Archive for October, 2015


Scoping Sewers, Saving Millions

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

Fort Worth is one of the fastest growing large cities in the country, and one of its challenges with pipeline infrastructure is deciding between how much CIP dollars should be allocated between system expansion to accommodate growth and how much should be spent on system renewal. In 2008, Fort Worth retained the services of Freese and Nichols to conduct a comprehensive citywide wastewater master plan called the Interceptor Condition Assessment Program (ICAP), which uses 3 technologies to get a thorough analysis of the structure: a 3MP HD CCTV camera for high resolution images, sonar that detects the volume of debris below the waterline, and laser to identify corrosion above the water service. This is the largest known implementation of this technology in the world and has saved the city $4.5 million in cleaning costs and $3-6 million in the prevention of pipeline failures 4 years into the program. Whereas traditional HD CCTV operations take 10 years to complete resulting in outdated information, ICAP can wrap up its citywide operation within 6 years covering 190,00 linear feet annually. It gives the city a proactive approach in identifying significant corrosion in pipeline and pinpoint line segments to repair, which allows officials to focus rehab dollars in the areas of greatest need. Click here to find out more about it…

Wireless Interface Streamlines Pipeline Inspections

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

Ratech Electronics recently debuted two of the latest technologies in their pipeline inspection camera systems. The Elite SD is a WiFi interface used to record and transmit videos wirelessly to your device (like an Ipad Air, Iphone, Ipod Touch, etc) and upload saved videos to Youtube directly. It also has the ability to take digital still photos and display onscreen text and distance count, as well as time & date. The product also works well with android devices and can work on every product Ratech is currently offering, as well as upgrade any existing unit in the field by simply having the customers send back their inspection units and the WiFi interface feature can be added at a low cost. The other product that the company debuted is the Inspector tablet, which in the demo was shown with 100 ft of cable. It records to a Microsoft Surface tablet and has a movable docking station which can also be rotated.
The use of tablets and other devices to record pipeline inspections is fast becoming more mainstream in the industry, and it has become increasingly important to offer WiFi options to eliminate the need for USB sticks, SD cards, DVD. Read more about it here

First responders – our partners in pipeline safety

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

TransCanada doesn’t take local knowledge for granted. The company has been drawing on the knowledge and training of local first respondents and regularly collaborating with them for decades to ensure everyone knows what to do in the unlikely event of a pipeline incident. They have even had nearly 40 years of collaboration together with the local first responders in Englehart. But since a proposal has been made to convert a section of the Canadian mainline to oil transportation for the Energy East Pipeline, the team has gone back to Engelhart and many other communities along the proposed project in recent months with another purpose– to prepare emergency response plans (ERPs) that are very specific to an oil pipeline and take local requirements into consideration. ERPs describe procedures and resources used to conduct an efficient and coordinated response to an emergency in order to protect and mitigate impacts to the public and responders, property and the environment. This is TransCanada’s way of preparing for all aspects and ensuring that pipeline safety will remain their number one priority for their highly critical Energy East project. Click this link to find out more about it…

How surveys help us develop a safe pipeline project

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

With their Energy East Pipeline project coming up soon, TransCanada will continue to adapt the same approach they’ve taken in previous projects. That means they take on environmental stewardship or the responsibility for their environmental impacts and conducting field studies that help them identify and mitigate the potential effects the project may have on the environment. Field studies play an important role in every project that’s being undertaken because the knowledge gained through them allows the development of proper design and engineering plans, and the appropriate mitigation measures to minimize the impact that construction and operations of projects may have on the environment. The company even filed a 20,000-page application with the National Energy Board in October 2014, which contained a detailed ‘Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment’ based on multiple studies of environmental experts and consultants including geotechnical surveys and studies on soils, vegetation, wildlife, archeological resources or wetlands- just to name a few. TransCanada has conducted due diligence and connected with communities in the area because they are serious about their commitment to develop the project’s safety and sustainability for the environment. To read more about it, click here

New Mobile Non-destructive Pipeline Testing Laboratory Brought into Operation at Gazpromneft-Noyabrskneftegaz

