Pure Technologies - a Xylem brand

London Region Develops “Intelligent” Infrastructure for the HELP Clean Water Project


Courtesy of Pure Technologies - a Xylem brand

For progressive municipalities, forward thinking about infrastructure can pay huge dividends down the road. In London region, the HELP Clean Water Funding Initiative (Huron-Elgin-London Project Clean Water) was started to create sustainable water supply for a major population hub in Ontario. The project has been 11 years in the making, with ongoing technology-driven improvements planned for the decades ahead.

Launched in 2004, this multi-year initiative is designed to deliver a long-term “intelligent” infrastructure program to ensure a sustainable high quality water supply to 500,000 people within fourteen municipalities within the Lake Huron Primary Water Supply System (LHPWSS) and the Elgin Area Primary Water Supply System.

The southwestern Ontario region served by these regional water systems covers a large swath of geography, starting from the treatment plant on Lake Huron and the treatment plant on Lake Erie, and stretching to the city of London and beyond.

In terms of its social, environmental and fiscal goals, the construction projects funded by the HELP Clean Water initiative is arguably the most ambitious in Canada. The project aims to meet the current and future land use planning and economic development needs through a sustainable and reliable supply of clean water, while reducing the reliance on groundwater supplies.

Pure Technologies Plays Key Role in Managing Region’s Transmission Mains

Since 2010, Pure Technologies has partnered with LHPWSS in protecting, assessing and managing its twinned 1200-mm (48-inch) prestressed concrete cylinder pipe (PCCP) transmission main that spans 47 kilometers (29 miles) and delivers treated water to the Region’s municipalities.

Through the use of advanced condition assessment technologies, Pure and LHPWSS have determined that less than 1 percent of the Region’s pipelines require immediate action, meaning the transmission mains are in excellent condition overall. This has allowed LHPWSS to selectively rehabilitate its most critical pipeline in favour of replacing the existing infrastructure, with huge logistical efficiencies and financial savings.

The Region has also been twinning addition portions of these mains to provide additional redundancy in its supply network. To read more about LHPWSS's initial initial condition assessment project, click here.

LHPWSS Recognized for Pipeline Management

In fact, Trenchless Technology, a leading publication covering the trenchless marketplace, has recognized LHPWSS for its proactive pipeline management program in its annual “Projects of the Year” issue. Further acknowledgement of the program comes in the form of the current HELP Clean Water initiative, which recognizes the need to go the next step – by installing Acoustic Fiber Optic (AFO) monitoring – to protect the Region’s investments in the twinned pipeline.

From an environmental and financial standpoint, ongoing monitoring of PCCP is an excellent and widely-practiced strategy in the industry. It provides the utility with exact data in real-time to inform risk management.

Pure is the industry leader in the inspection and monitoring of PCCP, with its proprietary AFO technology that monitors the structural health of transmission mains. Once a baseline condition has been established through electromagnetic (EM) inspection, the AFO system allows pipe owners to track the deterioration rate and identify at-risk pipes before they fail.

AFO technology is extremely reliable at recording prestressing wire breaks in PCCP, since the entire cable is acoustically sensitive between data acquisition units.

By combining EM assessment with ongoing AFO monitoring, LHPWSS will have the exact condition of each pipe section and we be able to monitor changes in condition in real time. This approach has been used successfully across North America by some of the largest water utilities to prevent costly and environmentally damaging pipe failures on critical mains.

60 Kilometers of AFO Monitoring Scheduled for Completion in 2015

In 2014, Pure and LHPWSS began the final step in making the twinned mains “intelligent” by installing AFO monitoring on nearly 30 kilometers of pipe. By the end of 2015, 60 kilometers of Pipelines A and B will be monitored to prevent pipe failures. By assessing and monitoring its critical mains, LHPWSS moves closer to their goal of proactive, fiscally and environmentally responsible asset management.

In addition, the intelligent monitoring will support the objectives set by the HELP Clean Water initiative aimed at ensuring a sustainable, safe and reliable source of clean drinking water for residents of the Region.

It’s a goal well worth pursuing.

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