Coding Water Efficiency

Paper ID: 
Floods, droughts and water scarcity
Published under CEST2023
Proceedings ISBN:
Proceedings ISSN: 2944-9820
McBrien R., (Corresponding) Tijani A.
Many Engineering projects involve the authoring of repetitive documentation. On one key project that aimed to track clean water leakage from pipelines across a major city, this was the case. This project involved constructing chambers around clean water mains that enabled a tracking device to be inserted into the main. The tracking device travelled with the water flow along the main and identified any leaks in the main, enabling the leak to be fixed and a reduction in clean water loss. To enable tracking of the entire water network across the city, hundreds of these chambers are required. The tracking device gets stuck on tight bends, at junctions in the mains, or when flows are insufficient, increasing the number of chambers required. Therefore constructing these chambers involves a lot of repetitive work, assessing the impact of repetitive hazards, and developing repetitive Pre-Construction documents. The development of an process of automation has led to the efficient creation of construction documentation with a lower opportunity for human error. For the designer on this project, research is required for each site to identify the likely hazards and construction issues associated with building a chamber. This involves checking underground service maps for services that may obstruct the chamber installation, using google street view for finding above ground hazards like trees and streetlights, and searching for potential environmental and road work issues that my inhibit construction works. A lot of similar hazards arise for each site making it simple to develop a checklist to mark yes/no against these repetitive issues. Along with a checklist, a table enabling user inputs was created for any more detailed research findings, such as where a list or description of a specific hazard is required. On this project there were two main documents that were required as part of the pre-construction pack: a Pre-Construction Information (PCI) document, and a Significant Design Risk Register (SDRR) document. A VBA code was written using the find and replace function on word, that could populate the necessary documentation templates using data from the checklist and table. The work required from the author was reduced to doing the research and in putting the findings in a table, saving time formatting, and typing out repetitive inputs. The time saved using this automation process enables a larger volume of packs to be developed in a set time, allowing additional chambers to be built, more leaks to be identified, and ultimately less water from being lost. The automation facilitates good design and risk identification, but the output will still only be as good as the input. Designers are still required to do the research and ensure the documents are checked and approved before they can be issued to the client/contractor. This automation has begun with a simple ‘home-made’ approach to coding and has the potential to develop a user-friendly tool accessible across multiple projects and sectors within the industry.
Automation, Leak Detection, Pipe Networks, Coding, Water, CDM