Pipelines are valuable assets thus regular inspections for integrity management, repair and rehabilitation is required.
Reutech Solutions, a subsidiary of the Reunert Group, recently embarked on a challenging long-range inspection of a 4.2 km water-transferring pipe and is proud of the work performed by our inspection crew. The following summary provides an account of the work performed during the month of April 2019.
Situated close to Langeberg in the Western Cape, this pipeline was built 45 years ago to feed water to farm dams over a distance of 4.2 km’s. Seventy percent of the 600 mm diameter pipe is above ground and follows the contours of the mountain valley, creating inclination challenges of between 30-60 degree bends and deflections. The rough terrain and landscape makes vehicle access extremely difficult with no access points to the line, except for 100 mm air valve tees. Opening the pipeline to gain access in as few locations as possible was critical due to cost implications, and vehicle access is limited to the start, the end and a few places along the line, with possible access at chainages 0 km, 1.9 km, 3.1 km and 4.3 km.
Reutech Solutions conducted the CCTV assessment to visually verify the condition of the bitumen lining. The Ryonic Modular Inspection System (RMIS) Maxi system is a Full HD inspection crawler equipped with a 1000 m tether cable. Additional access points in between predetermined points was prepared for the removal of pipe sections to gain access to the line due to the steep inclination. Due to vehicle restrictions, four pulley systems were used to gain access 100 m away from the first point of insertion and by making use of a 1000 m tether cable, inspection distance was not jeopardised, achieving 540 m of inspection in one direction in a single run.
The concerns were verified. The pipe definitely had sections where the lining was deteriorated, whilst it is still in an adequate state in others. Reutech Solutions was able to accurately pinpoint exactly where the deterioration had occurred, and where the pipe was still in a good condition. Full HD visuals could also show the extent of deterioration caused by the sun and other effects caused by the transport of water. Some sections were more damaged due to a number of veld fires that had occurred over the past 45 years of the pipe’s existence.