Updating underwater pipeline information

Alva, a company located in the Central Finland, handles water and energy supply for Jyväskylä region. In the last few years, the company has invested on digitalisation, and with the Pisara concept offers their expertise for other national and international stakeholders in water industry.

As a part of their own digitalisation, Alva has updated the information of the underwater pipeline network with the help of VRT’s sonar surveys. Multibeam sonar surveys enable gathering the information of the condition and location at the same time. The information can then be uploaded to asset databases. During the five-year-cooperation of VRT and Alva, the majority of the 80 kilometres of Alva’s pipelines has been mapped. VRT is involved also in the construction projects, inspecting the underwater conditions on the planned pipeline route and performing quality check-ups after the construction.

Exact information from the planning to construction

It is beneficial to check the planned area for the new pipeline before the installation to avoid risks to the pipeline, such as objects or grooves. In Lievestuore, Palokka and Lutakko VRT inspected the lake bottom areas on the route of the planned pipeline to minimize risks.

Also, the installation phase itself can create bumps on the road, also literally. Alva uses VRT’s sonar survey to check the quality of the installation. The detailed information from the survey ensures that possible corrections can be made efficiently, and the final location of the pipeline is saved for future utilization.

Condition inspections improve the cost efficiency of the maintenance

There are dozens of kilometres of pipeline in the lakes, and mobile sonar scanning from a moving vessel is the quickest way to receive information about the condition of the pipelines. 3D data reveals excess material near the pipeline, pipeline drifting due to the installation work or currents, possible leaks and broken weighs, for example. The risky locations are easily found, and it is possible to prioritize maintenance to more critical areas to avoid surprising damages.

For the older pipelines Alva received the updated location information, which may differ from the original plans. Sometimes the information of the old pipelines is only some old paper drawings, so it is essential to digitalise as much as possible. This summer VRT inspected over 20 kilometres of old pipelines to update the asset information. In future, the maintenance is easier with the updated location information of the pipelines.

This year we continued the cooperation with VRT by surveying older pipelines. With the survey, we could update the location information of the pipelines and got valuable information about the condition at the same time. The quality of the service was as good as expected.

Pekka Pahkamäki, Network Manager, Alva-yhtiöt Oy

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Karri Koistinen

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