The Goldfields Water Supply Scheme stands as a vital pipeline and dam project, responsible for delivering potable water from Mundaring Weir in Perth to communities in Western Australia’s Eastern Goldfields, including Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie. Stretching over 566 kilometers, this infrastructure plays a pivotal role in ensuring a reliable water supply.
Regular visual inspections of the above-ground sections of the pipeline are a critical necessity. These inspections are aimed at detecting corrosion, damage, leaks, and the intrusion of vegetation or other objects into the pipeline corridor. They serve as a proactive measure to maintain the integrity of this essential water supply infrastructure.
Conducting these inspections traditionally involves on-foot and 4WD vehicle assessments, a process fraught with challenges.
The remote and often harsh climatic and environmental conditions make ground-based inspections hazardous.
Access issues further complicate matters, with some areas of the pipeline circumference remaining unexamined.
RemSense proposed a forward-thinking solution to address these challenges. By incorporating a drone-based survey of the pipeline corridor and the pipeline itself, the client’s requirements could be more effectively met.
The high-resolution imagery from the survey would be geo-tagged, enabling quick and precise identification of points of interest, corrosion, or defects.
This streamlined process would facilitate the issuance of work orders for further visual inspection or necessary rectification.
Several multi-kilometer stretches of the pipeline underwent comprehensive assessments for pipeline defects and corridor integrity. The drone-based platform and high-resolution imagery were pivotal in this endeavor.
The resultant imagery was provided to a third-party inspection team, which successfully identified numerous defects that might have eluded detection through traditional vehicle or on-foot inspections.
The drone-based survey not only delivered a considerable time-saving compared to ground-based methods but also provided a data set that was richer, more detailed, and more comprehensive for inspection evaluation. This approach significantly enhanced the assessment of the pipeline’s integrity, improving its maintenance and operational effectiveness.
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