Datasheet: Pipe Wall Integrity TestingSource: Mueller Water Products
With the aging water infrastructure, the quantity of old pipe in the ground is dictating how water utilities priortitize their rehabilitation and replacement programs. In general this prioritization is done by statistical indicators such as age of pipe, burst history, and soil type, as well as practical considerations such as road repaving or sewer rehabilitation. Seldom are decisions based on actual data regarding the structural condition of the pipe, as the existing technologies have typically required insertion of tools into the pipe. New acoustic technologies developed by Echologics now make it possible to perform leak detection while simultaneously determining remaining structural wall thickness on a cost-effective survey level basis.
The measurement provided is not the physical thickness of the pipe, which can often remain unchanged, but its structural thickness. This gives a real indicator of the remaining pipe life. A variety of pipes can be assessed, including those used for fire protection, raw or water-processing, force mains, and drinking-water delivery.
The economics of our technology is compelling. The water loss found during the engineering assessment can often pay for the study, soley based on the marginal cost of the water loss saved. In addition, the technology has been very successful in identifying degraded pipe, allowing a utility to prioritize the infrastructure rehabilitation. This means saving money by not replacing pipe that is in good condition.
The key advantages of the technology
- The technique is non-intrusive and non-destructive
- The technology works on all types of pipe, including cast-iron, asbestos cement, ductile iron, and steel
- It is the only technology able to determine the structural wall thickness of asbestos cement
- Leak detection is performed at the same time as pipe wall condition assessment
- The technique has proven highly effective at identifying the worst sections of pipes, allowing them to be prioritized for rehab or replacement
Implementing the technology
- Pipes are accessed by valves or fire hydrants on the line
- Typical sensor spacing can range from 49' (15 m) to 984' (300 m). The closer the sensor spacing, the better the resolution to find small areas of degraded pipe
- Acoustic signals can be induced in the pipe by any of several means: by flowing water from fire hydrants, by physically tapping on an appurtenance such as a valve, or by attaching vibro-mechanical shakers to the system