Cutting-edge assessment leads the way

New technologies are bolstering the ability of JD7, a UK company specialising in pipeline monitoring. Natasha Wiseman reports

Specialist pipeline assessments and inspection company JD7 has doubled in size this year and expects to do the same in the next 12 months. The fast-growing company is at the forefront of internal pipeline condition assessment and has a growing number of technologies in its portfolio.

Earlier this year it released the LDS1000 product range. The system is used for large diameter mains above 300mm and can go a maximum of 1,000m with the direction of flow.

The company says the LDS1000 system is the most advanced long distance CCTV and leak detection system available for use within pressurised trunk mains. It is capable of 1,000m surveys and includes HD CCTV technology coupled with ultra-high response hydrophone technology.

The system is designed to deliver precise leakage and acoustic surveys, with all technology compiled into one small sensor head which, the company says, dramatically increases daily survey distances.

Director, Stuart Hamilton, says: “We have completed over 50km of surveys now and this has been used to locate leaks in water mains up to 60” (1.5m) to date and has, on average, found a leak every 1,500m. These leaks may not be large enough or economical to repair, but an eye has to be kept on them as they will, in time, become a burst.

“There is a life to a water leak. This starts with a weep – this can’t be located with traditional technology, but can be located with internal acoustic technology, and in some instances the leak can be seen.

“The next stage is burst, where flows are now as much as 70 gallons (318l) per minute and in some circumstances can be located with special acoustic devices, but can now be seen internally with the camera. The final stage is a catastrophic burst and this is where the pipe completely fails.

“The time from a weep to a complete failure is not known – this is why even the smallest leaks are sometimes repaired even though it is not financially viable.”

The company was set up in 2001 and already works with Yorkshire Water, Thames Water, United Utilities and Northern Ireland Water in the UK and numerous overseas partners. In January 2012, it launches its PipeScan+, an internal non-destructive testing (NDT) system, which is designed to be inserted through air valves or pressure points with an internal diameter of 47mm and upwards.

The system uses the water within the pipe as the coupling, allowing multiple readings to be performed. Hamilton says that the company’s new generation technologies offer to change the way the industry thinks about leakage.

“The industry is too set in its ways,” he says. “What we look for is to gain the information which will make investments validated – leakage pinpointed on all water mains, regardless of pressure, diameter and material.”


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