RFID Systems for Water & Sewer Line Construction

Water & Sewer Line Construction in Canada and the U.S. comprises primarily of the construction, rehabilitation and repairs of water and sewer lines, mains, pumping stations, treatment plants, as well as storage tanks. Construction projects relating to water & sewer lines are highly hazardous; personnel face numerous safety risks on site such as: falls, excavation accidents, explosions, falling objects, and exposure to toxic waste water to name a few. Locating and identifying underground infrastructure (e.g. gas and sewer or fiber-optic lines, sewer) can also be a costly, time-consuming nightmare.

GAO RFID understands that there is rising need at Power & Communication Line Construction for solutions that are specifically created to assist contractors and managers of job sites to oversee and resolve common challenges faced every day, including:

  • Managing, tracking and maintaining equipment
  • Checking the inventory of building supplies and tools
  • Tracking on-site personnel and authorizing on-site visitors
  • Tracking and managing personnel time and schedules
  • Securing and protecting job sites
  • Tracking hidden water and sewer lines, valves, and blockages
  • Identifying areas holding toxic waste

RFID solutions help to systematize on-site productivity to ensure the efficient operation of equipment, tools and personnel and increase safety and security to prevent costly losses and unforeseen expenses.

Exploring RFID in Water & Sewer Line Construction

The availability and working conditions of equipment, supplies and tools as well as visibility of personnel and visitors on-site are critical for efficient production and security during each stage of the building process. We can apply our experience and knowledge in customizing an RFID solution to ensure the accessibility and visibility of various assets and personnel for optimum efficiency and cost management on job sites.

Applying Equipment Management

Water & Sewer Line Construction equipment such as trenchless pipe replacement equipment, drain cleaning machines, sewer jetters, sewer camera equipment, sewer snakes and other vital machines, all need to be tracked to ensure accessibility and proper working conditions for maximum efficiency, elimination of property loss and damage to property.

By using the fundamental of RFID’s equipment tracking technology, the guesswork can be eliminated out of equipment management and creates accurate data of equipment utilization and the precise location of equipment on site. Using RFID Tags, you can tag every piece of equipment so that their maintenance schedule, usage, and location can be tracked. This not only greatly reduces the chances of equipment loss but tracks the working conditions of vital equipment such as sewer cameras that are used to determine the conditions and hazards that lie inside the unseen interior of pipes. Time-consuming, inaccurate manual data entry is eliminated.

In addition, dangerous factors such as highly pressurized water pipes which lead to pipe caps or thrust blocks turning into high velocity projectiles can be monitored and relieved using pressure relief valves; these valves can be located easily using RFID Reader technology. Excavations are made safer as pipes hidden beneath the surface can be identified through the RFID Handheld Readers that can accurately identify locations of pipes tagged with RFID Tags.

Applying Inventory Management

Real-time RFID and GPS technology-based Asset Tracking is a cost-efficient method to monitor inventory and conditions of all tools, small equipment, safety gear and material on a daily/shift basis. Working tools and available material means production delays are few; accessibility of safety gear means workers are protected at all times reducing injury.

The Asset Tracking ability can also prove to be a valuable method of inventory risk reduction. For instance, an explosion referred to by The National Capital Heavy Construction Association (NCHCA) to promote workplace safety, describes a misstep in procedure at a sewer repair site that resulted in a serious injury. The investigation revealed that the explosion at the site was caused by the battery connection for the project’s laser alignment device; the laser and battery had been put in a manhole where natural gases from the soil damaged a temporary plastic gas line that was ignited by a spark from the battery connection. In the resulting explosion a worker was badly burned. Our experience in asset tracking can help to ensure that crucial steps like identifying and monitoring and locating battery placement on-site so that they are far enough from the manholes are conducted quickly and accurately.

Applying People Tracking

RFID allows you to oversee personnel locations and hours is critical for cost efficiency and project success; labor costs on sites comprise approximately 40 percent of the overall project costs. Personnel Tracking enables contractors and managers to calculate productivity in correlation to actual hours of personnel labor; tracking personnel to locate their exact positions as well as tasks assigned on-site, makes it easy to predict and assess cost and hours of labor.

In addition, RFID can help to reduce injury and fatalities as all placements of workers are tracked to ensure they are out of harm’s way. Being able to track each employee on the site can keep them safe, and with the ability to pinpoint their exact location, emergency response teams can immediately react to the situation.

Applying Access Control

NCHCA reports that an investigation of a fatal accident at a water main and sewer installation project was due to three factors: unsafe rigging, unsafe work procedure and lack of worker training. Access to restricted zones may be controlled with RFID technology that allows only personnel with the correct credentials and training to enter the site or certain areas of the site, eliminating the entrance of inexperienced and untrained workers. Every RFID Badge worn by workers are programmed with specific information and credentials to ensure only those who you authorize can access restricted areas within the construction zone.

Integrating with your Existing Management Software

Our customized RFID Systems can be deployed as a standalone solution or can be integrated with other software solutions currently being used by your Water & Sewer Line Construction organization.

At the core of our solution is GAO RFID’s AUTO-ID Engine which incorporates middleware and essential RFID functions that perform RFID data collection and information processing. Our AUTO-ID Engine seamlessly integrates with a wide variety of construction management systems so that you can access the data it collects directly via the system or systems you currently have in place.

Our team comprises of seasoned professionals that can combine our RFID experience with your industry experience and provide a customized solution that will smoothly integrate the appropriate GAO RFID Solution with your IT architecture. The result is an RFID solution that is seamlessly unified with your construction management system. We can work with you to integrate the RFID tracking data collected from our custom solution with today’s leading information management systems in your industry.

List of Relevant Information Management Systems

 Contact us for more information on how our GAO RFID Systems can be configured for your organization.