Case Study

Echologics: Acoustic-Based Condition Assessment Provides Accurate Remaining Pipe Wall Thickness Measurements For Columbus, Ohio

Source: Mueller Water Products

The City of Columbus, Ohio’s water infrastructure is quickly coming to the end of its life expectancy. As a result, the city is significantly increasing its budget for large-scale pipe replacement projects. Malcolm Pirnie, a Division of Arcadis, the engineering firm that is assisting Columbus with its water infrastructure improvement projects, approached Echologics to perform an acoustic-based assessment of the remaining wall thickness of selected 6–12 inch Ductile Iron and Cast Iron water pipes that run throughout the city.

Life expectancy and age alone are not accurate indications of pipe integrity. Many pipes have been found to have significant remaining service life even after the end of their theoretical design. Basing pipe replacement strictly on age will result in the unnecessary removal of healthy pipe, thus wasting money. A more efficient approach for utilities to determine whether or not a pipe needs to be replaced is acousticbased pipe condition assessment. This method can help them to better understand the levels of pipe degradation in their water systems; such information helps utilities to effectively prioritize replacement and rehabilitation projects according to remaining wall thickness levels, not age.

Echologics’ innovative pipe condition assessment can accurately measure the remaining wall thickness with little to no service interruption. This paper will outline Echologics’ methods while comparing its condition assessment results involving 6, 8, and 12 inch Cast Iron and Ductile Iron pipes to samples of the same pipes that were collected following the surveys.