Water Pipeline Corrosion: Are Your Pipes At Risk?
Friday, May 17, 2019

Water Pipeline Corrosion: Are Your Pipes At Risk?

Are your water or waste water lines at risk for corrosion buildup? Each year, water main breaks cause millions of dollars of damage to property, roadways, and more. Regular inspection of your lines helps ensure that your pipes are in the best conditional possible, as well as reduce your risk of significant damage and costly repairs. At PICA Corp, we’re proud to be a leading provider of inspection services for customers all over the globe. Read onto learn more about two of our showcase resources below!

Identifying The Causes Of Corrosion

Fending off corrosion, particularly for pipes that are carrying raw or wastewater can be challenging. Corrosion can occur on both the inside and the outside of these pipes. 

In drinking water lines, the minerals present in the water can precipitate internally, and may offer some form of corrosion barrier. The exterior, however, is often in contact with soil, which can eventually break down the coating of the pipe and then places the line at risk. If left undetected, this can lead to two significant issues:

  1. Failure of the pipeline is imminent
  2. Water quality will suffer.  Fluid inside the pipe is not always at a higher pressure than the water table outside the pipe, so dirty water can be drawn into the drinking water by high water table pressure or capillary effect.

Once a line is vulnerable, it’s only a matter of time before the main begins to experience leaks or a complete failure.

The See Snake Advantage

PICA’s See Snake tool makes the inspection of water mains simple. Fast and reliable, the See Snake family of ILI Tools has quickly become an essential element of AMP's across North America. These tools use non-contact NDT methods to conduct condition assessments, and are equally sensitive to internal or external flaws. The See Snake can run long distances as needed, and offers inspection speeds of 1.5 to 2 km/hr on average. The mechanical design of the snake allows for it to easily navigate ID variations, as well as bends and elbows. All of our See Snake tools are fully autonomous and can be used either tethered or free swimming.


Suitable for larger pipes, the Electro-Magnetic Inspection Technology (EMIT) tool was created by our sister company, Russell NDE in 2006. EMIT conducts analysis by running on the inside of the pipeline, eliminating the need for costly excavation. Electromagnetic signals are transmitted through the pipe wall and are monitored as they return into the pipe, broadcasting data that helps to identify any damage quickly. The latest version of EMIT was released in 2017 and is designed to assess large diameter pipes up to 78” in the highest resolution possible.

Don’t let your water mains remain at risk for corrosion. Contact PICA today to learn more.​