Inspection Technology

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

PICA Wins Water Pipeline Project with Alberta Environment and Parks

PICA Corp. is pleased and excited to announce that after a tough competition, that resulted in more than two dozen companies throwing their hats into the ring, Alberta Environment and Parks has accepted PICA's proposal for the inspection of municipal water pipelines in Buffalo Lake and Gull Lake in central Alberta. This is PICA's first project working with Alberta Environment and Parks and we are is set to kick off this project in May or June of 2016.

What Is the Scope of This Project?

During this project PICA will be visually inspecting two steel water pipelines; one spans 3.8 km and the other is 1.2 km long; both are 30" diameter. The pipelines are coated and both have relatively gentle slopes; making them ideal candidates for the Inuktun V-300 CCTV crawler. This technology can be operated in dry or water filled pipelines (although dry pipelines always provide better views of the pipe walls, allowing for a more accurate analysis and report.) The unit can fit pipe as small as 12" and is expandable up to 30".

These 30" pipelines are designed to quickly re-route water from two rivers and pump it to two lakes where the water levels often drop during times of drought and low rainfall. These water lines keep cabin owners, fishermen and recreational users of the lakes happy. When we inspect the 1.2 km line we will begin by inserting the unit from the spillway and analyzing the line in one run. For the 3.8 km line, we will be starting the inspection in approximately the middle and inserting the unit through a manhole. We will send it in one direction, reverse it when it reaches the end, and then repeat the process in the other direction.

What are we looking for during our inspection?

  • Blockages
  • Corrosion
  • Internal lining issues
  • Joint separation
  • Dents
  • Accumulations of silt and mud
  • Evidence of wildlife incursions (beaver, rodents, etc.)

What Technology Do You Expect to Use During the Project?

PICA's Inuktun V-300 CCTV crawler system has the capability to travel long distances inside pipelines. Even tethered, it can inspect up to 2.1 km of pipeline with a diameter 12" or greater in a single run. The water lines can be empty or filled with water and it can still effectively obtain hi-resolution video and still pictures, using its extendable platform and pan, tilt, and zoom cameras. The unit has a full view of the wall of the pipeline. During the inspection, the crawler can move at a 30 m/ minute at full speed; broadcasting all images to the operator's control console, where they are received in real-time.

Why Is This Technology Effective?

Municipalities truly see the value in using CCTV crawlers to inspect water lines, concrete sewer lines, and manholes because "an image speaks a thousand words." These days, the quality of images and the accuracy of GPS location systems makes CCTV one of the favorite inspection methods for municipal and industrial clients. While visual inspection techniques don't provide any information about the exterior of the pipe (they can't see through steel, or course) they produce images that are easily understood by all that review them. This is in contrast to magnetic flux leakage, remote field eddy current, broadband electromagnetic, and ultrasonic data that can be quite subjective and need to be interpreted by technicians who know the software. Also, CCTV crawlers can be deployed for less than half the price of other NDT technologies because they are designed for ease of access and deployment.

How Many PICA Employees Do We Anticipate Will Be Involved?

PICA anticipates that this operation will require a four employee crew to complete the project efficiently while being cost effective for the client. The amount of time it will take our crew to complete the inspection is dependent on the cleanliness of the line. If the line is clear and we encounter very few obstacles, it could take as little as four days to complete our inspection. If we do find a lot of buildup or multiple defects on the pipeline walls, we will need to stop the inspection and document them, thereby increasing the length of time it takes us to complete the analysis.

What is Unique about This Project?

One challenge that PICA will face during this project involves the 1.2 km line. It passes under a railway crossing where it dips down and then ascends again. There is a real possibility of a lot of sediment and dirty water in the pipeline at that location and we might not be able to see the pipeline walls that well. This is a limitation that the client is aware of. Over 95% of the pipeline's length is inspectable.

PICA Corp. is an experienced and professional pipeline inspection company that specializes in water lines. Contact us by phone 1(800) 661-0127 or by e-mail if you need water pipelines monitored and inspected and are interested in using PICA's CCTV inspection equipment.




For more information on the newest tools we use, see our brochures: