capital improvement planning and budgeting became easier for SPU.

With Autodesk Water Infrastructure Info360 Asset, utilities and municipalities can work centrally in the cloud to: 

  • Manage inspection data and media.
  • Use information on historical and current conditions to monitor and assess the condition and performance of assets. 
  • Build and use models of LoF and CoF for setting renewal priorities.

The benefits of Info360 Asset to water, sewer and drainage providers include the ability to understand the condition of infrastructure assets, manage inspections in a cloud environment, determine business risk based on the condition of assets, and develop the right plan of action for asset rehab plans.

If you are interested in learning more about Autodesk Water Infrastructure, contact Applied Software, Graitec Group today and talk to an industry expert.



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