Headquartered in Bradford, UK, Yorkshire Water is a private supply and raw water recycling utility that currently deliver around 286 million gallons per day of drinking water to 2.3 million households and 130,000 businesses across one of England’s largest counties. With its vision of “taking responsibility for the water environment for good,” Yorkshire Water sought innovative technologies that could help assess its wastewater conveyance system and develop a remedial strategy to prolong the life of its network assets. Aquam Pipe Diagostics (APD) were commissioned to deploy their specialist ultrasonic technology on on a 10” steel force main, due to concerns associated with corrosion on the invert of the pipe. This condition is extremely prevalent on wastewater pipes. The objective of this inspection for Yorkshire Water was to assess the extent of pipe degradation internally and as an outcome, to prevent the occurrence of a potential catastrophic pipe failure.
APD’s team of pipeline experts consulted Yorkshire Water and between them devised a customized plan so that the objectives of the project were attainable. APD recommended the PipeScan+™, a ground-breaking ultrasonic condition assessment platform for pressurized pipes of 12” in diameter and below. PipeScan+™ offers a comprehensive dimensional survey to be achieved including multiple wall thickness measurements, corrosion and flaw identification along with lining thickness. Using this system allows accurate remaining life expectancy of the pipework to be calculated as thousands of measurements can be acquired.
The Results and the Benefits
The APD team were able to conduct the inspection while the sewer pipes remained pressurized, so there was no requirement for disruptive shutdowns. Although PipeScan+™’s CCTV camera function was not utilized because the survey site was a wastewater pipeline, the technology relied upon its ultrasonic scanning capabilities to accurately capture a large data set of pipe wall thickness measurements taken at equal increments from the invert of the pipe. APD completed the inspection from both ends, totaling a distance of 191.6ft.
Following analysis of the inspection data, the PipeScan+™ determined that the wall thickness on the invert of the pipe had corroded to approximately 2mm. Consequently, these results confirmed that the pipe was experiencing significant degradation and therefore accentuated the utility’s level of concern regarding the integrity of the pipe. APD suspected that grit and debris was settling on the bottom of the pipe when the pumps were shut off, and when the pumps resumed, the sediment was then propelled along the bottom of the pipe, accelerating corrosion and pipe wall deterioration. All the information and detailed data analysis were shared and discussed with the client.
On completion of the project and following a review of the data, Yorkshire Water gained in-depth knowledge of its critical wastewater pipe network and asset degradation status. The consequences associated with a force main failure are extensive. Therefore, having the ability to estimate the remaining life expectancy of the pipe was invaluable. Subsequently, the water utility were able to make defensible capital improvement