Evaluation of uncertainties in sewer condition assessment

Nicolas Caradot, Pascale Rouault, Francois Clemens, Frederic Cherqui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Closed Circuit Television Inspection is used since decades as industry standard for sewer system inspection and structural performance evaluation. In current practice, inspection data are helpful to support asset management decisions. However, the quality and uncertainty of sewer condition assessment is rarely questioned. This article presents a methodology to determine the probability to underestimate, overestimate or accurately estimate the real condition of a pipe using visual inspection. The approach is based on the analysis of double inspections of the same sewer pipes and has been tested using the extensive data-set of the city of Braunschweig in Germany. Results indicate that the probability to inspect correctly a pipe in poor condition is close to 80%. The probability to overestimate the condition of a pipe in bad condition (false negative) is 20% whereas the probability to underestimate the condition of a pipe in good condition (false positive) is 15%. Finally, sewer condition evaluation can be used to assess the general condition of the network with an excellent accuracy probably because the respective effects of false positive and false negative are buffered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalStructure and Infrastructure Engineering
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Aug 2017


  • Asset management
  • condition assessment
  • defects
  • inspection
  • sewers & drains
  • uncertainty principles


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