A project from CSIRO’s Date61 group is helping to predict where water pipe maintenance is required before pipe bursts occur, saving expense and disruption.

The project won the Excellence in Data Science category at the Eureka Prizes.

Water pipes are an essential component of any city’s infrastructure and need careful maintenance. It is both expensive and disruptive to assess the condition of water pipes, and as a result only one per cent of the network is inspected a year.

Data 61’s Smart Infrastructure Team is working to address this problem, with the development of an analytical tool that can make intelligent predictions about water pipe failures.

This gives the ability to better prioritise pipes for maintenance and in turn reduce costs and minimise disruption to water supplies. It has been validated worldwide through datasets coming from more than 27 utilities.

“Data is very powerful, and data science is building a smart brain for our society, for a better future,” said Fang Chen, Research Group Leader.

The Smart Infrastructure team, known then as Enterprise Analytics, were part of the ON program, a national science and technology accelerator powered by CSIRO, and graduated through Accelerate 2.

Presented annually by the Australian Museum, the Eureka Prizes recognise outstanding achievements in Australian science and science communication.

The awards are for excellence in the fields of research and innovation, leadership,science engagement, and school science.

Lauren ‘LJ’ Butler is the Assistant Editor of Utility magazine and has been part of the team at Monkey Media since 2018.

After completing a Bachelor of Media, Communications and Professional Writing at the University of Wollongong in 2014, and prior to writing about the utility sector, LJ worked as a Journalist and Sub Editor across the horticulture, hardware, power equipment, construction and accommodation industries with publishers such as Glenvale Publications, Multimedia Publishing and Bean Media Group.

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