Metropolitana Milanese identified a critical transmission main as a priority for inspection, proactively assessed a nine kilometer section using the SmartBall inline leak detection tool and identified 23 large leaks, among which eight were in a short 240 m section.

Milan, Italy

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Challenge: The Assiano Linate Transmission main, a 1200mm steel transmission main installed in Milan needed a non-revenue inspection due to it being an important part of the network. Reducing NRW is a major concern for municipalities, a proactive approach to pipeline inspection is critical to managing investments.

Solution: Metropolitana Milanese proactively assessed a nine kilometer section using the SmartBall leak detection tool. This technology was chosen to allow the transmission main to remain in operation during the inspection, a critical requirement due to the networks served by the main. It is capable of completing long inspections in a single deployment and is equipped with an acoustic sensor that identifies acoustic anomalies associated with leaks and air pockets. The acoustic signature is then analyzed to determine if it is a leak, air pocket, or an external noise.

Benefit: By determining the specific locations of leaks on the Assiano Linate Transmission Main, The customer will be able to reduce its NRW and has gained a better understanding of the overall condition of the pipeline. This will aid in future capital planning and will also provide a valuable study into determining the external factors that might be causing the leakage. Furthermore, the results indicated that limited portions of the main have damage while most of the pipeline appears to be in relatively good condition. This gives a targeted area for repairs without the need to dig up large sections of the pipeline – a costly and time-consuming process.

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