Condition assessment for metallic pipe

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 70–90 percent of replaced pipe has remaining useful life. Identifying the actual condition of metallic pipelines through inspection is the only reliable method of making renewal decisions.

Traditional methods, such as desktop analysis driven test pitting, rely on inferred factors to determine the condition of metallic pipe. They also typically collect far too little data to make a confident decision on the actual condition of the asset. While these tools are useful when combined with more robust (often inline) condition assessment techniques, traditional methods on their own can often lead to unnecessary renewal of pipe sections with remaining service life.

Factors such as age and failure history on their own, are not representative of the condition of an entire pipeline. By assessing the condition of pipes first through the use inspection technologies, utilities can use actionable data to make renewal decisions.

Technology solutions provide the most effective pipeline condition data for metallic pipeline. Accurate pipe wall assessment tools can yield true pipeline condition data. Determining the actual structural integrity of the pipe wall itself – versus using only desktop data such as age and failure history combined with other indicators like soil corrosivity and limited test pitting – allows utility owners to adopt a proactive management approach for their critical pipeline infrastructure. In addition to our toolbox of solutions, we frequently use complementary technologies such as:

  • Pressure Monitoring
  • Ultrasonic Thickness Testing (UT)
  • Pulsed Eddy Current
  • Phased Array UT
  • Soil and Corrosion Studies

Featured White Paper

How To Build a Risk-Based Approach to Condition Assessment of Metallic Transmission Mains

Today, new advancements in technologies and data analytics are helping utilities build asset management programs using a risk-based approach to pipeline condition assessment with the lowest financial impact.

Many different methods and technologies can be combined to provide data and information to make decisions and prioritize pipelines.


Case Study:
Flower Mound, TX

The Town of Flower Mound, Texas (Town), worked closely with Pure Technologies to conduct a leak and gas pocket detection survey of approximately 1.91 miles of potable water mains, which included nearly 1.4 miles of metallic pipelines. The Town is home to 70,000 residents and manages both the water and sewer utilities within Flower Mound.

Case Study:
Moulton Niguel, CA

The Moulton Niguel Water District (MNWD) provides water, recycled water and wastewater service to 170,000 people within Orange County, California. In 2015 MNWD contracted Pure Technologies to perform a condition assessment of a large diameter steel pipeline running through residential areas and busy transportation corridors.

Managing Metallic Pipelines

In North America, the material and size of pipes that make up water and sewer networks range widely. Because these pipeline systems are so complex, it requires a strategic approach based on risk and data for effective long-term management. Historically, however, it has been challenging to gather real data that can shape capital decisions for an entire system.