What happens after a force main installed less than 20 years ago previously fails on a national holiday? In the case of a Missouri utility, a condition assessment project on the critical non-redundant pipeline was launched to get a better understanding of its overall condition and determine if the pipe needed to be replaced.
According to a 2004 WERF survey, 7.5% of wastewater collection systems are force mains, most of them located in highly critical areas in communities where the consequence of failure (CoF) can be severe. Even more troublesome for utilities are the operational and technological limitations associated with pressurized pipes.
With advancements in technology and a willingness to develop proactive pipeline integrity programs, utilities can successfully reduce failures, mitigate risk, reduce capital expenditures, and increase confidence in the overall operation of their force mains.
Utilizing inline inspection technologies, the Missouri utility gained a comprehensive understanding of the condition of their force main and was able to pinpoint areas which needed immediate attention. They also identified sections of the pipe with many years of remaining useful life, saving them the cost and effort of a larger-scale replacement.