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PIPA Pipescout™ Completes Project

pipaPIPA Pipescout™ Completes Project

Scope of Works

PIPA was recently contacted by a water contractor in Hong Kong. The water utility had identified leaks on a twin line water pipeline and wanted to find a solution to survey long ranges via limited access fittings. Due to the pipeline bury depth, configuration of multiple bends and changes in pipe diameters and elevations, using free floating devices and traditional techniques the client could not get the results required.

Project Challenges

The pipeline is a twin pipeline taking water supplies from a fresh water reservoir supplying a large area of Kowloon region in Hong Kong.

The pipeline is built with bitumen lined steel pipes with multiple lateral and vertical bends due to its location and elevation.

The pipe runs at 9 bar pressure.

The client utilised external specialist leakage teams and searched for leaks over several weeks with the following methods:

* Noise correlators – several leaks resulted in dry excavationspipa

* 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

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

PIPA uses technology that includes a pressure rated hydrophone capsule tethered to a 5000 metre 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 client’s services, and can cover a distance of up to 5km per day.

During this inspection in Hong Kong it was noted that there were over 50 bends successfully covered plus additional vertical bends not marked on ‘as laid’ drawings supplied.

The unique water safe cable can be installed and left inside pipelines as part of an ongoing monitoring process. This means that the lines can be inspected every year to quickly identify all new leaks as they occur. The system also offers pipe contractors a failsafe on all new pipe installations.

The technology is the latest live main inspection system on the market being fully battery powered and only requires a 2-person team for its Implementation.

Survey results

* PIPA successfully surveyed 2 pipelines

* Tethered insertion technology system allowed for precise location of the leaks to be identified

* Acoustic system is very sensitive and able to pick up small and large leaks

* Operator was able to identify no other leaks with joints identified in close proximately to each other

* System is portable and was carried 100 metres uphill to the entry point, and is self-powered via batteries

* Complete survey and pipe evaluation completed in one insertion

* The Pipescout successfully navigated around 50 bends including 90 degrees, vertical and horizontal bends during the survey

* 3 more pipe inspections awarded in August 2023


It would have been very difficult and expensive for contractor to find the remaining issues within the water mains. The long range tethered acoustic capability proved indispensable for locating issues and troubleshooting pipelines even with multiple bend configurations.

PIPA completed the pipe inspections in 1 working day per pipeline.

The water utility client was impressed by the quick procedure to install a monitoring cable and complete long range tethered leakage inspections undertaken by PIPA.

All cables are now left and safely secured at each end of the pipelines for future pipe analysis.

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 is now seeking partner operators for the Pipescout™ technology globally.

For more information contact sa***@pi*****.com

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