Pipeline Condition Assessment



Pipeline Condition Assessment Seminar: Developing Water Utility Action Plans

AWWA's 3-day in-person seminar tackles the issue of pipeline condition assessment. As renewing and replacing aging infrastructure remains a top challenge facing the water sector, more utilities are embracing asset management practices, including condition assessment.  A Condition Assessment Program helps utilities make informed, risk-based decisions on when it is best to maintain, repair, rehabilitate, or replace assets. But developing and implementing such a program is challenging! This Seminar was created to assist drinking water utilities develop and implement a comprehensive Condition Assessment Program or improve their existing program. The focus of this Seminar is on water transmission and distribution pipes.


Register Today!

Join us in Boston, Massachusetts August 19-21, 2024.




August 19-21, 2024  
Courtyard by Marriott Boston Downtown  

2024 Registration Rates

Registration Rates
Non member 
Non member 
Seminar Registration  
Includes Day 1 lunch
$1025 $1125  $1125  $1225

*Registration fee also includes optional complimentary PDF version of AWWA's Manual M77: Condition Assessment of Water Mains (PDF). You may add this to your cart during registration for no additional fee - simply click the 'Add' button next to M77 when asked to choose session, then click Next.


Policies & Release

Seminar Cancellation Policy:AWWA must receive cancellations in writing. All cancellations dated on or before 10/6/23 will receive a refund, minus a 25% administrative fee. After 10/6/23, cancellations will not be refunded; however, substitute registrants are welcome. Email requests for substitutions or cancellations to service@awwa.org. 
By registering for an AWWA event or program, attendees agree to abide by the conference policies and code of conduct. As part of your event registration, personal contact data such as name, address, and email address will be collected and used by AWWA Show Management. By registering for this event, you agree to allow AWWA to use your photo in any AWWA-related publication or website.
Attendance at or participation in any AWWA Event is subject to the release below, and compliance with AWWA’s and the conference and event facilities’ policies and procedures to implement current CDC and applicable state’s recommendations, including, retreating immediately if feeling unwell or showing certain symptoms.
By registering for this event, you acknowledge that attendance at and participation in AWWA conferences brings some risk of being exposed to or contracting COVID-19, and that you fully assume and accept such risk in order to attend. 
In light of the ongoing spread of COVID-19, individuals who currently or within ten (10) days prior to AWWA conferences who have experienced COVID 19 or any of its variants, any symptoms associated with COVID-19, which include fever, cough, and shortness of breath should not attend. 
By registering for this event, I agree to the following: I hereby release, covenant not to sue, discharge, and hold harmless AWWA and its affiliates, including their respective employees, officers, directors, agents, and/or representatives, from any claim or cause of action, including all liabilities, penalties, losses, damages, costs, or expenses of any kind, arising out of or relating to exposure to COVID-19. I agree that the foregoing release, discharge, and covenants apply even when AWWA or its affiliate directly or indirectly caused injury, losses, or other harm related to COVID-19, whether by negligent acts or omissions, and whether a COVID-19 infection occurs before, during, or after participation in any AWWA (or affiliate) program. This release is binding on my heirs, administrators, executors, successors, and assigns.


Learning Objectives

During this seminar participants will be engaged in instructional training, interactive exercises, and group sharing that will cover the key components of a condition assessment program, such as:

  • Defining the problem(s) that the utility wants to solve with a condition assessment program.
  • Developing condition assessment program goals, objectives, and data expectations.
  • Building support and securing an annual budget for a condition assessment program (e.g., business case to present to management and elected governing officials).
  • Prioritizing asset classes based on performance measures and risk (i.e., likelihood or probability and consequence of failure).
  • Defining the utility’s risk tolerance and condition assessment thresholds.
  • Creating a framework and data management system for collecting, storing, and using condition assessment data.
  • Understanding and choosing the appropriate condition assessment methods and technologies.
  • Evaluating the utility’s options for using in-house or contracting field inspection, data management, and engineering services.

Modules at a Glance

Module 1 – Getting Started with Your Condition Assessment Program (Day 1 - 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.)

1.1 Condition Assessment Program Budgeting
  •  Learn how to establish prudent condition assessment program budgets
  •  Generate ideas for where to start
  •  Consider methods being used by other utilities to quantify and justify a Program Budget
  •  Determine which method is right for your utility
1.2 Data Sources and Risk Assessment
  •  Define Desktop Condition Assessment
  •  Discuss commonly used methods for performing a desktop condition assessment
  •  Present different ways to estimate LOF and COF
  •  Discuss how break data and failure mechanisms can be used to focus condition assessment and other investments
1.3 Valve Assessments
  •  Discuss reasons your utility might have for not locating, assessing, and operating small and large diameter valves
  •  Review the critical role of valves in the water delivery system
  •  Address the importance of regularly scheduled condition assessment and operation of isolation/control valves
  •  Present key components of a valve assessment program (benefits, goals, program approaches, in-house vs. outsourcing resources, field activities, data collection/documentation, and answers to common questions and concerns)
1.4 Leak Detection
  •  Discuss reasons for conducting leak detection
  •  Learn how and why we use leak detection as a condition assessment tool
  •  Introduce currently available leak detection methods and tools (acoustic and non-acoustic)
  •  For acoustic leak detection methods, understand how sound travels through pipes and learn about methods for distribution pipes and transmission mains
1.5 Pressure Monitoring
  •  Discuss the benefits of pressure monitoring
  •  Learn about currently available equipment for pressure/transient pressure monitoring
  •  Cover factors to consider for installing and maintaining a pressure monitoring system
1.6 Soil Corrosivity Surveys
  •  Review causes and effects of corrosion on metallic pipelines
  •  Understand the various corrosion tests conducted in the field and laboratory
  •  Understand how cathodic protection systems work
  •  Learn how to employ anode retrofits as a rehabilitation measure for service connections

