Densely populated areas are often near water and the municipal infrastructure, like fresh water and waste water pipes, needs to be led through sea, lake or river. Installing pipelines under water contains many challenges from planning to maintenance, as the conditions under water are not visible. Often the information about old pipeline is only blueprint in the archive and maybe some diver report about suspected leakage.

Sonar scanning is an efficient tool for every phase of pipeline’s life-cycle

Managing underwater pipelines contains many phases, in which detailed information about underwater conditions is essential.

  1. Planning

    Knowing the situation of seabed ensures that there are not surprising grooves or objects on the planned route, which could affect the durability of the pipeline.

  1. Installation

    During and after installation it is important to check the as-built situation. What is the actual location of the pipeline, are the weighs evenly distributed and are there unnecessary curves?

  1. Maintenance

    Underwater pipelines face significant environmental stress by currents, changes in temperature and possible traffic in shallower areas. Regular check-ups of the condition ensure that risky points are identified, and costly repairs prevented by predictive maintenance.

  1. Demolition

    When the pipeline is decommissioned or replaced, you need to be sure that there are not any remnants of the old structure left.

Mobile sonar scanning is a cost-effective way to gather data below water. The field team measures up to 5-10 kilometers of pipeline per day with an accuracy of few centimeters, enabling the inspection of smaller pipelines and even cables. You get the exact location of the pipeline, observe the condition of weighs and see if there are objects below or above the pipe or if it has moved with the currents. Possible leakages can be spotted if there is sediment drift near the pipe.

How to use the 3D data from the underwater pipeline inspection?

VRT delivers the survey data via GISGRO, an online platform for 3D data management. You don’t need anything else but a decent web browser to access the visualised 3D data. Our civil engineers have also inspected the data and added observations, so that it is easy to spot the primary maintenance needs.

In GISGRO you can analyse and utilise the data yourself with various tools. Take cross-sections or measurements, draw the route of the pipeline and download it as DFX, guide the diver to exact location to fix the weighs… For the first time the survey data is really easy to access and use, for the whole life-cycle of the pipeline!

If you want to know more, contact us or leave an offer request. We have done dozens of underwater pipeline inspections and are eager to help you to reveal the invisible.

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Interested in our services? Contact us!

Karri Kolehmainen & Ville Mäkeläinen

Karri Koistinen

+358 40 0604927



Ville Mäkeläinen

+358 44 513 2222


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