City of New Castle demonstrates new technology testing water main pipes

Delaware water system workers and engineers gathered to watch a demonstration of new technology that efficiently tests the adequacy of water main pipes.

Today in historic New Castle, the City of New Castle Municipal Services Commission, Delaware’s Division of Public Health and engineering company Echologics demonstrated the ePulse water pipe assessment technology.

The technology uses sound waves to measure pipe wall thickness and determine the presence of any leaks without having to dig and cut into pipes to assess the conditions —which requires more work and can be costly.

The Division of Public Health’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund provided $50,000 to the city for the technology, which they have so far used to test 8,300 feet of pipe since Tuesday.

“As some of our pipes continue to age we have infrastructure over 100 years old, and that’s what we’re really concerned with,” said water supervisor for the city’s Municipal Services Commission, Jay Guier.

“Some of the dangers could be the failures that can result, and destruction that would happen to the streets, the sidewalks, roads and possibly some of the areas downtown where there’s not much room. The damage that could happen to the foundation of the older homes and structures downtown.”

The city contracted Echologics to use the ePulse technology to conduct acoustic leak detection and condition assessment of old water main pipes, which will determine if the pipes need to be replaced or just cleaned and lined, to extend their life.

The city believes it is the first utility in the state to use the technology, which only has been around about three years.

“As it continues to grow in popularity, hopefully more utilities will embrace it and allow them to do more economical replacement of their infrastructure and make better decisions on how we spend our constituents’ money,” Guier said. 

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