Monday, October 5th, 2015

A new non-destructive pipeline testing laboratory has been introduced and brought into operation at Gazpromneft-Noyabrsknedtegaz. It makes use of cutting-edge equipment like X-ray, ultrasonic flaw detection appliances, and thickness-testing apparatus which allows the remote monitoring of the operational status of major trunk pipelines. It’s also built around an all-terrain KAMAZ vehicle to ensure a comfortable working environment under the Russian Far North and is manned and serviced by four employees. By operating its own unit to monitor pipeline status, the company optimizes outgoings and significantly increases the reliability of information received and the flaw-detection system further enhances their program. This new equipment has been introduced following independent assessment and certification consistent with the state’s energy, industrial, environmental, and construction safety standards which resulted in the implementation of a range of initiatives directed at improving pipeline reliability. It successfully applies intra-tubal robot-assisted defect-detectors in proving the effectiveness of non-detachable pipe-coupling technology. They also monitor territory throughout its own license block through the use of unmanned aerial vehicles or drones, which allows the earlier detection of possible defects within intra-field pipeline system. Follow this link for the full article…

Saudi Arabia’s latest hajj disaster raises serious safety questions

Monday, October 5th, 2015

The biggest annual gathering of Muslims from around the world, the hajj, is also one of the biggest and most unique logistical problem in the world. Since the Arab-Israeli war and the rise of oil prices in 1973, the number of pilgrims to Mecca has risen significantly from around 58,000 in 1920 to 1.7 million by 2012. The number peaked at 3.1 million in 2013, when country quotas were re-introduced. It was estimated that 2 million people took part in the annual pilgrimage this year, where a disastrous stampede resulted in the deaths of 717 pilgrims. This was following an earlier incident involving the collapse of a crane in Mecca causing the deaths of more than a hundred people. These latest horrific disasters in Saudi Arabia has raised familiar yet troubling and grim questions about the organization, safety precautions and levels of competence in the Kingdom. Some experts are saying the huge number of pilgrims are not the ones to be blamed for the accidents. Rather, the state should take the blame for poor planning and incompetence on their part. The ongoing construction boom in the city, poor communication, and inadequate emergency planning are said to have contributed to the tragedy. Read the full article here

Echologics Continues to Advance Acoustics- Based Condition Assessment, Leak Detection

Friday, October 2nd, 2015

The reality is that there is an infrastructure deficit. Proactive sewer and water system owners are always looking for ways to get the most out of every dollar when making the decision to repair or replace pipe sections and hope to cut critical problems off at the pass. But as asset owners make the shift from having a reactive mentality into a proactive one, one of the most important tools of the trade is the use of leak detection and condition assessment technologies in order to narrow down the areas that are in need of immediate attention. The Toronto-based Echologics, a division of Mueller Co., saw the need for a high-level, non-invasive kind of method that allowed utilities to know what condition their infrastructures were in. Marc Bracken, the company’s founder/vice president/general manager, helped commercialize an acoustic leak detection system for PVC pipes as a joint venture together with the National research Council of Canada. Echologics provides economic value through completing an initial assessment and then continually monitoring the condition of the pipe, reducing water loss and finding leaks before a critical incident. Click here to read more about it…

Pipeline dog can detect mercapten

Friday, October 2nd, 2015

Bill Allen, a dog trainer in Saskatchewan, offers pipeline sniffing services among the abilities that his dogs can perform. He paid a visit to the Weyburn Rotary Club recently with his pup Ruff, who’s almost two years of age, and explained how he got into the specialized business and what things are involved in offering the said service. Allen was once a part of a search and rescue group back in Alberta and was shown how dog training can become very beneficial. He also explained how his dog sniffs for pipeline leaks. They don’t look for gas (which is toxic but odourless) but for the tracer element mercaptan instead because it is harmless but has a particular stench. Manufacturers purposely mix mercaptan into natural gas and propane so it can be detected and is designed to go out to the point of leak and go straight up. This meant that Allen and his dog need to walk the length of the pipeline, and if the dog smells any of the mercaptan smell that’s familiar to him coming up from the ground, he will sit down to let his master know. For the full story, click here