WSSC Engineer Recognized by International Leader in Water Research

Mike Woodcock: Trailblazer in PCCP Inspection

| News Release



Laurel – July 28, 2014: Mike Woodcock, Principal Engineer, C.Eng., MIM3 was recognized by the Water Research Foundation for his tireless work and review of industry research over the past two decades. Woodcock joined WSSC’s engineering team in 1988 to focus on identifying the causes of Pre-stressed Concrete Cylinder Pipe (PCCP) failures and condition assessment methods, but his expertise in infrastructure management extends to cast iron and ductile iron pipe.

“My work and goal, along with the people in our group, is getting WSSC to its vision of being a world-class utility,” says Woodcock as he accepted the award. “But I work for the customers... everything I do to improve the technology and safety and lower the impact on the environment is for the customer.”

In his quest to find methods to determine the condition of PCCP, in 1996 Woodcock became the co-owner of a patent: a Seismic Pulse Echo method to determine the condition of PCCP. A self-described meddler, he always encourages the water industry to try new things.

“Mike Woodcock, plain and simple, is brilliant,” said WSSC GM/CEO Jerry N. Johnson. “WSSC is fortunate, the customers are fortunate and, frankly, the entire water industry is fortunate to have the benefit of Mike’s knowledge, intellect and dedication.”

According to Technical Services Group Leader David Burke, “Mike is a free thinker. He’s always taking us and the water industry somewhere we haven’t been… Most people didn’t even know we should go there.”

While WSSC has been working on solutions for PCCP failures for decades, the main tools used for pipe condition assessment and monitoring today originated from methods developed and introduced by Woodcock. The issue received national prominence during the 2008 water main break on River Road in Montgomery County. Since that incident, WSSC has also used devices such as Pure’s SMART Ball to locate leaks and has increased the use of Acoustic Fiber Optics to monitor the large diameter PCCP pipelines. Woodcock continues to develop a Web based Management system to prevent ruptures. In addition to encouraging the use of technology, Woodcock has been critical to the integration of these tools into WSSC’s PCCP strategy. It is among the most sophisticated in the nation.

Kim Linton, Senior Account Manager at Water Research Foundation presented the award to Woodcock during WSSC’s July Commission meeting.

“We [Water Research Foundation] think very highly of Mike; he has been instrumental in what we do,” says Linton. “He makes impassioned arguments about condition advancement tools and is the main person working on this, globally.”

The Water Research Foundation (WRF) is an internationally recognized leader in water research that is dedicated to advancing the science of water by sponsoring cutting-edge research and promoting collaboration. WRF research provides insight and solutions to critical challenges facing the water industry, including population growth, drought, aging treatment and distribution systems and fiscal uncertainty.

“Being a good steward of funding support is what we do and someone like Mike is who we need for that to happen,” adds Linton.

For 100 years, WSSC has proudly served the citizens of Prince George’s and Montgomery counties – providing drinking water that has always met strict Safe Drinking Water Act standards and protecting the environment through vital water resource recovery services. Our vision is to be THE world-class water utility, where excellent products and services are always on tap.


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