Wastewater Force Main Management

Managing wastewater force mains has historically been difficult for owners. Traditional inspection methods applied in gravity main assessment are not applicable in force mains. Given the high consequence of a force main failure, the need for an innovative approach to managing these challenging pipeline assets is necessary to minimize environmental impact and comply with regulatory requirements.


In recent years, a rise in regulatory compliance orders has required force main owners to thoroughly assess their assets in order to prevent failures. Through more than 500 miles of force main assessment, Pure Technologies has developed a holistic risk-based approach to managing force mains.

Our Approach to Force Main Management

Based on our ongoing force main assessment programs, our clients have found their assets typically do not deteriorate or fail systematically along their full length. Rather, pipe condition is related to localized problems due to design, manufacturing, installation, environmental, operational, or maintenance factors. Often, it is a combination of several of these factors that lead to force main failures. Experience indicates that less than 10 percent of pipelines surveyed have indicators of distress, while even fewer require repair or replacement to extend their useful life.

Common Causes of Failure

  • Hydraulic Transient (Pressure Surge)
  • Defective ARV (Interior H2S Corrosion)
  • Corrosive Soils (Exterior Corrosion)
  • Unprotected High Point (Interior H2S Corrosion)
  • Stray Current (Exterior Corrosion)
  • Third Party Damage (Mapping)

Pure’s force main assessment programs target the most common causes of force main failures and provide operators with actionable data about their assets. By identifying and repairing only isolated areas, followed by the implementation of a long-term pipeline management strategy, utilities can realize major capital program savings over the replacement or large-scale rehabilitation of force mains.


Gas pocket

Leak and Gas Pocket Detection

When managing wastewater force mains, gas pocket detection is crucial since their presence is often a preliminary indicator of a potential failure location and may cause corrosion and eventual breakdown of the pipe’s surface. Leak detection can identify trouble spots near joints or barrels that may grow over time and lead to a failure.


Spot pipediver


The PipeDiver platform is ideal for critical large-diameter pipelines that cannot be removed from service due to lack of redundancy or operational constraints. In metallic pipes that utilize a steel cylinder as the main structural component, the tool can locate and detect broad areas of corrosion and cylinder defects.




Electromagnetic (EM) inspection provides the best condition assessment data for large-diameter metallic and concrete pressure pipelines, providing high resolution pipe wall loss data.



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Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSLSD) Begins Phase One of Force Main Condition Assessment Program

After coming under consent decree, MSLSD began a comprehensive prioritization and assessment program for its medium and high risk force mains.


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Baltimore County Department of Public Works (DPW) Strategically Assesses Force Main Inventory

To proactively manage its force main assets, DPW has been systematically assessed its force main inventory using a variety of technologies.


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Grand Forks Wasterwater Authority - North Dakota, U.S.A.