Artificial Intelligence: The City Of Galveston Deploys AI To Help Maintain Sewers

December 21, 2021 | Artificial Intelligence, News
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Galveston, TX has a problem. It can’t get enough people to apply for jobs in sewer maintenance.

The City of Galveston, Texas, is grappling with the problem of maintaining its sewers and sewer waste management amidst a tight labor market where not many people appear interested in the job. Currently, investigation and rectification of a sewer problem is a laborious task that needs to be completed to ensure proper waste disposal in the interest of public health. The City asked Sewer AI to assist its workforce. (TheDenverChannel.com)

“It’s already a little difficult to get people in the utility business because we’re not the highest-paid group. We’re public servants,” says Trino Pedraza, the director of public works and utilities for the City of Galveston. “We’ve had positions open for six months, but what we can do is make sure that people aren’t leaving,” he added.

The task is made more difficult because repairs are required for aging sewer infrastructure in practically every American city. Indeed, the 2021 Infrastructure Report Card graded the U.S. wastewater system as a D+.

AI to the rescue

Galveston therefore enlisted Sewer AI to help tackle the maintenance of its sewer network. Sewer AI has developed a number of AI computer vision models to automatically identify conditions inside of the pipe. Sewer AI’s AI technology called AutoCode automatically recognizes pipe conditions in CCTV sewer data.

Its systems also eliminate a lot of manual data entry from sewer operators. “In some cases, we’ve had folks accomplish more than a doubling of production in a day,” says Eric Sullivan, the director of business development at Sewer AI.

For Pedraza, the improved productivity results in faster information that help in decision-making and prioritizing areas in need of maintenance and repairs.

Related Story: Wessex Water To Use StormHarvester’s AI Tech To Monitor Sewer Network

Image credit: Galveston, TX site

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