In the focus group, Pipelines/Grids, we are working to define the biggest and most current needs of those who own and operate water, sewage and district heating networks. We are looking at issues such as status assessment, maintenance, reinvestments and new investments for grids.

For the water, sewage and district heating companies the most current needs are status assessment, maintenance and reinvestments to improve the grids. The pipelines are aging and it is important to assess their condition in order to plan for reinvestment and maintenance. It costs a lot to dig up the pipes, and to renew everything is economically impossible, which is why it has to be a matter of priority – investing the money where it makes the greatest impact.

In this group, we are looking primarily at technologies that can be developed to scan the lines and provide information on pipe thickness, corrosion status and cracking. This is a challenge, as the pipes are in use all the time. Digging them up and scanning them from within can lead to interruptions in the supply of water and heat. Consequently, investigation methods that can be employed while the pipes are still in operation are particularly interesting to develop.


Project – status assessment, maintenance and reinvestments to improve grids
Within Urban Magma, Sydvatten and Kraftringen initiated a project in 2013 to test new technology for the assessment of pipe materials, to improve documentation of damage and management of data, and to implement big data and sensor technology. The goal was to facilitate the work of status assessment so that it will be possible to distinguish inferior pipes from the better ones, when the grid is to be renewed.

To identify promising technology, we conducted a literature review of existing technology. Methods of interest to us are such that can obtain information about the pipe material and find weaknesses in the pipes without the need to dig them up or interrupt the operation. Through this study we now have an overview of what is available today and have gained knowledge about the strengths and weaknesses of the various methods and where there is potential for development.  Read the report Våra värdefulla ledningsnät (Our valuable grids) – in Swedish.

The project was completed 2015.

Pipe staus project
One result of the work within Urban Magma and the focus group Pipelines/Grids is the project “Pipe status” to develop new methods for assessing wastewater and district heating network renovation needs. The project is co-financed by Vinnova and is not included in Urban Magma, but involves both Urban Magma and other partners from water-, sewage- and district heating companies, technology suppliers and universities.

Read more about the Pipe status project at Sweden Water Research webbpage.

We are looking for

We are keen to have contact with other water, sewage and district heating companies that want to move forward in their pipeline renewal work. We are also interested in technology companies that are working on different methods of analysing pipe material contacting us, especially those with methods that do not require excavating the pipes or interrupting supply. Technology at an experimental level, needing refinement, is also of interest to us.

Photo caption from left, Liisa Fransson, Kraftringen, Maria Rindelöv, Sydvatten och Kenneth M Persson, Sydvatten.