Inspection Technology

Surveying the State of Pipeline Condition Assessment
Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Surveying the State of Pipeline Condition Assessment

Do you take a proactive or reactive approach to pipeline assessment? Regularly inspecting the condition of your pipes can mean the difference between catching early signs of damage and costly repairs after a major failure. Learn more about pipeline assessments, including major risks to your line, the costs of forgoing regular inspection, as well as PICA Corp services below.

A Closer Look At Pipeline Assessment


Each year, pipeline failures lead to millions of dollars and fines around the world. Three to ten billion gallons of raw sewage spill as the result of damaged wastewater pipelines and more. Over time, corrosion can reduce the integrity of your main, placing it at risk for leaks and catastrophic failures. Scheduling regular inspections can help to identify such issues early on, giving you the chance to repair pipes before a major event occurs. This in turns saves you the hassle of costly cleanups, replacements, and other inconveniences that come with the aftermath of a significant break.

More Important Than Ever

According to a recent study conducted by Utah State University, North America’s water infrastructure is facing a serious state of decline, with break rates having increased 27% between 2012 and 2018. Break rates for cast iron and asbestos cement pipe (which make up 41% of the water mains across North America) have increased by over 40% during that same time frame.

What’s causing these issues?  While there are multiple factors that can contribute to the breakdown of a pipeline, corrosion, particularly soil side corrosion, remains a major cause of pipe failures. This is especially true for lines installed in highly corrosive soils.  Notable findings include:

  • Cast iron pipes have 20 times more breaks in highly corrosive soils.
  • The average age of failing water mains is approximately 50 years, while the average expected life of is approximately 84 years.
  • The majority of utility pipelines are in medium to high soil corrosivity.
  • 45% of utilities recognize condition assessments as a necessary step to be included in their asset management planning.

Such statistics show that the importance of performing condition assessments is more significant than ever.

PICA Pipeline Inspections


PICA corp has been a leader in the pipeline inspection industry and proudly serving customers across North America since the early 1990s. Our in-line pipeline inspection tools, designed and manufactured by our sister company, Russell NDE Systems, offer comprehensive condition analysis using unique electromagnetic technology. PICA’s self-contained units make it easy to inspect pipelines for signs of degradation including corrosion, erosion, cracking and more, allowing you to make informed decisions about maintenance and repair. Learn more about our tools, as well as our specific inspection services, by contacting PICA today.

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