Poor joining practises in pipelines

Asset integrity specialist Control Point is proving that poor joining practices are the real reason behind pipe leakages, not polyethylene pipes.

Severn Trent Water (STW) has now established its role in improving PE pipe joining by making it compulsory for all contractors undertaking its capital programme to use a RedBox telemetry system, developed by Control Point.

The RedBox technology offers significant improvements in the installation quality of electrofusion joints. Since the introduction of this technology into Severn Trent Water the company have noticed marked improvements in the quality of their pipes.

RedBox monitors the quality of pipe joints before fusion takes place, which increases the quality of work and can help to provide a better indication of the location of any failed pipes. This system provides clear evidence that it is poor instillation that leads to pipe failure as opposed to the polyethylene product as originally thought. The telemetric technology used is made up of GSM, GPS and camera modules that are retrofitted to electrofusion boxes and butt fusion machines. To ensure that each joint is installed correctly these are then approved or sent for investigation, which ultimately leads to cost and time savings in the long term.

Reducing the damaging effect of surge in pipelines

Other ways to protect pipes, reduce wear and tear and increase longevity, is by reducing the amount of stress the pipes are under. The common problem of water surge, water slam or water hammer occurs when a valve in a water or wastewater application closes suddenly, pushing water back down the pipelines. This causes a shockwave and can cause serious damage to valves and pipelines downstream.

There are several ways of doing this, but ValMatic’s innovative design of swing check valve has proven to be the most beneficial in many applications.

ValMatic swing check valves have an unrestricted 100% flow area, smooth streamlined body contouring and the simplicity of one moving part allowing passage of large solids, minimising the potential for clogging. Non-slam is achieved by utilising a “Short Disc Stroke” (35 degree stroke) in conjunction with the unique “Memory Flex action” of the valve’s disc. This reduces potentially destructive water hammer. The Surgebuster swing check valve is even more innovative. The Surgebuster deploys a unique patented technology to provide fast closure – an adjustable disc accelerator. The disc accelerator is a precision formed stainless steel mechanism that closes the valve disc rapidly and thereby avoids slamming caused by flow reversal whilst at the same time allowing the disc to be stabilised under flow conditions.

If you are having problems with damage to your pipelines or valves in water or waste water applications, please contact us on +44 870 803 2001 or at www.mgacontrols.com – we would be happy to share our expertise in this area.