Wachs Water Services and Pipeline Inspection & Condition Analysis Corp. (PICA), has announced that a strategic alliance has been formed based on a shared vision of helping utilities better manage aging water distribution infrastructure.

The alliance will develop and deploy specialized metallic pipeline inspection technology solutions through collaborative R&D, manufacturing and marketing.

With an estimated 240,000 water main breaks each year in the United Stated alone, it is becoming critical for utilities to determine the actual condition of metallic water mains to proactively reduce breaks and improve cost effectiveness of water main repair, lining or replacement programs. The aligned offering of Wachs Water Services and PICA will provide water system operators and owners the ability to extend the reliable life expectancy of water pipelines.

“There are many factors that influence the condition of a water pipeline. The trick is to have actual information to determine which segments need to be replaced, which can be lined and which segments are still in good shape,” said Wachs Water Services president Cliff Wilson. “We are very excited to have established this alliance with PICA, and we continue to build a portfolio of industry leading pipeline inspection technologies to ensure that our clients have the right tool for the job.”

PICA technologies can be applied to either distribution or transmission mains and provide accurate measurements of the remaining wall thickness of the pipeline. The patented technologies travel through the inside of a water main and use an electromagnetic field that can both detect and size graphitization, pitting, erosion and cracks – even through liners, scale and tuberculation. PICA’s metallic pipeline assessment Hydrasnake portfolio offers strong synergies with Wachs Water Services in-line leak detection and pressurized main CCTV offerings, the LDS1000 and Investigator.

“We are investing in this alliance because we believe that there is a tremendous opportunity for utilities to get ahead of the aging water infrastructure crisis,” said PICA president Dave Russell. “Our direct condition assessment services are an integral part of asset management programs for clients worldwide. Wachs Water Services is currently delivering several of the largest water network renewal projects in North America and their clients will be able to immediately benefit from PICA’s proven metallic pipeline inspection capabilities as well.”

“The alliance timing is excellent as PICA recently opened a new office in Charlotte, N.C.,” adds PICA USA general manager Chris Garrett. “There is a growing demand for our proven pipeline inspection technologies, and this alliance with Wachs Water Services will allow us to further expand our footprint to better service the market.”

Both companies will be showcasing their latest water main inspection technologies at the American Society of Civil Engineers Annual Pipelines Conference in Seattle, July 23 – 27.

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