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WSAA code “a win”

Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) recently released its WSA 05-2020 Conduit Inspection Reporting Code of Australia Version 4.1, which focuses on internal asset condition assessment of conduits including sewers, sanitary and stormwater drains as well as maintenance structures like manholes.

The code will replace Version 3.1 of the third edition, published in 2013, and will focus on improving efficiency of reporting through code changes and software requirements.

Ms Siqueira said while she believes the new version will introduce some short-term challenges, it will lead to long-term benefits.

“The good news is that overall, WSA 05-2020 looks to be a win for asset owners – at least in the long-term,” she said. 

Ms Siqueira explained it will provide improvements in the segmentation and granularity of data, which will lead to greater decision-making power for asset owners as more information will be captured during inspections.

It also means asset owners can be sure main conduit condition scores will no longer be escalated by issues related to property owner connections.

“Here’s the catch – this is going to cause some headaches in the short-term,” said Ms Siqueira.

“Right now, the market simply isn’t set up to record this distinction between lateral and main codes, meaning that we’re going to have data issues until we have the chance to make up some ground.

“However, the question needs to be asked – is it actually realistic to expect that all these codes will be used correctly and consistently?

“Almost 200 additional defect categories have been added into this version of the code, representing almost a 50 per cent increase in the number of categories that need to be learned and coded by field operators and auditors.

“[While] the majority of these additional categories are in fact the ‘characterisations’ and ‘quantifications’ of the main defect codes, the reality of implementing these additions meaningfully will still be very challenging.”

Ms Siqueira said the new version has proven to make some headway in addressing these challenges, allowing for a positive change in the long run. 

For more information visit the VAPAR website.

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