PIPA Live Water Pipe Inspection and Leak Detection New Mains

PIPA Live Water Pipe Inspection and Leak Detection New Mains
Scope of Works
PIPA was recently contacted by a water utility client in the UK. The utility had identified leaks on a newly installed water pipeline. Due to the pipeline bury depth and PVC material, using traditional techniques the client could not pinpoint the leaks exact location.

Project Challenges
The pipeline is a district heating pipe deeply buried and supported with insulation and concrete.
The pipeline is Aquatherm pipe double insulated and requires 3 pressure tests at 20 bar.
The pipe configuration included 16×90 degree bends around several streets requiring traffic management and road closures.
The client utilised external specialist leakage teams and searched for leaks over several weeks with the following methods:
* Noise correlators – no leaks identified (not accurate on non-metallic pipes
* Listening stick- Pipeline was deeply sited below ground so this technique not feasible
* Specialist camera contractor for water mains, however too many bends were identified
* Hydrostatic testing- this identified a leak, however does not pinpoint its location

This had a major knock on effect, as the client cannot proceed with a localised repair solution, and also may require weeks of road closures and additional excavations.

PIPA uses technology that includes a pressure rated hydrophone capsule (PipepodTM) tethered to a 2000m cable to give the operator recorded audio data during an inspection. The system enters a pipeline via an 80mm riser, and is fully chlorinated during its Insertion; the system works on a live basis, with no Interruptions to the clients services, and can cover a distance of up to 2km per day.
The unique water safe cable can be installed as part of the pipe build process, or be attached to a swab when cleaning the pipeline. The system offers contractors a failsafe on new pipe installations.
The technology is the latest live main inspection system on the market being fully battery powered and only requires a 2 man team for its Implementation.

Results of survey findings

L1-46m L2-620m L3-675m
3 leaks identified on failed joint sections over a length of pipe totalling 690 metres

Survey results
* PIPA successfully identified 3 leaks at 46, 620 and 675 metres
* Tethered insertion technology system allowed for precise location of the leaks to be identified
* The system offers pipe contractors a fail-safe on all new pipe installations
* Pipepod Hydrostatic sensors rated to 20 bar pressure
* The system was successful even with difficult pipe configuration and many 90 degree bends
* Acoustic system is very sensitive and able to pick up small and large leaks in all materials
* Operator was able to identify no other leaks with joints identified in close proximately to each other

Leaking Joint indentified

It would have been very difficult and expensive for contractor to find the remaining issues within the water main. The acoustic capability proved indispensable for locating issues and trouble shooting.
PIPA completed the inspection in 1 working day, and in total successfully identified and located 3 leaks (now verified).
The contractor resolved the ongoing issue by removing the guess work at a fraction of the cost and time they invested in other methods in previous weeks.

PIPA representative said- The project was a great success, Ideal due to pipe location and material and also a great case study for our company. The contractor had exhausted all other pipeline inspection avenues, and was more than relieved when we offered a solution.
PIPA has also delivered successful projects with the majority of the UK water utility companies, and now offers our products and services globally in 2021.

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