Project Implementation of Deterioration Diagnostic Service for Water Pipes Using AI/Machine Learning in Ashikaga City, Tochigi Prefecture

Sep. 12, 2023
Marubeni Corporation

On August 21, 2023, Marubeni Corporation (hereinafter, “Marubeni”) concluded an agreement for a pipeline deterioration prediction and diagnostic service with Ashikaga City, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan (hereinafter, the “Project”). As part of the Project, Marubeni will evaluate the degree of deterioration of a portion of the water pipelines owned by Ashikaga City while offering support to predict pipeline deterioration and selection of sites for leakage surveys.

The Project will subsequently entail an optimization service for pipeline replacements using AI and machine learning provided by AGS—Administração e Gestão de Sistemas de Salubridade, SA (hereinafter, “AGS”), a wholly owned subsidiary of Marubeni. This is the first initiative in Tochigi Prefecture to use AI and machine learning to evaluate the degree of deterioration of water pipes for the purpose of predicting deterioration of pipelines and selecting areas for water leakage surveys.

Leakage detection requires investigators to conduct patrols of underground water pipes throughout the streets and then use equipment to identify locations of leakages by capturing the sound of water either by direct observation through hearing or via detectors—a process involving significant outlays of time and labor. For the Project, the “infrawise” AI service will be used to evaluate the degree of deterioration of water pipes and to prioritize areas identified as sites with a higher likelihood of water leakages. This will thus enable utilities providers to deploy active leakage detection to facilitate more effective and efficient water pipeline management.

Early detection of water leakages aids in the prevention of water pipe ruptures and other accidents, while also increasing the revenue rates* of water utilities providers, thereby enhancing the sustainability of business operations.

Marubeni has extensive experience in water supply services, serving a total of approximately 16.5 million people around the world. In addition to providing water utilities services in Portugal over many years through AGS,  we are implementing water supply and wastewater treatment projects in the Philippines, Chile, and elsewhere, as well as seawater desalination projects in Saudi Arabia and Chile. Going forward, Marubeni will continue to contribute to the operation of sustainable water supply businesses, including by offering appropriate support for the renewal and replacement of water pipelines in Japan.

Calculated as the ratio between the amount of water distributed by the water utilities provider to the amount of water as revenue received from utilities bills.



Project Overview

Business Consignment Title: Pipeline Deterioration Prediction Diagnosis
Consigning Body: Ashikaga City, Tochigi Prefecture
Fulfillment period: From August 21, 2023 to March 10, 2024
Target Conduit Distance: Approximately 110km
Main Operations: 1. Evaluation of deterioration of pipelines
2. Selection of priority areas for leakage surveys

AGS Overview

Company Name: AGS - Administração e Gestão de Sistemas de Salubridade, SA
Location: Portugal/Lisbon
Representative: JOÃO FARIA FELICIANO Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
Established: 1988
Main Business: 1. Concession and PPP project management in Portugal and Brazil
2. Water supply and sewerage O&M business
3. Development and sales of software, and provision of related consulting services
Website: https://www.ags.pt/en

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