A new breed of pipeline “pig” has arrived in the United States.
“Pigging” to clean pipelines is an accepted procedure used by utility pipeline owners. The process is relatively simple: a device (pig) is inserted into a pipe where pressure forces it through the pipe, scraping the inside sidewalls and carrying debris to an exit point out of the pipe. A variety of pig designs are available.
Improving the quality of wastewater service is daunting in the face of the challenges posed by aging of the networks of pipes and pumping stations; over 800,000 miles of water pipe and 600,000 miles of wastewater infrastructure with some components over 100 years old.
According to a newly completed market study by Applied Market Information Ltd. (AMI Consulting), in 2012, the total volume of plastic raw materials used in the production of pipes in Europe will exceed 1.9 million tonnes. The total value of the European gravity pipes market is estimated at circa EUR 6.5 billion.
Failed crops drooping over dry, rock-hard soil backed by record heat . . . dried lake beds and farm ponds . . . reservoirs falling to dangerously-low levels . . . wildfires burning tens of thousands of acres, consuming everything in their path . . .
Pressurized force mains represent a relatively small percentage of the nation’s wastewater collection infrastructure, but are essential in many systems to move waste where gravity isn’t sufficient to sustain flow. Failure in a force main segment can cause major disruptions in service with costly operational and environmental consequences.
Obama administration budget requests for fiscal 2013 for key pipeline regulatory and construction programs are working their way through congressional appropriation committees. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) would receive new funding for additional inspectors, allowing the agency to do more intensive inspections of pipeline safety.
It’s been more than six months since operation and ownership of water and sanitary sewer services in Indianapolis transferred from the city to a non-profit charitable trust, but most residential and commercial customers likely have experienced no difference in the day-to-day operation of these services.