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Posts Tagged ‘tools’

PICA & Russell NDE Open House

December 14, 2012 Leave a comment

PICA and Russell NDE hosted an open house for Edmonton based customers on Dec 11 & 12, 2012.

2012-12-14 Open House 1Products displayed and demonstrated were:

  • PICA tools for water mains (access through Hydrants)
  • PICA tools for waste water pipelines (free swimming and tethered)
  • PICA external tools for spot inspection of pipelines (Blanket Probe & Bracelet Probe through coatings and insulation)
  • Russell NDE ultrasonic tools for inspection of pipelines from inside and out
  • Russell NDE Vertiscan system for inspection of boiler tubes
  • Russell NDE E-PIT probes for inspection of pipelines and boiler tubes from outside of tube, through coatings
  • Russell NDE Ferroscope system for inspection of heat exchanger and boiler tubes
  • Russell NDE ultrasonic SIRIS system for the inspection of heat exchanger and boiler tubes
  • Russell NDE digital thickness gauges

A crowd of 30+ local customers visited and expressed interest in many of the technologies displayed.

For inquiries on any of these products/services, please contact info@russelltech.com or info@picacorp.com

 

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 info@picacorp.com

Bracelet Probe

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!

Drinking Water Week 2012

May 8, 2012 1 comment

Drinking Water Week 2012When it comes to clean, safe drinking water every drop counts. Currently, 86% of Canadian households enjoy their water directly from a municipal water source, having access to 7% of the world’s renewable freshwater while 1 in 7 people worldwide lack for safe drinking water.

Additionally:

  • The water industry is a $400 billion global industry, the third largest behind electricity and oil.
  • We in North America consume 100-175 gallons per day (per person) while Africans use 5 gallons per day (per FAMILY).
  • In developing countries, 80% of diseases are caused by unsanitary water.

May 6-11, 2012 is Drinking Water Week. It’s a good opportunity to remind ourselves how fortunate we are to have easy access to safe drinking water. It is also a good time to renew our commitment to water conservation to ensure we continue to have it for ourselves and our children (and their children…).

There are many resources available online that detail ways individuals, groups, industries and municipalities can save water or stretch their water budgets further. Please set aside some time this week to search some that work for you. To start you off, here is a link to the Alberta WaterPortal’s list of water savvy apps for your smartphone. There are 48 apps listed with apps appropriate for children, adults, students, water professionals and even for the hardcore angler.

[Sources: Stats Canada, Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Alberta WaterPortal, Blue Planet Network]

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).

Worldmapper Maps

May 18, 2011 Leave a comment

Have you ever wondered about which countries used the most domestic water? Or industrial water?  Or maybe you’re in the wastewater end of the industry and wanted to know which countries produced the least sewage sludge?

If you are interested for your own sake or wish to find an efficiently mapped diagram illustrating these types of values for your next presentation, try Worldmapper.

Worldmapper contains almost 700 maps illustrating world rates on resources, manufacturing, income, violence (and a surprisingly large number of maps on death…). I found at least a dozen on water or sewage.

The map below provides an example of their world map for Water Use (map #104). You can also obtain a pdf poster version. The different colours are used to identify geographical territories (and are consistent for all maps to facilitate comparisons) while the size represents the quantities of water usage for each territory. The pdf version also includes a smaller image of the land area map for reference.

For partners in fuel producing industries, there are maps for you (#109-120). There are also maps on gas, coal and crude petroleum imports/exports, if you’re into that kind of thing. It’s definitely worth having a look.

And did I mention it’s free?

NOTE: Image is copyright SASI Group (University of Sheffield) and Mark Newman (University of Michigan).