Municipal Pipeline Inspection Process: Step by Step Guide

pipeline inspection

Routine pipeline inspections can save you from extreme corrosion or damage in your municipal pipelines. These inspections can give insight into the state of your pipe that may catch an impending issue before it leads to a major problem

Additionally, a trenchless pipeline rehabilitation will require an inspection before completion. This is to ensure that the pipeline is ready for rehabilitation and does not need any repairs or adjustments before the new liner is installed. 

So, how exactly does the pipeline expectation process work? We’ve created a guide to the municipal pipeline inspection process  

Pipeline Inspection Timeline

There are a few different steps that occur throughout the pipeline inspection timeline. Each step is used to provide a clearer image of the state of the pipeline. Smaller diameter pipelines can use what is known as a pull-through system to inspect the line’s current status. A typical pipeline inspection will include:

  1. Crawler placement. Wheeled robots with an attached camera and lighting known as crawlers are placed at one access point of the pipeline. These crawlers are the primary visual for the pipeline inspection. Crawlers can inspect pipe lengths up to 1,000+ LF and above 100” in diameter. 
  1. CCTV truck control. The crawlers are connected to a CCTV truck. It’s from this truck that the crawlers are controlled. 
  1. Live video feed. The pipeline inspector will move the crawler through the pipeline, watching live footage on the monitors. Typically, the inspector will stop the crawler when damaged areas appear to note where the pipeline needs repair.
  1. Laser and sonar profiling. For a clearer image of the pipeline, inspectors may turn to laser or sonar profiling. These are ideal solutions for larger pipelines. One such process, known as Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR), uses lasers within a pipeline to show continuous 2-D cross-sections. This gives an inspector information on the internal dimension and deformations within the line. Sonar profiling, on the other hand, offers information on sediment volume, wall loss, and depth. 

The combination of both crawlers and laser profiling gives inspectors a 3-D depiction of the pipeline’s structure and condition. From here, pipeline specialists can determine the proper measures moving forward. 

Pipeline Inspection Best Practices

Regular Inspections

One of the best practices when it comes to pipeline inspections is to schedule them regularly. Keeping up with your pipeline’s maintenance can expand the life of your pipeline and catch detrimental issues before they impact the surrounding environment. 

Immediate Repair Response

Your inspection team will be able to identify major problem areas during your pipeline inspection. Once a problem has been found, immediate action is the best way to mitigate further issues within the pipeline.

Advanced Technology

Your inspection team should come equipped with the most up-to-date technology needed to gain a proper image of your pipeline. This means crawlers, lasers, and sonar systems depending on the type of pipeline. 

Benefits of Pipeline Inspections

Continuous pipeline inspections offer a variety of benefits that will further support your pipeline system. These include: 

  • Extended pipeline life. By managing your pipeline, your inspection team can catch issues early on and save your pipeline from failures or other damages. 
  • Reduced cost. Instead of paying for an entire replacement or major repairs, you can reduce the cost by dealing with minor routine repairs. 
  • Decreased environmental risk. The less damaged your pipeline is, the less likely it will be that major accidents occur. This decreases the risk of sewer spillage into the environment. 
  • Regulation compliance. Many municipalities have mandated pipeline requirements. Regular inspections will ensure that your pipelines meet these regulations. 
  • Minimal community issues. Damaged pipelines may lead to disruption in community service. Regular maintenance can decrease this risk. 

Better Inspections Lead To Successful Lining Projects

At SEKISUI SPR, your pipelines are our top priority. As a leading provider of pipeline rehabilitation technology, we know that a successful lining project starts with an accurate inspection. With this reliable blueprint, our Spiral Wound liners can be installed properly to fully restore the deteriorated sewer, storm drain or culvert. 

Contact our team today to learn more about how we can assist you with your pipe repair project!

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