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Wastewater Pipeline Sensing System

Project Partners: Macquarie University, Sydney Water and Melbourne Water

Failure of wastewater pipelines due to concrete corrosion is a global problem that custodians of this vital infrastructure face on a daily basis. Asset managers are currently unable to monitor concrete corrosion and its contributing factors over long periods of time using conventional sensing methodologies. Optical fibre-based sensing platforms however, have recently been shown to sustain performance in harsh sewer environments. Such systems though rely on costly interrogators limiting their use. This Project aims to develop a cost-effective, field deployable sensing system using optical components to deliver a time predictive capability to extend the life of sewer networks. 

Project Overview

The aim of this project is to establish an innovative predictive tool that will enable asset managers to monitor concrete corrosion, reduce maintenance costs, and minimise man entry. This will be achieved through the combination of round-the-clock monitoring using novel optical fibre sensing technology and a new predictive model derived from the rigorous analysis of concrete corrosion rates.

Outcomes and Benefits

  • People enter sewers less often.
  • Enable real-time remote monitoring of wastewater pipes over long periods. 
  • Reduced costs and longer asset life. 
  • Enable improved predictive modelling.

Dr. Martin Ams, Research Fellow
Prof. Michael Withford, Distinguished Professor (CORE), Macquarie University


Level 1, 3 Innovation Road Macquarie University Macquarie Park, NSW 2113

SmartCrete CRC would like to acknowledge the funding provided by the Commonwealth through the Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) Program.


Smartcrete CRC acknowledges and pays respect to the traditional owners of the land on which the office stands, the Wattamattagal clan of the Darug nation. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and future.

© 2022 SmartCrete CRC. ABN: 71 641 784 161

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