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 Whereas traditional HD CCTV operations take 10 years to complete resulting in outdated information, ICAP can wrap up its citywide operation within 6 years covering 190,00 linear feet annually.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…

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

Leak Detection: A New Challenge for the Oil & Gas Pipeline Industry

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

More often than not, most oil and gas pipeline leaks aren’t known until pipeline operators receive a call from somebody complaining that there’s oil in their field. The leak detection technology around pipelines is not modern, nor is it scientific or even technical. But because of the increase in pipelines that are needed to transport the huge new supply of shale oil, and Canadian heavy oil, throughout the continent, there’s now a more public scrutiny to the industry than ever before. And this lack of more sophisticated leak-detection methods at this day and age will just not fly politically. The challenge is for the industry to take the lead through increasing their leak detection budgets and adopting newer technology that’s already available in the market along with government intervention or regulation. With billions of dollars and profits on the line as both USA and Canada are in need of thousands of miles of new pipelines to get their fast growing supply of oil to the market, this could be that big first step necessary to win over public opinion.

To read the full story, click here

A new generation of leak-detection systems for pipelines based on acoustic technology

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

Leaks in the pipelines have always been a problem due to the implied risks and costs associated with it. The said risks can include risk to the equipment, the safety of the personnel, environmental contamination, losses in production, cleanup, medical expenses and even lawsuits. Indeed, even the smallest leaks have the potential to turn into an expensive and dangerous event if not detected and repaired in time. This becomes more critical with hazardous fluids that pose risk to life and the environment. Asel-Tech, a leading manufacturer of leak-detection systems since 2003, introduced the new system on acoustic leak-detection technology. The company applied the acoustic or sonic methodology based on the identification of hydraulic transients created by a pipeline wall rupture at the onset of the leak. With the traditional Sonic Leak-detection System (SLDS) that Asel-Tech offers, the acoustic sensors are installed at strategic points along the pipeline to read the dynamic signals used to identify leaks.

Click here to read the full article…

Unitywater rolls out innovative technologies with reservoir robots and “Smart Balls” that can detect leaks in pipework

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

In order to save money and improve its operations, Unitywater has released CCTV-equipped mini submarines and computer-chipped balls to flow through their water mainline. This is one of the many innovative new technologies that Unitywater is rolling out and is called the Submersible Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) Robot, or what the company staff call ‘Rove.’ From an underwater vantage point, it can perform a condition assessment of reservoir interiors to check any structural or safety problems. This saves time and actually improves safety for there is no longer any need to divert water supplies while reservoirs are taken offline for human divers to perform a confined-space entry. Recently, the company used the SmartBall device through 89 kilometres of pipeline in the Landers Shute-Woombye region and it only took 3 hours and 12 minutes. These innovations allow for the monitoring of assets from inside the pipe or reservoir, rather than just drawing conclusions from indirect external clues.

Read more about the technology here…

KWA may use helium gas technology to detect leaks

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

Kerala Water Authority (KWA) will be replacing the Smart Ball and Sahara technology it used previously with helium gas technology to detect leaks in its age-old drinking water distribution network. This helium gas technology involves injecting the inert, non-toxic gas into the live pipeline and the dissolved helium is expected to find its way to the ground surface if there are leaks in the pipeline. The path of the line will be traced along the ground using sensors to measure helium concentration. The Kerala Water Authority (KWA) will be replacing costly leak detection tests with this helium gas technology where the cost for testing a metre line is only around Rs.80 compared to Rs.6.5 lakh for one Smart Ball and Rs.1,000 for scanning one metre using Sahara. Some of its other advantages also include the fact that the line no longer needs to be shut down and the test can also be used in small distribution lines made of any material. A team from KWA is set to visit Mumbai to get a first-hand account of the leak detection tests that have already been conducted.

Click here to read the full article…

Water authority to use ‘helium technique’ for leak detection

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

For leak detection throughout distribution networks in its Mumbai and Delhi projects, Kerala Water Authority (KWA) is studying the use of helium gas technology by Degremont India, a subsidiary of French company Suez Environment. This is set to be done before submitting a feasibility report within a month as part of its goal to recharge the Non-Revenue Water Management (NRWM) units. Compared to the smart ball technology they used previously that had cost Rs. 900-1000 a metre yet failed KWA’s requirement of detecting leaks in smaller pipelines, the helium gas leak detection project would only cost a small fraction of that at about Rs. 80-90 per metre and has the advantage of identifying the leaks even when deployed in small-size pipelines. Mr. Ajit B. Patil, Managing director of KWA said the helium gas technology leak-detection project would become an integral part of NRWM unit as it would help plug the large amount of physical water loss, which is one of the two components of non-revenue water (the other one being revenue loss).

To read more about the project, click here…

Pennsylvania receives $2.19 million federal grant for pipeline safety

Friday, September 11th, 2015

As part of a $54 million nationwide initiative to support pipeline safety across all states, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (through their 2015 State Base Pipeline Safety Grant Program) awarded the state of Pennsylvania with a $2.19 million federal grant to fund pipeline inspections, regulations enforcement and incident investigations. Nationally, the program covers states and territories that account for 330 inspectors who are responsible for more than 80 percent of intrastate natural gas and hazardous liquid pipeline mileage in the United States. Senator Bob Casey emphasized in a press release that ensuring the safety standards for pipelines and pipeline facilities is crucial not only for the oil industry in Pennsylvania and the entire country, but more importantly for protecting the health and welfare of the people of Pennsylvania. It covers reimbursement for funding that the state needs for resources including personnel and equipment, incident inspections and corrective actions. To find out more about the grant, click here…


Friday, September 4th, 2015

Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) was first used to survey the depth of a glacier in Austria in 1929 and since that time was put in the back burner. After about 20 years or so, when the U.S. Air Force set up bases in Greenland, they found out through an unfortunate series of plane crashes that the radar actually penetrates ice sheets and caused radar operators to misread the actual distance of the plane from the ground. During those times, GPR were mostly build your own instruments; and it wasn’t until the early 70’s that they became commercially available. The invention of digital signal processing at the start of the millennium initiated changes to its appearance to make it look closer to the way it does today.

GPR is used in a variety of applications and industries including concrete imaging, utility locating, road inspection, military and security, environmental, and archaeology since it is considered to be an effective geophysical method for non-destructively detecting and investigating the presence and continuity of subsurface objects.

Read more about GPR here…