The project investigated technologies suitable for continuous monitoring of non-pressurised tubular structures, with a particular focus on surface water highway drainage systems. Failures on the motorway and trunk road networks often resulting from heavy rainfall occur because drains are not able to cope with the large volume of water they suddenly have to evacuate. Currently the assessment of these drains is carried out every 10 years using visual (closed circuit television - CCTV) or manual (mandrel) techniques to identify structural failures, with additional reactive assessments undertaken if issues (blockages or build-up of debris) requiring immediate treatment arise. It is thought that the routine assessments aimed at identifying structural failures will always be necessary to some extent; however the reactive approach to dealing with emergencies is less than ideal. Hence, there is a potential need for continuous monitoring that would be able to provide real-time or near real-time information about the state of a drainage network. Research was therefore carried out into a drain condition monitoring system which could be permanently installed and left in operation unattended.

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