Inspection Of Fully-Submerged Water Intake Tunnel

By Jeff Griffin, Senior Editor | December 2013, Vol. 68 No. 12
Readying the crawler fitted with underwater laser for deployment.

Start-to-finish, the inspection of the 8,700 feet of tunnel was completed in five days.

IPI's Command post-Bryce James, IPI project manager talking with Bill Evans, chief treatment plant operator, city of Bellingham, Public Works. They were reviewing flow control procedure prior to deployment.

“Despite project challenges,” concluded Wilkinson, “using the Inuktun Versatrax 300 system with the 2G Robotics ULS-200 Underwater Laser scanner, IPI was able to get concise measurable data. The larger and smaller system made by the same company frequently is used in open water environments, but IPI made history as the only company in the world to deploy and successfully operate this new, innovative equipment in a confined, fully submerged pipe (tunnel) in a municipal water system. The city of Bellingham made history as the first municipality to use this precise underwater technology.

“We believe this system and software are the future of pipe inspection and of our company.”

Based in Turnwater, WA, Interactive Pipe Inspection was established in 2009 as a corporation specializing in advanced technology applications for the inspection of underground pipe systems to multi-national markets. The company also has introduced a method of panoramic inspection of manholes. IPI is a division of Pipe Experts LLC, a provider of trenchless technology services for more than 30 years.

Located between the ocean and mountains with Mount Baker as a backdrop, Bellingham is approximately 90 miles north of Seattle and the last major city in the state before the Washington coastline reaches the Canadian border. The city’s 2010 census recorded a population of 80,885. Approximately half of Whatcom County residents use the Lake Whatcom Reservoir for drinking water. The Whatcom Falls treatment plant is capable of producing 24 million gallons of drinking water per day.


Interactive Pipe Inspection, (800) 850-3043,
Inuktun, (505) 994-0702,

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