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Electro Scan awarded water pipe inspection project in Tennessee

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World Trenchless,

Electro Scan, Inc. (Electro Scan) has announced the award of a 9000 ft potable water pipe inspection project with the City of Spencer, Tennessee, US. Scheduled for June 2021, the project will employ the company's machine-intelligent multi-sensor leak detection tool for the city's primary 10 in. diameter raw water transmission pipeline, and selected portions of the distribution system currently experiencing excessive Non-Revenue Water (NRW) losses.

Using both its patented DELTA and TRIDENT multi-sensor inspection platforms, the company will evaluate pipeline conditions for these key pipelines. The truck-mounted tethered DELTA probe combines Electro Scan's patented low-voltage conductivity technology with closed-circuit television (CCTV) and acoustic measurements, and will inspect the raw water main.

The manual hand push-reel TRIDENT reel is fitted with low-voltage conductivity and a high-definition self-levelling CCTV camera, and will be used to locate leaks in selected areas around the city.

The city's Utility Department serves over 5000 residential customers. Located in Van Buren County, approximately 100 miles southeast of Nashville, Spencer owns and operates over 100 miles of distribution mains.

In November 2019, Spencer was awarded a grant of over US$600 000, authorised under the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act (WIIN). The WIIN grant provides much needed assistance for public water systems in under-served, small, and disadvantaged communities to help meet Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) requirements.

"The WIIN grant provides the City with funds for planning, design, and related technical assistance in preparation for improvements to the existing water treatment plant and distribution system, as well as addressing long-term water supply considerations to maintain its compliance with the SDWA," explained Nathaniel Green, PE, the City's outside consultant with JCH.

Electro Scan's scope of work involves assessing the oldest section of pipe, installed in 1988, and evaluate its remaining service life. The city's current primary raw water supply is a man-made reservoir. This reservoir is filled from a pipeline that pumps water from the Caney Fork River to the reservoir, where it is stored prior to being directed to the water treatment plant.

"Recent droughts and concerns with source water constituents led to the determination that Spencer should upgrade its emergency raw water source in order to meet the city’s water demand full-time," continued Green.

JCH sought Electro Scan's assistance to use its DELTA condition assessment technology for a critical portion of the existing 10 in. ductile iron raw water line. Assessment of the existing line may lead to significant savings, as the current assumption is that the entire pipeline will require replacement.

It was recognised that legacy inspection methods would not be able to provide the precise leak location and flow quantification delivered by low-voltage technology, thus allowing targeted point repairs instead of replacing the entire line.

The Electro Scan technology locates pipe leaks to within 3/8 of an in. and reports the leakage rate in gal/min. The low-voltage inspection approach also conforms to the American Water Works Association (AWWA) Manual of Practice #M77, ‘Condition Assessment of Water Mains’.

As with many under-served, small, and disadvantaged communities, Spencer experiences excessive NRW losses. In addition to the 10 in. pipe inspection, Electro Scan's TRIDENT, already in use by several British water companies, will be used for selected pipe inspections throughout the town with documented greater-than-expected NRW losses.

The ability for low-voltage conductivity to show where ‘X marks the spot’ is a powerful tool that allows the city to target critical pipe rehabilitation or replacement and reduce unnecessary capital costs.

The company will be supported locally throughout the project by Tim Kazmier and Alex Tweel, with Lenoir, Tennessee-based Kazmier & Associates, Electro Scan's business partner in Tennessee.

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