Inspection Technology

Water Main Inspection Solutions
Monday, June 4, 2018

Water Main Inspection Solutions

As we discussed in a previous piece on waste water line inspections, regular evaluation of your pipelines is an integral part of protecting the longevity of your pipes, as well as guaranteeing the safety of areas serviced by each vessel. An estimated 240,000 water main breaks occur each year (as per a 2007 report published by the Environmental Protection Agency), with older pipes being an incrementally higher risk for damage as time goes on.

Water main leakage is a serious issue that impacts both the environment and communities relying on normal operations; with 1.7 trillion gallons of water being lost each year (as per The US Geological Survey) with a multi-billion dollar price-tag attached, preventive measures are crucial.

Inspecting to Protect

Water lines play a vital, if unseen, role in our communities. From safely transporting waste water away from a municipality to ensuring the accessibility of consumable water, water mains are in constant use. Over time, even in ideal conditions, pipelines will begin to degrade and may develop rust buildup, cracks, holes, and a variety of other issues. Environmental factors including climate or the introduction of air to your main line can expedite wear and tear caused by corrosion. Regular inspection is the best way to avoid serious damage or failure, as well as extend the life cycle of your pipeline.

Inspection Tools

PICA offers customers access to our patented, state of the art, RFT See Snake Tools to provide exceptionally accurate pipeline condition analysis. The See Snake is unique from competitors in that it does not require contact with pipe walls and can measure through scale, wax and non-magnetic liners. With a minimum clearance of 0.250” (6.3mm), the tool can safely pass through weld roots, dents, and internal deposits. The See Snake is completely waterproof, extremely flexible, and can easily travel through pipelines with product flow, or with the use of compressed air. Other benefits of these tools include:

  • Built to last: See Snakes have no external movable parts (unlike MFL tools) and are tested against the demands of harsh Canadian winters, as well as the extreme heat of Australian summers.
  • Speed: The See Snake is able to inspect your line rapidly, with speeds of one to two km/hr typically seen for common wall thicknesses. All data is stored onboard and then conveniently downloaded over USB or Bluetooth connection at the completion of the device’s run.
  • More information: Knowledge is power when it comes to prevention. The See Snake uses RFT methods, meaning it has equal sensitivity for both internal and external pits. See Snakes can also measure local line stress, identifying areas that are under external stress due to soil movement, inadequate support, pipeline resting on rock, etc.
  • Easy to track: the device can be detected from above ground because the unique signal generated travels through pipe walls and up to the soil surface in an instant, meaning you don’t need to rely on an extra transmitter (sonde) for tracking.

Protection in Action

For those wondering what kind of track record our See Snake Tools have, we invite you to take a look at this brief abstract, highlighting two cases in which the See Snake played an integral role in pipeline evaluation. As an international NDE leader, our technology is frequently used worldwide, such is the case with the scenarios presented in the piece above. Having been put to the test in “high consequence” lines in Hong Kong, as well as helping to assess the repair needs of a line experiencing multiple faults in Missouri, our clients know that they can trust the data provided by our instruments.

Our dedication to protection through information allows for customers to move forward with confidence in their results. Whether the cause for inspection is preventative or prescriptive, PICA’s tools will help keep your water mains, as well as the communities they service, safe.

To learn more about PICA’s inspection services, industry leading equipment, and more, contact us today!

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