Peel Region Develops Systematic Approach To Manage Transmission Mains
For decades, the best way to manage aging pipeline assets was using instinct, which was a precarious method at best. However, with the development of new methods for managing critical water assets, operators are more equipped than ever to manage risk in a way that allows for scientifically defensible and cost-effective decisions.
In March/April edition of Water Canada Magazine, the Regional Municipality of Peel will be featured for its risk management approach to managing its existing and new infrastructure. The article outlines the project’s objectives and how Peel Region is attempting to manage risk with its new water assets.
The Peel water supply system has a total of 4,500 water mains that cover 700 kilometers. The pipe diameters in the system range from 300 to 2,100 millimeters with seven pressure zones.
Meanwhile, Peel’s population is expected to grow from its current 1.3 million to approximately 2.5 million in the next two decades. The region needs to fund new infrastructure while also maintaining the existing aging pipes, all within the constraints of a rate-based water supply system that is supplemented with new development charges.
One approach the region is taking to accommodate a growing population is constructing new transmission mains. The Hanlon Water Project will construct a new 2400-millimeter (96-inch) Prestressed Concrete Cylinder Pipe (PCCP) transmission main. The water main construction project is the largest in Peel’s history and will run approximately 14.5 kilometers from the Lakeview Water Treatment Plant on Lake Ontario to the Hanlan Reservoir and Pumping Station at Tomken Road and Britannia Road East.
With the construction of a new PCCP pipeline, Peel Region is taking the opportunity to make its infrastructure smarter using advanced monitoring technology. In total, 14.5 kilometers (9 miles) of new pipe will be equipped with SoundPrint® Acoustic Fiber Optic technology, which monitors the condition of PCCP in real-time.
The monitoring system is able to record the acoustic signature of prestressing wire breaks in the pipe. In PCCP, the high-strength steel prestressing wire wraps are the main structural component – as these wires begin the break, specific pipe sections become weaker and more likely to fail. Each time a wire wrap breaks, Peel Region will receive a notification with the location of the wire break, allowing them to track how many wire breaks have occurred on each pipe section. This will allow the region to intervene once a pipe section has an undesirable number of wire breaks and is at risk of failure.
However, beyond preventing potential pipe failures, the monitoring system will also allow the asset to be monitored for its entire service life, which is rare for most pipelines, which typically begin to get monitored at some point during their service life. In theory, with regular maintenance, the monitored PCCP mains could have an indefinite service life, since deterioration will be tracked and mitigated on an ongoing basis.