Stormwater intelligence

Brimbank City Council in Victoria has developed and adopted the use of cutting edge technology, artificial intelligence and CCTV to monitor and maintain the ongoing maintenance of its stormwater pipe assets.

The initiative is a joint partnership with RMIT University and in association with six other Victorian councils, CSIRO and Melbourne Water.

Director, Infrastructure & City Services, Neil Whiteside said that managing over 1200km of underground stormwater pipes and 44,000 stormwater pits across the municipality is no easy feat.

“Managing stormwater pipes is complex by nature because it has a direct impact on the community and until recently, is relatively unseen and hidden underground, making diagnosis challenging.”

The project has attracted accolades such as the Stormwater Victoria Award for Research and Innovation and together with RMIT recently attracted a delegation from the World Bank in Sri Lanka.

The delegation and visit saw an exchange in learning, with a view to apply a similar approach for long-term planning of infrastructure assets in Sri Lanka.

In another first, the project has created opportunities for Work Integrated Learning for RMIT students to experience and shape the future of the technology and program.

The artificial intelligence software ‘learns’ and grows its knowledge base to help prevent stormwater pipe flooding and also helps Council adapt and respond to climate change.

Mr Whiteside said that in addition to helping to maintain these important assets this system also plays a role in improving water quality, maintaining public health and safety, flooding and drainage control and stormwater reuse.

“Overall this is an innovative and effective system that benefits our community by using modern technology and clever thinking.

“The replacement cost of Council’s stormwater assets is approximately $280 million so it is absolutely critical that we have an effective maintenance and upgrade program.”