As with much of the UK’s water pipe network, which has been in place for many decades, exact locations and routes are often unknown. When a sports venue was closed and earmarked for a multi-million retail/residential redevelopment, a mains water pipe was threatening to cause major project delays. While the contractor was aware of the presence of the pipe, as its precise location was unknown, pilings could not be sited for the new shopping centre. Exacerbating the problem, the pipe lay at depths of 14m in places.
WRc was invited to perform a pipeline survey using its Sahara® acoustic umbilical system fitted with an enhanced version of the company’s location device. Sahara® was inserted at the pipe’s most shallow access point, just 1.5m from the surface, before being flushed through the pipeline to the deeper end of the system.
Armed with the enhanced tracking sensor, in a single shift Sahara® was able to pinpoint the line of the 150m-long pipe across the entire area intended for redevelopment. Proving the value of the decision to engage WRc, the pipe’s route differed considerably to where it was shown on the original plans. Furnished with this new information, the contractor was able to install the necessary pilings without causing any damage to the main water pipe, and thus move the project forward.