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Project Summary

Water infiltration sensing system and potential long-term planning tool for preventing water damage

Challenge Details

Prevent water infiltration into our transit infrastructure or provide a system that allows actionable data analysis to develop long-term planning capital improvement priorities.

There is water infiltration throughout the MBTA system: in man-holes, electrical distribution rooms, elevator pits, and elsewhere. Equipment failures due to water damage are frequent. Improving the MBTA’s ability to keep water out of critical areas will reduce equipment failure, reducing the burden on MBTA maintenance staff while also increasing compliance with ADA and environmental regulations.

Insight into real time water penetration is nonexistent and completely relies on operators visually seeing water and reporting this to our maintenance team. Current water relief equipment is monitored by physically sending out an employee to check to see if equipment is functioning properly which is a waste of precious human resources. To complicate matters, equipment needs to work at all times under extreme conditions and connectivity can be a big problem as systems are buried underneath the city streets and the ocean.

A good solution to this problem would need collaboration and buy in from the following MBTA departments:
• Engineering and Maintenance
• Safety
• Environmental

Planning seeks a solution that would have the following outcomes:

• Potential solutions to mitigate water infiltration in critical areas.
• Solution for water infiltration monitoring allowing for deployment at critical times.
• Predictive capabilities that preempts water infiltration allowing the MBTA to resolve issues before failures occur.
• Centralized technology connectivity for water leak sensors.