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Drinking water companies improve USTORE through uniform quality code failure registration

Last week the joint USTORE operational code was incorporated into the Platform Bedrijfsvoering (Management Platform). This is a set of agreements aimed at guaranteeing the quality of the data and processes in the USTORE failure registration tool. This and other developments mean that USTORE has entered a new phase.

Uniform failure registration with USTORE

The cost of replacing the entire Dutch water distribution network would amount to about € 25 billion. Whenever companies install poor mains or replace the wrong ones, the result can be failures and thus nuisance and damage for the surroundings and customers.

Nine drinking water companies register their mains failures following the USTORE system. Eight of them also provide their failure information to a joint database. In this manner, since 2009, a database has been built up containing about 22,000 failures. This is a source of knowledge about the failure behaviour of groups of mains and the relationship between the number of failures and other factors, such as material type, age and diameter. USTORE therefore constitutes an important source of data for the drinking water companies; they use the information for example in decision-support software for mains replacement.

Improvement path for failure registration and analysis

Over the recent period, work has been carried out with nine drinking water companies on a uniform operational code for failure registration and analysis. This involved a re-examination of the registration approach, which resulted in a considerably simpler registration process for the installers. As part of the operational code, agreements were reached between the companies and KWR which formalise aspects such as data ownership, security and sharing.

The drinking water companies were already providing information in USTORE about the location of the failures; now they will also be providing information about the mains. Based on these data they will be able to conduct more precise analyses, which also incorporate the failure location information. In this way, we aim to relate the failures, for instance, to the soil type, the built environment and the traffic.

Besides improving USTORE, contact has also been established with the managers of the waterboards’ pressure sewers, with a view to having them join USTORE as well. This would further enrich the failure data.