A Better Way to Clean and Line Pipe

Cleaning and lining old water mains is a common method used by utilities to extend the life of buried water main infrastructure. Why clean and line? Because over time, the build-up of iron scale inside a water main – especially small diameter mains – can reduce its water-carrying capacity.

Cleaning a water main of tuberculation helps to improve water flow, while lining helps to prevent future accumulation of scale and can help add structural strength depending on the type of lining that is used. But, this can be a costly and time-consuming process. What if there was a better way to help utilities and water system operators determine the appropriate liner class and reduce program costs? There is and it’s called ePulse® condition assessment technology.

“Cleaning and lining a water main is like scouring the interior wall with rough pads, then ‘refinishing’ the walls with a thin cement-mortar coating,” explained John Marciszewski, a business development director for Echologics®. “The process removes accumulated tuberculation and corrosion, but also reduces the original pipe wall thickness. Our ePulse® technology can detect if the process has severely degraded the structural integrity of the pipe to the point where it can no longer withstand the stress of high operating pressures under load.”

A major water system operator commented that “Echologics' technology is now a proven tool in our toolbox and replacing pipe is not a ‘green’ alternative — and on a yearly basis we are definitely saving hundreds of thousands of dollars using ePulse technology. Capital is dear, and we have many needs. Utilizing new technologies like these enables understanding of where to apply our capital resources most effectively, and where they will do the most good for our customers.”

The key to success is to select a water main condition assessment technology that is non-intrusive and stays outside the water column. This enables a water system operator to quickly inspect a larger portion of their water distribution network and obtain actionable information to optimize pipe cleaning and line efforts.