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Solving Aging Infrastructure: Europe and Worldwide

Shannon Regan   |   April 17, 2018

Fresh water and the safe disposal of wastewater are two fundamental needs of humans. Mega-cities, environmental change and water stress leave populations around the globe without adequate water supply. Deteriorating and aging infrastructure and pipeline systems cause additional pressures in terms of sanitation and seepage.

Challenges to Aging Infrastructure

Aging infrastructure


As cities continue to grow and urbanize, there is an ever-growing need for pipeline systems to follow suit. In order to do so, communities of all sizes are turning to trenchless technology - a safe, affordable and economical way to minimize public disturbances while completing the job. In terms of age, Europe’s cities are some of the oldest on the planet - the aging infrastructure, smaller pipelines and unreachable water systems are a growing concern.

infrastructure urbanization

Problems in Europe

One of Europe’s most financially neglected areas is environment protection; including the condition of underground infrastructure, clean water supply and sewage maintenance. Municipalities and cities are at major risk, and finding a cost effective and immediate solution is critical.

For example, in 2017, Germany’s infrastructure and road network fell to 16th place in the World Economic Forum, the latest in a series of downgrades. Investment has increased by an average of 4.5 percent over the past two years, but infrastructure spending as a share of the economy (2.1 percent) remains much lower than other Western countries, including United States, Canada and Sweden.

Additionally, in the United Kingdom, about 4 million excavations are carried on roads each year to install or repair buried utility pipes and aging infrastructure. Not knowing the location of buried assets causes problems that increase the costs and delay projects, but more importantly, it increases the risk of injury to utility owners, contractors and citizens driving on these roads.

infrastructure in europe

High Costs Associated with Infrastructure Repairs

The problems associated with buried pipes located inaccurately are rapidly worsening due to the increased density of underground infrastructure in major urban areas. Underground utility conflicts and re-locations are the number one cause for project delays. Direct costs include the costs of sending a crew to assess and repair the damaged pipes and indirect costs include the impact of traffic disrupted by the construction, injuries and other impacts on the health of the workers involved, and the loss in money that businesses experience as a result of the traffic disruption.

Technical conditions of underground infrastructure have not improved over the years – heavier traffic in cities, numerous reconstruction work and modernization have not provided pipelines with adequate conditions. In fact, they pose an additional challenge for pipeline owners, municipalities and contractors.

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Deep Trekker to Attend IFAT18

IFAT, Europe’s leading trade show for water, sewage and raw material management is being held from May 14th to 18th, focusing on environmentally friendly and sustainable solutions to Europe’s aging infrastructure degradation, hosted in the city of Munich, Germany. Deep Trekker is excited to be exhibiting at a show that will platform long term and viable solutions using environmentally savvy technology.

Contact us today for more information!

References: Increasing demand for pipeline rehabilitation in Central Eastern European countries Western Europe Poised for Major Investment Water Infrastructure Problems Worldwide Water Infrastructure Problems Worldwide

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