While owners and operators take every precaution during the construction phase, pipelines may still be damaged after a project has been completed. Because of this, regular inspections are conducted on pipelines using specialized tools such as a “pig”, used to detect anomalies in a pipeline without the need for excavation. When anomalies are detected the location is recorded, and an integrity dig will commence. Integrity digs involve excavating the area around the anomaly and conducting a physical inspection of the pipeline – determining the exact extent of repairs required.
During a 2017 integrity dig conducted in Strathroy, Ontario, Canada, it was found that a concrete set-on weight had caused damage to the pipeline it was installed on. Additionally, it was found that the concrete had impeded the flow of cathodic protection, accelerating the damage. Removal and disposal of the concrete set-on weight was a difficult and expensive endeavour.
The contractor opted to replace the concrete set-on weight with the PipeSak® geo-textile fabric weight citing the ease of install, reduced cost, and for ease of future inspection. PipeSak® pipeline weights are environmentally inert, cause no impediment to cathodic protection, and are filled with native ballast, further reducing the environmental impact. Additionally, PipeSak® pipeline weights are easy to remove and dispose of if future maintenance is required.