Module 2 – Choosing Inspection Methods and Technologies to Fit Your Needs (Day 2 - 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.)

2.1 Overview of Inspection Methods for Pressure Pipes
  •  Evaluate inspection methods and technologies for pressure pipelines
  •  Consider various factors when selecting an inspection method
  •  Choose when and how to apply external corrosion direct assessment (ECDA) methods for
  • metallic cylinder and direct assessment methods for concrete pipe and mortar coating
2.2 Assessment of Non-Metallic Pipe
  •  Understand deterioration processes for asbestos cement (AC) pipe and plastic pipe, including polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe
  •  Learn which inspection methods and technologies may be useful for non-metallic pipe
2.3 “Lower Effort/Limited Data” Inspections and Measurements
  •  Address and discuss reasons for employing “lower effort” inspection methods and measurements
  •  Review commonly used tools for metallic pipe (CI, DI, steel) and concrete pressure pipe (CCP, RCCP, PCCP)
  •  Cover access requirements, civil site work and field support requirements, cost, and results
2.4 High-Resolution Inspection Technologies
  •  Discuss “when” and “why” you would want to use a high-resolution inspection method
  •  Cover methods you may be familiar with (ultrasonics, magnetic flux leakage, electromagnetics)
  •  Discuss electromagnetic technology (principle, tools, applicability to different pipe types, deployment options, access requirements, verification of inspection results)

Module 3 – Budgeting and Planning for Condition Assessments (Day 3 - 8:00 a.m. - noon)

3.1 Managing and Using Pipeline Condition Data
  •  Review typical databases of record for storing condition assessment data
  •  Discuss and learn best practices and guidelines to identify the right database of record for your next condition assessment project
3.2 Contracting Options for Condition Assessment
  •  Identity the four parties involved in contracts for pipeline condition assessment projects and programs
  •  Evaluate contracting options at your utility for procuring engineering, inspection, and contractor services
  •  Apply rules and contracting preferences at your utility to identify and select the preferred contracting mechanism(s) for YOUR utility, based on 1) availability and capabilities of in-house
  • resources, and 2) available contracting vehicles for procuring outside services
3.3 Developing a Project Level Budget for Pipeline Condition Assessment
  •  Increase your confidence in preparing a realistic budget for your pipeline condition assessment project
  •  Apply what you’ve learned about inspection methods, executing field inspections, and contracting options to ensure all costs are accounted for and estimated accurately
  •  Learn some cost-saving techniques to reduce the budget needed for your pipeline condition assessment project
3.4 Sustaining Your Condition Assessment Program
  •  After inspection is complete, learn how to effectively communicate the value of condition assessments to 1) external or non-technical stakeholders, and 2) internal or technical
  • stakeholders, in an effort to sustain program momentum
  •  Hear how other utilities have successfully justified condition assessment expenditures to management and stakeholders
  • Solutions to Utility-Specific Challenges and Concerns
  •  Obtain answers to your specific problems, challenges, concerns, or hurdles
  •  Use individual projects brought to the Seminar by the Participants as sample problems for the group to solve
  •  Complete individual Action Plans with help from the group or Facilitator

Seminar Instructors


Dan Ellison Headshot Dan Ellison is a senior project manager in the Ventura California office of HDR.  He is a nationally recognized expert in pipeline condition assessment, rehabilitation and trenchless construction.  He once ran the largest pipeline rehabilitation program in the U.S., executing 18 construction contracts per year, with a staff of over 40 employees. Through this and other work, he has overseen the rehabilitation of more than 3 million feet of water mains.  He is the principal author of 8 books for the Water Research Foundation and is the founding chair of the AWWA Water Main Condition Assessment Committee.  He led the creation of the first edition of Manual M77:  Condition Assessment of Water Mains.  

David Spencer Headshot
Dave Spencer leads HDR’s water pipeline asset management group. He has helped over 100 utilities improve the way they manage their aging pipeline infrastructure. Dave enjoys working with all levels of an organization from front line field staff through key political stakeholders to develop practical and results oriented programs. He has co-written 4 books on the topic including the first edition of Manual M77: Condition Assessment of Water Mains.