Smartball Pipediver Condition Assessment Lake Huron Water Supply System

Pure Technologies completed a 47 kilometer (29 miles) inspection of the Lake Huron Primary Water Supply System’s Pipeline A using the SmartBall® and PipeDiver® inspection platforms in October, 2012.

After two successful inspections of the 1200-millimetre (48-inch) water transmission main, LHPWSS commended Pure’s staff for their effort.

“The staff members at Pure Technologies were extremely professional and their level of expertise with respect to PCC pipe is phenomenal. Truly, they are leaders in their own field,” said Brian Lima, P.Eng., Capital Projects Manager for the LHPWSS.

A video overview of the project can be seen below.

PipeDiver Insertion
SBR Tracking

Pure was contracted by LHPWSS for a condition assessment of its transmission mains after a failure to a 1200-mm (48-inch) pipe in May, 2012. This was the fourth failure on the system; the others were in March 2010, 1988 and 1983.

After the most recent failure, LHPWSS wanted to take a proactive approach in inspecting and maintaining its water transmission mains to ensure quality service to its customers. The information collected from this condition assessment will allow LHPWSS to understand the baseline condition of its pipeline, as well as selectively rehabilitate pipes to minimize capital costs.

Before the condition assessment project, Pure and LHPWSS – which serves several member municipalities – developed a comprehensive project plan to ensure that all stakeholders understood the work involved and each group’s responsibilities, as well as how the inspections would impact each stakeholder.

Prior to the inspections, Pure installed 33 SmartBall receivers (SBR) along the pipeline to track both inspection platforms as they travelled through the pipeline.

For the SmartBall inspection, Pure’s team mobilized at the Lake Huron Water Treatment Plant very early in the morning to launch the tool. A small portion of the pipeline was isolated and depressurized to allow for manual insertion of the SmartBall. Once the tool was in position, the pipeline was put back into service and the SmartBall started travelling down the pipeline. After traversing 47 kilometers, it was retrieved in the Arva Terminal Reservoir by commercial divers.

After a day off to prepare the PipeDiver and discuss any lessons learned from the SmartBall inspection, Pure’s staff returned to the Lake Huron Water Treatment Plant for the PipeDiver Inspection.

“The launch, tracking and retrieval of the PipeDiver is very similar to the SmartBall. So the SmartBall was an excellent trial run for the PipeDiver,” said Cameron White, Program Manager at Pure Technologies. “The PipeDiver is a larger tool and is generally harder to get in and out of the pipe, so the SmartBall run gave us good practice for the PipeDiver.”

The PipeDiver tool was also retrieved at the Arva Terminal Reservoir with the use of commercial divers.

Both tools were tracked successfully at all SBR locations during the inspections. In addition, Pure provided the client and its member municipalities with real-time updates using an online interactive map and messaging system after it passed each tracking point.

“It’s been a pleasure working with [Pure] and we look forward to a long working relationship as we continue our endeavors into inspection and ongoing monitoring of our system,” added Lima.

The Lake Huron system serves about 500,000 people over eight municipalities in the London area and pumps about 170 million litres of water per day. The transmission main, constructed in 1966, runs approximately 47 kilometers from the Lake Huron Water Treatment Plant near the community of Grand Bend, to a terminal reservoir located in the community of Arva, North West of the City of London.


Learn More

Free-Swimming Pipeline Inspection

Electromagnetic Pipeline Inspection

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

Smartball- Leak and Gas Pocket Detention

SmartBall® – Leak Detection for Water Trunk Mains

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