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Posts Tagged ‘force main’

PICA finds a hole in one!

May 31, 2013 1 comment

Last July, we posted a blog about inspecting 4,400 ft of 16-in ductile iron force main in the southern U.S. using PICA’s patented SeeSnake. The resulting condition assessment indicated that the first 550 ft of line was heavily corroded while the remaining line was in great shape. A report was written that provided the remaining wall thickness along with axial and clock positions for the three thinnest pitting regions in each pipe.

Last week, a dig was performed to confirm PICA’s assessment on one of the assessed pipes. PICA predicted a through hole (0% remaining wall) located 2.7 ft from the joint along with two other corroded regions approximately 6 ft from the joint. The excavated pipe contained exactly that.

Knowing that PICA’s technology provides direct condition assessment that works, the client can now make informed decisions regarding their pipeline.

Through hole in Ductile Iron

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PICA completes a successful inspection of 12″ FM in Midwest

November 26, 2012 Leave a comment

PICA crew with 12-in SeeSnakePICA was recently entrusted with the responsibility of inspecting 3,000 ft of ductile iron force main for a client on the banks of Lake Michigan. This critical pipeline carries treated wastewater between two plants and was targeted for inspection due to a failure on a parallel pipeline.

To facilitate this inspection, PICA inserted their free-swimming 12″ SeeSnake tool into the line by way of a launch barrel, used the plant’s pumps to push the tool the entire distance, and received it in a catch barrel. To ensure the tool would successfully navigate the pipeline, a gauge pig was run prior to inspection. Calibrations runs were also conducted on site to ensure the best possible data would be collected.

After three days of field work, the PICA team demobilized and sent the data to Toronto where it is currently being analysed.

For more information about this job, contact PICA USA at 1.704.236.3771.

Costa Mesa uses PICA SeeSnake on award winning project.

September 14, 2012 1 comment

CMSD Logo

Costa Mesa Sanitary District (CMSD) was recently presented the Avoiding Disasters by Proactively Assessing Sewer Force Main Conditions – INNOVATIVE PROGRAM/PROJECT AWARD by the California Special Districts Association.

As stated in their application, “Sewer force main pipes are ticking time bombs for public agencies”. Aiming to prevent a ruptured force main similar to one that ruptured for a nearby agency (spilling nearly 2.3 million gallons of untreated sewage into three creeks), CMSD employed an innovative process to accurately assess their pipeline.

First, CMSD’s team of experts successfully cleaned 1,500 ft of sewer force mains using poly pigs made of flexible open cell polyurethane foam. No pigs got lodged in the pipeline and there was no disruption of service to customers. Then PICA employed its SeeSnake RFT tool to measure wall thickness. The results have confirmed CMSD’s decision to assess these lines and are immediately making plans to rehabilitate the force main before a sanitary sewer overflow occurs.

CMSD Engineer, Rob Hamers, stated that he has “waited over 30 years for a tool like SeeSnake” and compares it to be equivalent to the invention of the calculator for engineers.

Congratulations to CMSD and their proactive approach to force main management!

PICA inspects 8″ and 12″ force mains in Southern California

August 28, 2012 Leave a comment

Inspecting FMs in SoCalPICA just delivered a final report for two force mains inspected in Southern California. The first line was 300 feet of 12-in ductile iron pipe and the second line was over 1,000 feet of 8-in ductile iron.

The two lines were selected by the client in order to obtain wall thickness measurements of the pipes as well as to assess the reliability and performance of the SeeSnake tools. Each run was accessed via manhole openings and contained multiple bends. The success of this job will allow the client to make proactive decisions about their infrastructure.

 

For more information about PICA’s services, please email us at info@picacorp.com or give us a call. We look forward to hearing from you!

Environment Canada increases the pressure to prevent pollution of waterways

March 30, 2012 Leave a comment

Wastewater producers are required by Environment Canada directives to treat their wastewater effluent to the standards cited by Section 36.(3) of the Fisheries Act. The Act simply states that no one has the right to deposit, or permit to deposit, a deleterious substance of any type in water frequented by fish.Environmental Effects

Effluent from most wastewater treatment plants meets this standard but what about wastewater from sewer pipes that leak?

Up to 3,700 illnesses annually are due to exposure to recreational water contaminated by sanitary sewage overflows. In 1989, sanitary sewer overflows in Cabool, Missouri contaminated drinking water distribution lines causing 243 cases of reported diarrhea and 4 deaths. (EPA)

Most people are aware of the fact that when there is widespread flooding, such as in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, there is an immediate risk of diseases such as cholera, tetanus, typhoid etc. What many people are not aware of is that there are over 75,000 sanitary sewer leaks or overflows per annum in the USA alone. These are potential sources of these same diseases and for pollution of our waterways.

Fines for pollution of our waterways in both Canada and the USA are severe: $200k/day in Canada. Many fines of $400k+ have been levied for Canadian polluters.

The problem is that our sewers are aging and leaking more frequently and there is not enough money in municipal coffers to replace these tired assets with new pipe. Asset managers are facing escalating costs for emergency repairs, environmental fines, consent decrees and third-party damage while trying to scrape together funds for replacements. Fortunately, PICA can help!

Recently, PICA inspected a 5 mile length of 24″ force main for the City of Raymore, MO. The City was interested in knowing the condition of the first mile of this length but they found that the good information provided by PICA was so valuable that they are now considering paying the extra charge for the data from the remaining 4 miles of pipe to be analysed. As a first step, they will be excavating the line at several weak spots identified by the PICA SeeSnake tool. We fully expect that the condition of the pipe in these local spots will be confirmed, thereby saving the City from several potential environmental disasters.

Cast iron, ductile iron and steel pipelines laid in poorly drained soils and having virtually no external protective coating will corrode and eventually fail. The process of corrosion is often galvanic, ie: highly localized pitting locations caused by electric currents flowing between anodic and cathodic areas on the pipe. Just like your car battery post, the positive (or anodic) post corrodes while the negative (cathodic) post is untouched by  corrosion. Pipes can be protected by connecting sacrificial anodes (zinc ingots) at suitable spacing so that the zinc anodes corrode instead of the pipe. In many cases, PICA can identify long lengths of pipeline that can be protected and the corrosion process arrested by retrofitting the line with cathodic protection or buried anodes.

For a cost that is generally less than 5% of replacement cost, PICA can assure asset managers of the actual, full length condition of their pipelines. SeeSnake tools can be run once to provide a “snapshot” of line condition or be  run on a scheduled basis to monitor the changing condition over time and thereby project when repair or replacement is required.

For more information, contact one of our technical sales representatives in your area (www.picacorp.com).

Successful assessment of 24-in ductile iron force main

March 1, 2012 3 comments

Recently, PICA was contracted by the City of Raymore to inspect a portion of their 24-in DI force main. The line had been installed in the early 1990’s but had experienced three leaks. Subsequent soil analysis determined the soil was “hot” and potentially damaging for their unwrapped pipe.

In order to make good decisions regarding the rehabilitation of their 17,500 ft force main, they called in PICA to give them a report chronicling the exact condition of their line. The full story is described by Phil Becker (Engineering Technician with the City of Raymore) and Chris Garrett (General Manager of PICA USA) in February’s Trenchless Technology publication.

This force main project is one of many that PICA has accomplished in the last couple of years, proving that “Good Decisions start with Good Information”.