A Review of Inspection Methods for Continuously Monitoring PVC Drinking Water Mains

Quang Cao Vinh Tran*, Duc V. Le, Doekle Reinder Yntema, Paul J.M. Havinga

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
790 Downloads (Pure)


The drinking water mains, mostly buried underground and stay there for decades, require proper maintenance to prevent failures. Among different kinds of material, pvc has been widely used due to positive features such as high durability, corrosion resistance, low price, and easy installation. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first paper that reviews the inspection methods toward continuously monitoring the structural health of PVC drinking water mains. To understand which properties need inspecting, we first investigated the attributes that influence PVC pipe and joint failures. Then, we reviewed the methods that have already been applied or can inspect these influencing attributes. We categorized the prospects into five groups: sound wave, fiber optic sensing, hydraulic monitoring, multiple discrete sensors, and other inline methods. Finally, we discussed the possibility and challenges in implementing these methods into a continuous monitoring system of PVC water mains for early failure warning. The result, which includes active sound wave, fiber optic sensing, hydraulic vibration, multiple discrete sensors methods, can help future researchers select the appropriate methods to develop the continuous monitoring system for the PVC water mains.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2327-4662
Pages (from-to)14336-14354
Number of pages19
JournalIEEE Internet of Things Journal
Issue number16
Early online date4 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2022


  • drinking water mains
  • PVC pipe
  • pipeline inspection
  • Continuous monitoring
  • early failure warning
  • leak
  • pipe crack
  • 22/2 OA procedure


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