Posts Tagged ‘inspection’

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.


PICA’s Bracelet Probe is successful in its first commercial application

October 16, 2012 1 comment

PICA recently completed field work using its new Bracelet Probe in Florida. A Bracelet Probe, manufactured by PICA’s sister company, Russell NDE Systems, is similar to the in-line SeeSnake tools used to inspect metallic pipeline. While the SeeSnake is an internally applied technology, the Bracelet Probe is applied externally and is appropriate for cast and ductile iron, bare pipe and for insulated, above-ground, steel pipe.

In Florida, PICA technicians inspected two sets of ductile iron pipe, 14″ and 20″ in diameter. Internal corrosion was found to be limited but there was some degree of external corrosion not immediately apparent from visual inspections due to the presence of graphitic corrosion. The graphite was later chipped out to confirm the inspected corrosion depth with a pit depth gauge. PICA’s results are currently being incorporated into the client’s Asset Management Plans.

For more information on the Blanket Probe (similar to the Bracelet Probe), watch this short video or contact us at

Bracelet Probe

Costa Mesa uses PICA SeeSnake on award winning project.

September 14, 2012 1 comment


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 16-in force main

July 4, 2012 Leave a comment

InspectionLast week PICA completed the field work for a 16-in wastewater pipeline inspection. Located in the southern U.S., this cement lined ductile iron pipe had a history of failure and was a candidate for replacement and up-sizing. PICA was called in to assess the remaining life of the force main by measuring the actual remaining wall thickness of the pipe.

During the inspection, PICA’s SeeSnake Direct Condition Assessment tool traveled 4,400 ft, navigating five bends and crossing under major roadways.

The data is now in the Toronto office being analysed and a report will be issued shortly. For more information about this project and how PICA can improve your Asset Management plan, give us a call – we are happy to help!

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”.