For De Soto Utilities, well water is pumped through a single 16” DI pipe that was constructed in 1943 during WWII for a military ammunitions plant. Little to no information was known about the DI pipe because the city inherited it following the closure of the plant. Furthermore, the water utility was experiencing financial hardships at the time. The controversial line passes under the Kansas River conveying raw water from the primary
source to the treatment plant. This line is considered high risk due to its location, criticality and unknown status. However, it was of particular concern to De Soto Water Utilities due to the excessive operational pressure and reduction in conveyance capacity.
Aquam Pipe Diagnostics (APD) was appointed to identify the source of the flow restriction using its suite of specialist pipeline inspection tools and dedicated team of diagnostics professionals. Initially, it was suspected that there may have been a substantial leak under the Kansas river, however, when the APD team mobilized to De Soto KS, that was not the reality. The on-site operating pressure on the north side was observed to exceed 250psi while the south side was at 160psi. Simultaneously, the treatment plant reported a considerably deficient 7psi. The APD team modified the pressure and deployed their state of the art long distance inspection and leak detection platform – The LDS1000™. The system was launched through a vault on the north side while the pipe was still in service and under pressure. The live high-definition video footage revealed that the 16” DI pipeline’s internal diameter had reduced to approximately 6” due to a restriction which continued past the observable distance. The APD team then proceeded to deploy the LDS1000™ on the south side of the river and found similar conditions.
The Results and Benefits
With the results from both deployments under the Kansas River, the APD team concluded that there was a high probability that the restriction was consistent throughout the entire raw water line, and that there was a possibility that more material was actively settling out under the river as it was broken off. The LDS1000™ sensor head collected samples of the blockage with which the De Soto Utilities could perform analysis and develop a remediation strategy.
APD successfully achieved the objectives of the assignment and enabled De Soto Utilities to:
- Prioritize and implement corrective actions
- Increase conveyance capacity in the pipe
- Reduce excessive and potentially detrimental pressures
- Decrease operational expenditures through inefficiencies
- Prevent a catastrophic failure from occurring.
De Soto Utilities Department is now better informed about the condition of its over 70-year old asset under the Kansas River.