In July 2014, Garden City Park Water District (GCPWD), located in Garden City Park, N.Y., awarded a contract to GAME Consultants USA Inc. to investigate the condition of various small diameter potable water pipes in their network.
GCPWD superintendent Mike Levy wanted to confirm the status of unlined cast iron watermain pipes in order to plan for future works. “The objective was to see what we had in the pipe without digging it up,” said Levy.
The Garden City Park Water District was founded in 1922 and serves about 6,430 residents and 647 commercial customers in 2.2-sq. mile area, with an estimated population of 20,000. GCPWD’s entire distribution and transmission system consists of approximately 76 miles, with pipes ranging from 6-in. to 24-in.
Founded by Piero Salvo, GAME Consultants USA Inc. is a specialized consulting firm and has a U.S. office in Port St. Lucie, Fla., and two offices in Canada in Montreal, Quebec and Ottawa, Ontario. The firm provides JD7 Investigator+ and JD7 PipeScan+ live condition assessment for small diameter water mains, ranging from 4-in to 12-in. For live condition assessment of water pipes larger than 12-in, GAME uses JD7 LDS1000 technology.
The goal of the project was to provide a high definition inspection and leak detection on pipes ranging from 6- to 12-in cast iron and ductile iron watermains without any homeowner being put out of service. Some of the objectives were to determine the level of tuberculation, the material of the pipe and whether there were any leaks in the areas being inspected. This work was done using the JD7 Investigator+ technology through existing fire hydrants. The inspections successfully identified the pipe material and condition of the watermain.
Levy explained that the reasoning behind using the JD7 Investigator+. “The cost of digging pits to take out ‘coupons’ to confirm the condition of the water pipes did not make financial sense. Using GAME Consultants allowed me to get valuable information at 14 different locations for the cost of three or four pits. The excavation would have required a shut down on the watermain and a whole series of problems, where with the JD7 Investigator+ technology, our guys just shut down the secondary valve on the hydrant, removed the hydrant mechanics and then put them back into place once GAME finished their inspection.”
The survey consisted of a high definition CCTV inspection coupled with acoustic leak detection from inside the watermain while it is still in service. With this information, GCPWD will be able to assess the state of the water mains and be able to identify cost-effective renewal programs, plan appropriate maintenance and have the capacity to monitor tuberculation build up inside the pipes.
What Was Found
In order to complete the work using GCPWD hydrants, GAME had to adapt to the different styles of hydrants found in the different locations. The project lasted three working days, with an objective of three to four hydrant inspections per day. By the end of the third day, the GAME crew had completed 14 inspections.
In some cases, the level of tuberculation drastically reduced the lengths of inspections that were achieved, but as Levy stated, “We were not going for distance, we just wanted to know what we have in the pipe.”
Salvo stated, “The success of this project was the communication between GCPWD and GAME staff throughout the different stages of the project, right from before the project even started, where everyone knew what role each party was going to play.”
In order to maximize productivity, the parties involved was agreed that the same type of hydrant would be scheduled for each day, in order to minimize the set up time between inspections. This communication and planning is what allowed GAME to inspect 14 hydrants in three days, instead of nine to 12 hydrants that were originally planned.
This project was deemed successful for both GCPWD and GAME as it demonstrated the capabilities of the JD7 Investigator+, with respect to being able to identify the pipe condition and leak detection, without having to interrupt the service to the homeowners and at much less inconvenience and lower cost than having to excavate to get information more than 3 to 5 ft of pipe per excavation.
David Gosselin is junior project engineer at GAME Consultants USA Inc.