SmartBall ® Pipeline Inspection Technology

Using SmartBall® for leak detection and condition assessment in pipelines.

Anthony Bond is our expert in SmartBall® Inspection Technology

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Trusted inspection technology

WRc have broadened our suite of pipeline inspection tools to include other leading platforms such as SmartBall® and PipeDiver® from Pure Technologies (Xylem).

SmartBall® is one of the world’s most trusted inspection technologies, having already been used on over 7000km of pipelines globally. It is a free-flowing (rolling) inspection tool that can be deployed for tens of kilometres while the pipeline remains in service, thereby avoiding disruption to customers. The device is inserted and extracted under pressure through 100mm tappings and can be used in any pipe over 250mm diameter.

Free-flowing data collection

SmartBall® can provide a raft of information about a pipe. It travels with the flow of water and collects data as it moves. The device includes:

  • a built-in acoustic sensor which locates leaks and air pockets;
  • a gyroscope used to validate existing GIS data while collecting information on the pipeline route; and 
  • magnetic sensors which can even identify whether leaks are occurring at the joint or in the barrel of the pipes. 
It is this kind of insight that helps us to identify the mode of failure and guide the most appropriate repair and rehabilitation techniques.

    Solutions provided

    Its ability to be inserted into live water mains enhances SmartBall® variety of applications:

    • Leak and air pocket detection
    • Condition assessment
    • Active leakage control
    • Locating
    • Commissioning

    Networks covered

    • Raw water pipeline
    • Trunk mains
    • Distribution mains and service pipes
    • Industrial
    • Pumped rising mains

    SmartBall®

    SmartBall® is one of the world’s most trusted inspection technologies. It is a free-flowing (rolling) inspection tool that can be deployed for long distances, while the pipeline remains in service, thereby avoiding customer disruption.

    Sahara®

    Sahara® is a highly accurate tethered inspection tool used for pin-pointing leaks and carrying out pipeline condition assessment in real time while the pipeline is in service. The tool can be used in potable water trunk mains, raw water mains, waste water rising mains and sewers.

    PipeDiver®

    PipeDiver® is a free-swimming, high-resolution pipe inspection tool for large-diameter pipe inspections. Not only does it operate while the pipeline remains in service, it is capable of inspecting the condition of 40km or more in a single deployment.

    The team at WRc worked closely with the Asset Strategy and Operations teams at Irish Water together with Clare County Council and Response Group during the planning phase of the project to ensure that the deployment and retrieval of the SmartBall® went smoothly. This has reinforced our confidence in considering SmartBall® for further condition assessments of critical assets.

    Bill Nolan - Risk Management Specialist
    Irish Water

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    Anthony Bond

    Technical Manager

    Anthony works closely with clients to advise on the most appropriate techniques to utilise in order to inspect assets. He specialises in implementing innovative, new inspection techniques and solutions. Anthony is responsible for investigating and developing new inspection techniques, and adapting trusted technologies for specific client applications. He is involved in initial testing under field survey conditions, as well as ensuring field operators are competently trained in new techniques.