Dallas Water Utilities Water Transmission Main Assessment

Supplying roughly 25 percent of the potable water to the city, the Jim Miller Pipeline in east Dallas is one of the most crucial transmission mains that Dallas Water Utilities (DWU) operates; In December 2012, DWU completed a SmartBall® leak detection survey followed by an electromagnetic (EM) assessment using PipeDiver® technology in early 2013. Both inspections covered 9.5 miles of 96-inch Prestressed Concrete Cylinder Pipe (PCCP).

Twenty-six wireless tracking receivers were installed in existing access manholes for the SmartBall leak detection survey, with the tool being tracked successfully through the entire distance. No leaks or air pockets were identified on the entire pipeline.

The SmartBall platform is a non-destructive, free-swimming tool that measures the acoustic activity associated with leaks and air pockets. Regular leak detection can help utilities identify leaks that may not be visible at the surface and through repair, reduce their non-revenue water and prevent pipeline failures, as leaks are often a preliminary indication of pipeline deterioration. Location and elimination of air pockets is also beneficial as it reduces pressure on pumps that are attempting to pump water past a air pocket. As pockets grow in size, they can adversely affect the flow and capacity of a pipeline.

Insertion Tool

Starting in 2004, DWU has completed an annual leak detection program using the Sahara® leak detection platform, which remains tethered to the surface during inspection. The program has been extremely successful in locating leaks on DWU’s large-diameter water distribution mains.

In January 2013, DWU completed an EM inspection of the Jim Miller Pipeline using PipeDiver technology to determine whether the condition of the pipeline had changed since its last inspection in 2005.

The EM assessment was successful, with the free-swimming tool able to navigate an open horizontal BFV valve. The tool was tracked throughout inspection using above-ground line finders and the twenty-six wireless receivers used for the SmartBall leak detection survey.

PipeDiver Technology is a free-swimming EM tool used to identify wire breaks in PCCP. The EM sensor collects a magnetic signature reading as the PipeDiver traverses the pipeline and identifies anomalies that are produced by wire breaks in PCCP. The tool is ideal for performing a baseline inspection of a PCCP pipeline that cannot be removed from service.

The EM data collected during the 2013 inspection was compared to the 2005 data which provided valuable insight into the pipe’s condition change over time. The EM inspection also correctly identified seventeen pipes that DWU had proactively replaced following their 2005 inspection.

DWU, which services 2.4 million customers in Dallas and nearby communities, is committed to the management of its large-diameter mains to prevent pipe failures and reduce water loss in order to ensure quality service.

Learn More

Smartball- Leak and Gas Pocket Detention

SmartBall® – Leak Detection for Water Trunk Mains

SmartBall® is an innovative free-swimming inline leak detection technology designed to operate in a live water mains.

Free-Swimming Pipeline Inspection

Pipeline Leak Detection Systems

Highly accurate inline leak detection systems that can detect leaks and gas pockets in operational pipelines. These systems are used primarily on larger diameter water and wastewater transmission mains of all materials as well as oil & gas pipelines.

Maynilad Water Services, Inc. reported in the December 2012 of Malaya Business Insight that Non-Revenue Water (NRW) in its concession area has dropped to 42 percent as of last September. Six years ago, the company reported NRW as high as 66 percent due to leaks and pilferage.

After a P1.4 billion investment in modern leak detection technologies, including Sahara® Leak Detection by Pure Technologies, Maynilad has acheieved a huge reduction in their NRW. Maynilad said it is using varied and high-tech methodologies to detect leaks instead of digging up old pipes and replacing them.

The contract between Pure Technologies and Maynilad began in 2009 with training and rental of two Sahara® leak detection systems. This contract was part of a strategic water loss management program aimed at reducing non-revenue water in the metro Manila area. The initial contract has been extended three times as a result of Maynilad Water Services obtaining a highly beneficial return on their investment with a short payback period.

The use of Sahara leak detection has resulted in a number of key achievements for Maynilad. It has aided the elimination of illegal connections that contributed to NRW and have been a problem for Maynilad in the past. Illegal connections can also potentially damage pipe sections through unregulated excavation and tapping that compromises structural integrity.

The system has also been very effective in locating unknown features and laterals through the use of the inline CCTV. Once located, these laterals and features were closed, allowing Maynilad to achieve major reductions in its NRW.

In addition, many of the leaks found by Maynilad were buried deep underground and were not visible from the surface even when they were very large and presumably had been leaking for long periods of time. Beyond water loss savings, Maynilad was also able to use the leak detection and video system to map their complex pipeline network by locating known features with unknown locations. This has helped Maynilad achieve a better understanding of their pipeline network and will provide valuable information for future condition assessment projects.

From the start of the program to the end of 2011, 264 kilometres have been surveyed with 319 leaks located and 173 illegal connections and unknown laterals identified and shut down. The total volume of water saved to date has been in excess of 110 Million Litres per Day (MLD) which is the equivalent water demand by more than 300,000 people. Reducing NRW and boosting the network efficiency in this manner is a more cost-effective and environmentally sustainable approach than building new reservoirs and treatment plants.

Learn More

Pipeline leak detection systems

Pipeline Leak Detection Systems

Highly accurate inline leak detection systems that can detect leaks and gas pockets in operational pipelines. These systems are used primarily on larger diameter water and wastewater transmission mains of all materials as well as oil & gas pipelines.

Sahara® - Leak & Gas Pocket Detection

Electromagnetic Pipeline Inspection

Electromagnetic testing provides the best condition assessment data for large diameter PCCP (AWWA C301) and BWP (AWWA C303) pressure pipelines.

Related Resources