Maintaining pipeline integrity in a changing environment


Increased population growth and wastewater volume coupled with ageing pipe infrastructure means Australia’s sewage systems are under increasing amounts of stress, which can result in integrity loss and a high potential for emergency situations.

In January 2017, three of Melbourne’s public beaches were contaminated due to summer flash flooding that strained the sewage systems. In May, Sydney reported sustained odour in the city’s inner west due to sewer leakage. Additionally, heavy downpour in Western Australia has resulted in the contamination of Swan River which runs through Perth.

Finding integrity issues before they become emergency situations that increase asset downtime and maintenance costs highlights the importance of a well maintained sewer system and the necessity to perform leak detection investigations on a regular basis.

Austeck Owner and Principal, Tristan Day, said, “In a time where water utilities can’t afford to ignore pipeline inspection and maintenance, we need to see more innovative and adaptable solutions that provide quick and accurate results.

“Measures such as pressure testing for measuring joint integrity; reach tests; and testing of manholes and liquid separators, are becoming crucial in maintaining a high standard of pipeline integrity. This is why equipment that can perform all the necessary air, water and vacuum testing is becoming an invaluable asset to the industry.

“Rausch’s Premus 600 system has been designed to detect pipeline leaks using these three tests, allowing users to choose which test will be best for the pipeline they are assessing. The systems also comply with national and international requirements so users can be assured they are getting a high quality and safe product.”

The Premus 600 system is available as a built-in or portable system which can perform air, water and vacuum tests. The air and vacuum can test sections of pipe from 70mm – 2500mm, while water/air pressure can test main lines from 70mm – 2000mm and includes a separate crane to lower test plugs and bubbles into a manhole.

Identifying integrity issues with user-friendly software

All of the tests conducted with the Premus 600 – and any Rausch products, for lines, joints, manholes and separators – are controlled by the data acquisition software PipeCommander. The software solution’s user-friendly controls enables flexibility of functions for the operator.

Being compatible with air, water and vacuum tests means this adaptable software makes light work for operators who need to consolidate information from all types of tests into an accessible report.

“It is important for software of this nature to be flexible and user-friendly to maximise the benefits of the products being used. PipeCommader produces meaningful data that is easily translatable in order to effectively identify any integrity issues,” Mr Day said.

The Premus 600 coupled with PipeCommander software offers a modular concept, enabling the installation of new components for expansion and adaption of the system as required. These expansion systems include:

  • Reach testing with air, vacuum or water
  • Manhole testing with vacuum or water
  • Joint testing with air or water
  • Seperator testing with water
  • Extensive documentation and protocolling including line charts
  • Graphical schematic of manholes (and reservoirs)

A complete solutions provider

Austeck has operated as a complete solutions provider for pipeline inspection and maintenance equipment since 1992, and is now the exclusive supplier of Rausch products in Australia.

With the exciting introduction of Rausch products to its extensive and unique catalogue of products, Austeck remains dedicated to offering industry expertise, product reliability and long-life solutions.