SAW-Funded See Snake Discovers Rusting Pipe

The Gull Lake Sewer & Water Authority (GLSWA) operates a 4.4-mile long, 12-inch-diameter ductile iron forcemain. It handles nearly 500,000 gallons of sewage daily from the Village of Richland and the Gull Lake area. Rich Pierson, GLSWA’s Director, wondered for years about the 32-year-old pipeline’s condition.

The problem: unless the pipe’s exterior is exposed, there was no way to tell whether it was corroding—until recently. Using a Stormwater and Wastewater (SAW) Asset Management grant from MDEQ, GLSWA hired a Canadian company, PICA, whose “See-Snake” technology can measure a metal pipe’s wall thickness. By running the See Snake through the entire pipe, GLSWA learned that in some areas, over 70% of the pipe’s wall thickness had corroded.

GLSWA now can plan for this pipeline’s replacement in its capital budget before it fails and triggers an emergency repair or replacement. It’s good for the environment and the pocketbook.

This is precisely the “better safe than sorry” approach SAW promotes through its Asset Management grants.

Jim Hegarty can help you with more information on Asset Management and pipeline condition assessments.

Learn more about See Snake technology.

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