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Advances in Civil Engineering
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 818597, 13 pages
Review Article

Water and Wastewater Pipe Nondestructive Evaluation and Health Monitoring: A Review

Laboratory for NDE and SHM Studies, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Pittsburgh, 3700 O'Hara Street, 942 Benedum Hall, Pittsburgh, PA 15261-2294, USA

Received 15 October 2009; Accepted 23 February 2010

Academic Editor: Jinying Zhu

Copyright © 2010 Piervincenzo Rizzo. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Civil infrastructures such as bridges, buildings, and pipelines ensure society's economic and industrial prosperity. Specifically, pipe networks assure the transportation of primary commodities such as water, oil, and natural gas. The quantitative and early detection of defects in pipes is critical in order to avoid severe consequences. As a result of high-profile accidents and economic downturn, research and development in the area of pipeline inspection has focused mainly on gas and oil pipelines. Due to the low cost of water, the development of nondestructive inspection (NDI) and structural health monitoring (SHM) technologies for fresh water mains and sewers has received the least attention. Moreover, the technical challenges associated with the practical deployment of monitoring system demand synergistic interaction across several disciplines, which may limit the transition from laboratory to real structures. This paper presents an overview of the most used NDI/SHM technologies for freshwater pipes and sewers. The challenges that said infrastructures pose with respect to oil and natural gas pipeline networks will be discussed. Finally, the methodologies that can be translated into SHM approaches are highlighted.