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Ultrasonic Thickness Mapping of Steel Piping at a Wastewater Pump Station

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Abstract:

As managers struggle to maintain their aging infrastructure at minimal cost, the pipe assets within their pumping facilities may be overlooked. These components often appear in good condition because their external paint coatings are easily maintained. However, usually little is known about their actual condition because the systems are in constant service and can't be readily inspected from within. Ultrasonic thickness testing (UT) is commonly employed in industrial facilities to gather the data needed to assess the condition of these systems. Such inspections are rarely, if ever, undertaken in many water and wastewater facilities, and even then are typically restricted to solitary tests at “key” locations in the facility. If the inspector lacks a reasonable understanding of plant operations and the erosion/corrosion processes that occur in piping systems, severely deteriorated locations may go undetected. By utilizing data loggers and innovative mapping techniques, a more comprehensive UT inspection can be undertaken very cost effectively, and a more precise understanding of system condition state can be obtained. This paper details a comprehensive UT inspection program that was undertaken in 2007 at a major wastewater pumping station in the City of Winnipeg.

Keywords: Ultrasonic thickness testing; corrosion rate; gauge calibration; service life; steel pipe; surface mapping; wastewater pumping station

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/193864709793956536

Publication date: January 1, 2009

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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