Louisville Water Company Puts PipeDiver® Large-Diameter Insertion and Extraction Tubes to the Test

Louisville Water Company (LWC) needed an accurate condition assessment tool that didn't require pipeline shutdown and lengthy cleanup. The utility turned to Pure to provide a solution. The PipeDiver® tool, moving with the flow of the water in the main, completed an 8.8-mile inspection of a 5-foot diameter PCCP main in eastern Jefferson County last month. Through a contract with LWC, Pure conducted the large-diameter PipeDiver electromagnetic inspection using the large launch and extraction stacks for the first time. View media coverage of the inspection.

In the past, inspections required such mains to be taken out of service, thus disrupting continuous service to customers. The pipeline may have been damaged during a pressure surge in 2009, prompting the utility to assess the main’s integrity.

The PipeDiver took five hours to travel from the B.E. Payne Water Treatment Plant through the main at an average velocity of 2.75 ft/s to a large water tank near North English Station, passing four 60" butterfly valves in the 41-year-old PCCP pipe. This is the second phase in an 11-mile inspection project that started in May 2011 with a 2.5 miles robotic inspection, and will continue in October 2011. The PipeDiver tool is best suited for prestressed concrete lines as its electromagnetic sensors assess defects in the metal wires that give the prestressed concrete of the main its strength as it travels through the pipe.

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