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Easy Detection for Protecta-Line Barrier Pipe System

Posted: Thursday 29th October 2009

A simple radiodetection procedure developed by GPS PE Pipe Systems makes it easy to locate its Protecta-Line water pipes and fittings, long after they have been installed on brownfield sites.

As Water Companies take responsibility for services on customer property, the ability to locate pipe joints between main and meter is a useful asset. Tracing the position of buried plastic service pipes is also vital before any ground excavation but it is normally a problematic and costly exercise.

GPS PE Pipe Systems has now published information for Protecta-Line users on how to attach a standard Genny transmitter and use a Cable Avoidance Tool (CAT) to trace buried pipe systems from the surface. This is a more effective method than ‘transonde’ location of plastic pipes and incurs significantly less capital cost than Ground Penetrating Radar.

An integral barrier layer of aluminium is double bonded in the Protecta-Line system. The aluminium layer provides a conductive medium that allows a standard CAT and Genny set to provide detection. The only other requirement is an access point, such as a meter box, which is necessary in order to connect the transmitter to the pipe end by an earth cross-bonding strap.

Within the construction industry buried utilities represent a major hazard. Excavations that are not properly planned can cause damage to pipes or cables, often resulting in costly repairs, delays and in some instances, personal injuries. An advantage of radiodetection tools is that they have been used since the1970s to locate cables or metal pipes. They are intuitive to operate and no specialist training is needed.

In contrast plastic pipes locators, or transondes, work by applying a distinctive pressure wave signal along the pipe that is located by the seismic sensor in the receiver. Problems can arise when the pipe runs under paving and concrete or at the point where the pipe goes into a tee or joins a large pipe. A more effective tool than the transonde is Ground Penetrating Radar but it is relatively costly and is normally operated by specialist engineers.

The use of radiodetection with the Protecta-Line system has been successfully demonstrated recently at the Fallowfields Residential Development at Whittlesey, Peterborough. As this is a brownfield development, Protecta-Line was used to safeguard the water supply. Martin Lott, Construction Manager with housebuilders and developers Cannon Kirk (UK) Ltd and John Merritt, Technical Manager at GPS PE Pipe Systems, trialled the CAT and Genny method at the development site, demonstrating just how easy it is to obtain accurate and reliable results. Martin Lott picked up on a particular advantage for housing development, commenting:

“The facility to be able to trace water pipes is a major step forward for a developer, particularly if the water company is prepared to allow us to locate the water meter on any aspect of a dwelling.”

www.gpsuk.com




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