Avoid Failure of PCCP Pipes with PICA Corp. Water Main Inspection


Around the world, PCCP pipe is used to transport both drinking and raw water safely and efficiently. Ensuring the integrity of these pipes is critical; a proactive maintenance and inspection plan is essential to identify and fix degradation, corrosion, breakages, and other potential hazards before they cause issues. An unexpected failure can lead to local flooding, service loss, mudslides, and other significant risks to crews, communities, roadways, and more.

Fortunately, new tools and technologies are making waterline inspection more accurate and efficient than ever. As a global leader in NDT testing services, PICA Corp provides next-generation inspection services using cutting-edge technologies for unrivalled accuracy and reliability. Read on to learn more about the tools we use, as well as PICA Corp’s commitment to providing world-class insight and information for our clients across the globe.

SeeSnake family: The Right ILI Tools for the Job

At PICA Corp, we believe that good decisions start with good information. That’s why we use the most advanced In-Line Inspection (ILI) tools on the market today to evaluate PCCP pipes for corrosion, structural damage, and other factors that may lead to breakage and pipe failures (see photos). Today, we utilize the See Snake RAFT (Restricted Access Flexible Tool) and See Snake EMIT (Electro-Magnetic Inspection Tool) devices to gather comprehensive data on large diameter water mains condition.

The See Snake RAFT is one of PICA’s most recent additions to our industry-leading lineup of inspection tools. RAFT is specifically engineered to evaluate steel cylinder pipes and wires embedded in concrete pipes in the 36″ to 60″ size range, featuring a unique collapsible design that enables the device’s insertion through small access ports (such as manways). RAFT’s groundbreaking design is entirely self-contained, with battery power, data recording, data storage and distance tracking fully integrated into the tool itself. RAFT Tools can cover on average ~1.5 miles of pipe per shift, providing exceptionally detailed data to accurately assess the condition of the cylinder, wires, and loss of pre-load.

For larger diameter pipes, the See Snake EMIT is another recent addition to PICA’s resources. Like RAFT, EMIT is designed for assembly within the pipe, eliminating the need for excavation and cutting into the line. The tool is operated by technicians who ride along with it through the pipes. These Tools are well suited to large pipes (60″ -108″) that are internally lined, including AWWA C303 and C-301 Pipes.

Both the EMIT and RAFT tools transmit multi-channel data to PICA’s analysis software, allowing for 360º internal and external inspection of your water mains. Our semi-automatic analysis software rapidly compiles the data into colour maps, strip-chart logs, and voltage planes to help accurately visualize your pipe’s condition. Depending on the line condition, analysis and reporting can be done either in the field (within 48 hours of the inspection run) or off-site, to allow for maximum flexibility and reduced labor costs.

Latest News

PICA has recently developed the capability to detect the difference between wire breaks caused by corrosion, and those caused by hydrogen embrittlement (see photo showing the two types of wire breaks). PICA’s advanced software can also tell if the broken wires have resulted in a “Loss of Pre-Load” (often, in the case of H-embrittlement, there is very little loss of pre-load). This work, completed over the past two years has been supported by Tarrant Regional Water District, WrF, Great Lakes Water Authority, Trinity River Authority and others. For more information of this ground-breaking research, write [email protected]

PICA’s Water Pipeline Inspection Services

PICA Corp. strives to provide North American water pipeline operators with the tools and expertise to manage their pipeline operations confidently. PICA Corp’s commitment to providing exceptional, reliable, inspections has allowed us to cultivate long-standing lasting relationships with multiple counties, cities, and industry leaders throughout North America.

Contact us today to learn more about our comprehensive water line inspection and testing solutions.