Pipeline Emergency Services

In the event of a large diameter pipe line rupture, we can rapidly mobilize to provide pipeline operators with critical data on the condition of the distressed main.

Emergency Hotline

Press Option "8"

Please call if you have an emergency with a large diameter pipeline.

Our highly trained and experienced field staff offer the following services:

  • Condition Assessment to identify any additional pipe segments that may have structural issues downstream or upstream of the rupture. Additional wire breaks can be a sign of pipeline distress which could lead to future ruptures once the line is returned into service.
  • Leak Detection Services to confirm that there are no obstructions or leaks downstream or upstream of the rupture.
  • Wire Break Monitoring listens to the distressed pipeline for additional wire breaks as it is returned into service.
  • Pressure Transient Monitoring (RTPM) to record any abnormal pressures variations within the pipeline as it is returned to service.

Large diameter pipeline ruptures can have serious consequences on many fronts including public health and safety, economic, political and litigious. Large diameter main ruptures can be classified in three groups based on Makar's classification system [1]:

Class I failures: Routine pipe breaks that are repaired as they occur. Example: day to day small diameter gray cast-iron failures.

Class II failures: Pipe failures that would ordinarily be considered class I, but that will be investigated more thoroughly as part of a larger program of research into the behaviour of the system or a local area. A full or partial analysis of the failure is carried out for internal use only. Examples: small diameter gray cast-iron failures during a sampling campaign, pipes in a region with higher than expected failure rates.

Class III failures: Pipe failures with serious consequences in terms of number of customers losing water supply, damage to surrounding environment and/or other direct, indirect or social costs. This failure analysis should be conducted on the assumption that it will be reviewed by other interested parties, such as utility managers, local politicians or litigants. Examples: large and small diameter failures on lines that lead to hospitals or water-intensive industries, failures that may result in litigation.

Risk Management Strategies

In order to prevent failures, ensure the long-term viability and continued supply of fresh water to communities, operators need to consider risk management strategies that are both efficient and effective.

A sample of a basic risk management strategy for water supply pipelines is shown below:

  • Assess condition
  • Determine risk of failure
  • Assess potential consequences of failure, including specific effects of location and time
  • Determine cause of failure
  • Develop a mitigating strategy (including repairs/replacement/modification of operating procedures)
  • Monitor and Reassess condition

In general distressed pipes in a line will continue to degrade over time. One solution is to replace the entire pipeline that is distressed as soon as it is identified. While this should lead to a lower overall risk of operating a pipeline, it certainly is a costly course of action to take. Services from Pure both minimize their operational risk while also optimizing the investment on repairs to preserve or even enhance the asset value of the waterline infrastructure.

1. J. Makar, "Investigating Large Gray Cast-Iron Pipe Failures: A Step-by-Step Approach", AWWA Infrastructure Conference, March 2001.

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