The City of Grapevine, Texas USA, provides its population of 52,000 people every day with fresh water, but they also make sure raw water is safely delivered to the treatment plant. The city’s raw water main, which is re-constructed in 1983, is pumping untreated water to the drinking water production plant of Grapevine. The pipeline being 40 years old reached its theoretical lifetime of 50 years and was considered for renewal. The city chose to “inspect before investing”. The Acquarius was the perfect tool for this inspection, which led to Acquaint’s first overseas inspection.
The city faced a critical choice: whether to renew or inspect the aging crucial 20-inch bar wrapped rawwater main which is approaching its theoretical end of lifetime. “When I discovered that Acquaint’s tools utilize ultrasound waves, my interest as a chemist, was instantly sparked’’, Jimmy Didehbani utility manager of the City of Grapevine said. With its mainly ultrasonic sensors, the Acquarius assesses the condition of transport, pressure and sewer pipelines over many miles in a single run. The Acquarius then transmits this measurement data to Acquaint’s cloud platform. After data analysis, it offers insight into the current condition of a pipeline. The Acquarius performs internal condition assessment in any pressurized water or wastewater pipeline with a diameter starting at DN200. The intelligent tool is applicable in (high-risk) pipelines of any material such as concrete, asbestos cement, cast iron, steel and HPDE/PVC/GRP. The pipeline that had to be inspected in the City of Grapevine was a bar wrapped concrete DN500 water pipeline of which the city wanted a full condition assessment. All these aspects made the Acquarius the perfect tool to inspect this pipeline. City staff opted for the ultrasonic-based tool primarily due to its ability to offer extensive data, absolute anomaly location and joint defect data. This technology has the capability of inspecting any material type, both ferrous and non-ferrous providing wall thickness, joint condition (angular displacement/gap width), sub-meter XYZ mapping, leak detection, and gas pockets in a single inspection.
December (2022) it was time for Acquaint’s first overseas inspection but also the first inspection of its kind in all of North America. Acquaint’s team collaborated with their partner, CPM Pipelines. CPM Pipelines specializes in offering field inspection services for pipeline condition assessment projects, as well as specialty pressure pipe rehabilitation systems and technologies. Together they prepared the DN500 raw water pipeline of about 1.5 km. The team installed launch and retrieval tubes, followed by running a cleaning PIG (Pipeline Inspection Gauge) through the pipeline. Before the inspection, both a dummy run and a cleaning run were conducted to ensure a clean pipeline, optimizing the results. This process is also essential to the project risk management. After this, the Acquarius was officially launched. During its run, the Acquarius measured wall thickness, location, corrosion, leaching, diameter and deterioration due to H2S, using its ultrasonic sound and magnetic field wave technologies.
The inspection results showed that the overall condition of the pipeline was unexpectedly high. “Our ‘inspect before investing’ approach has proven to be a cost-saving strategy, saving the City several million USD”, Didehbani states. “It turned out that the overall quality of the main was still excellent. The Acquarius technology provided us with exceptionally detailed results, instilling full confidence in our decision to continue operating this critical asset for many more years.” The city will investigate some uncritical anomalies such as mild angular displacements of joints and a small dent in the steel cylinder. The inspection results provided clear data to safely keep the raw water pipeline in operation for many more years.
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