Pipe Integrity Testing: Ensuring Compliance and Preventing Environmental Contamination

Need for testing

Leaks from pipes can remain undetected for years, especially if the pipes are underground. Where hazardous substances are leaked, the potential clean-up cost could be significant and may not be covered by insurance. For many sites there will be a legal requirement to periodically test the integrity of pipes.

Where pipes have leaked, Environmental Efficiency can undertake soil and water monitoring to determine the extent of contamination and propose appropriate clean-up methods.

We have over 25 years of experience in assessing pipe integrity. Our pipe assessment service is designed to ensure that your pipes are compliant with current regulations. Our team of experienced professionals can undertake hydrostatic testing, air over pressure testing and CCTV testing as appropriate.

All inspection data is recorded using a customised smartphone app that also collects time-stamped and annotated photos of any defects.

Inspection methods

In some cases sites have arranged CCTV inspections of their pipelines instead of air pressure or hydrostatic testing. However, whilst a CCTV inspection will identify many visual defects, a CCTV inspection will not determine if a pipe is watertight. The only way to prove water tightness is by an air pressure or hydrostatic test. In cases where a pipeline has failed the test, a CCTV inspection can then be used to identify the location of the defects. It is possible that an integrity assessment report based just on CCTV inspection will be rejected by the regulator.

Overground pipes

Where pipes run above ground, it is possible that ground and surface water contamination can be caused by leaks from valves, flanges, and other fittings. Often the EPA require an assessment to determine whether retention of leaks from valves and other fittings is required. Environmental Efficiency can carry out these assessments. It is often the case that the assessment determines that either no retention is required as the site is fully bunded, or minimal remediation work is required.

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