Summary: Specialty Pipeline Services (SPS) recommends any property owner, water system
and/or property management companies to implement a valve operation maintenance program. Every water
system has valves that were designed and installed to regulate, stop, or start the flow of water in the
distribution lines. Being able to operate these valves at a moment's notice is extremely important (as
is evident with any water main break).
In an emergency, sections of a water main system may need to be shut down without delay. However, if a valve is not used over a period of time it can seize-up from corrosion and get stuck, making the valve inoperable. This can present a very serious problem! Utilizing SPS to implement a valve exercising program can help you maintain the useful life and operation of your water system valves. Many owners are reluctant to take on a valve exercising program mainly because of the costs associated, the fear of needing expensive tools and/or not having the experience or resources to start such a program. In addition, when valve locations are not known, it makes the task of exercising valves more difficult and more troublesome. These are NOT good reasons for NOT implementing a valve exercising program. SPS has the tools, experience and resources to design and maintain a valve program for your company. Surely implementing a valve exercising program is going to cost money, especially if you have to replace valves that are no longer functional. However, the benefits of such a program far outweigh the negative. A freezing winter night water main break has the potential of incurring many costs that can add up very quickly (some documented cases show upwards into the millions of dollars). After all, system valves are there for a reason and if they aren't working, shouldn't they be fixed or replaced?
Specialty Pipeline Services (SPS) provides line acceptance testing (low pressure air sewer testing) on a variety of pipe types that are newly installed sewer mains ranging in size from 4" to 12" in diameter. The completed test services will show the sewer status on infiltration and exfiltration.
Newly installed sewer pipes are air tested to determine the integrity of the pipe. Such a test is performed to establish sectional tightness of a newly laid sewer pipe. The test is performed to comply with local standards and guidelines. The testing should be performed with pre testing and final testing. Final testing is completed under the direction and supervision of a local Utility Inspector and/or Project Engineer.
The test is routinely performed on clean pipes, after the compaction of trench backfill and prior to surface restoration. At each manhole, plugs are inserted and inflated in the pipeline in accordance to the manufacturer?s recommendations. All outlets and laterals are capped and secured.
Once the pipeline is air sealed, low air pressure is introduced until air density reaches a pre- specified psig. A specific drop in air pressure, within a pipe section, over a specified length of time, determines acceptance or failure of the line in question. When a drop in pressure isrecognized, a leak location (segment test) can be performed to isolate the leak.
Both ends of the pipe are blocked off at manholes with inflatable balls.
Low pressure air is introduced into the sealed pipeline thru one of the balls.
The rate of escaping air is measured at the control panel and this rate indicates the acceptance or rejection of the pipeline.
SPS also offers leak locating (segment testing) to pinpoint the location of the leak. SPS has the necessary tools, equipment, experience that can locate the leaks in the sewer line. Leak location is actually a series of small line acceptance tests that will locate the leak. When a leak is located, the equipment is readjusted that will provide the leak to pinpointed within 2 feet.
Vacuum testing has become a standard test for manhole testing. It will save time, money and verify top quality manufacturing and water tightness of precast manholes and their components. This is particularly true when compared to hydrostatic test methods.
ASTM C1244 - Standard Test Method for Concrete Sewer Manholes by the Negative Air Pressure (Vacuum) Test, defines the requirements for vacuum testing manholes.
This standard vacuum test is performed on non-backfilled manholes, to verify the adequacy of the precast manhole. The test requires that all lift holes, pipes, and other penetrations be plugged prior to testing and that the test apparatus be directly applied on top of the concrete surface (inside or outside) of the manhole following the manufacturer's recommendations.
All pipes entering the manhole, plugs and seals must be securely braced to prevent them from being dislodged and drawn into the manhole during the vacuum test. Figure 1 illustrates typical recommendations for testing before backfilling.
Once all penetrations are sealed, the test proceeds by drawing a vacuum of 10 inches (254 mm) of mercury. After reaching 10 inches of mercury, the time is recorded for the vacuum pressure to drop to 9 inches (229 mm). If the time required for the vacuum to drop to 9 inches exceeds a prescribed period (Table 1), based on the manhole's depth and diameter, the manhole is acceptable.
Leaks can be readily detected by SPS utilizing a special leak detection liquid to help pinpoint the leak if necessary. If the manhole fails the initial test, repairs using a hydraulic cement like Thoroseal needs to be applied to the wall surface of the structure to seal the "hole".
Vacuum testing after backfilling should only be performed after a successful non-backfill test has been completed.
ASTM C1244 requires the plugging of all pipes entering the manhole, securely bracing all plugs, pipes and seals. They may also require additional measures to assure protection of all gaskets and seals. Figure 2 illustrates typical recommendations for testing after backfilling.
Leak detection is a more timely process for a backfilled manhole.
Repairs after backfilling are also more difficult.
It is normal practice to test manholes for water tightness during installation. The vacuum test is a time and cost savings method offered as an alternative to hydrostatic testing (ASTM C 969) and is not meant to preclude acceptance by that or other standards. It is also not meant to serve as an in-service test.
Like leakage tests for other environmental structures, ASTM C 1244 should be performed before backfilling so any leaks can be readily found and repaired. If testing after backfilling is required, it should be done only in conjunction with testing prior to backfilling.
Insertion Valves eliminates many of the problems commonly associated with valve insertion and valve replacement. Installing an insertion valve can eliminate complicated planning for system shut down. It is a highly reliable, easy-to-install and easy-to-use trouble free valve replacement system process. This new system installs a flow control valve into a pressurized line without interruption of existing service.
Line stopping in a cost efficient way of maintaining water and sewer distribution systems and can eliminate costly and dangerous system shutdowns. Line Stopping is the process of installing a temporary flow control plug into a pressurized line to stop the flow of water.
Backflow is the undesirable reversal of the flow of water from its intended direction in any pipeline. Backflow is dangerous because it can allow drinking water in pipeline systems to become contaminated and unusable.
Backflow preventers are mechanical plumbing devices installed in a plumbing system to prevent water from flowing backward in the system. A properly installed, tested and maintained backflow preventer at the service entrance to a building or property can reliably prevent the backflow of water of an unknown quality from flowing back into the community water system.
All backflow devices must be tested once every year. Only a certified backflow tester can certify the proper operation of a backflow device. Once the backflow device is tested, the certification paperwork is forwarded to the owner and appropriate location(s).
NOTE: It should also be noted that no building, house or system that currently requires protection by a backflow preventer is "grandfathered" from not having the proper device installed.
NOTE: All backflow devices must be tested when initially installed and annually to ensure that the device meets the NYS requirements to protect the safety of the public water system. Having your backflow device tested has never been easier. Call us to schedule your test. We will test your device, and handle all of the necessary paper work involved. We will also keep track of your test date and notify you the following year with ample time to reschedule the test. It is very easy and affordable.
A backflow prevention device is used to protect potable water supplies from contamination or pollution from backsiphonage or backpressure of the system. There are several backflow preventer devices as a result to different applications and health hazard conditions. Our New York State Dept of Health Certified Backflow Prevention Device Tester can test the following devices: