Streamline - Summer 2017 - 22

Locating Plastic Pipe
BY KENNY REYNOLDS, WATER CIRCUIT RIDER #1

OVER THE YEARS, many different types of water and wastewater pipe material has been manufactured
and used in our distribution systems. When mainly metal pipe materials were used, locating these lines
was fairly simple using a magnetic or an electromagnetic locator.

Since numerous utilities have decided
to use plastic pipe materials for water
and sewer lines, the importance of a
means to locate them in the future has
become of utmost importance. Often
numerous hours are spent with detailed
specifications for designing water and
wastewater pipe replacement projects. Too often, little time is spent on
specifications for the means to be able
to locate these piping materials in the
future, which leads to numerous hours
being spent by distribution staff trying
to locate these pipes for repairs when
necessary.

22 S T R E A M L I N E * S u m m e r 2 0 1 7

In this world of new technology,
there is no reason for water or wastewater pipe being laid that doesn't take
in consideration a method for locating
it in the future. Today we have the possibility of using Geographic Information
System (GIS), Global Positioning System
(GPS), Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR),
Electromagnetic Locators and Tracer
Wire, or Radio-Frequency Identification
(RFID) just to name a few. Water and
wastewater utility staffs are familiar
with GIS and GPS and many have used
this technology to record and track assets
in their distribution systems. But, often

this information isn't always available to
distribution crews when an emergency
happens in the middle of the night, on
weekends or on holidays.
For the remainder of this article, we
will discuss some of the other methods
that can be used when those emergencies
happen to locate plastic pipes if proper
pre-planning was done in the specification phase. One of the methods most
utilities are familiar with is the use of
tracer wire and electromagnetic locators. Years ago plastic pipe was laid in
the ground with no means to locate it in
the future with something as simple as a
tracing material. Today, some means of
locating plastic pipe is required by regulations, but often not enough thought of
thorough specifications is developed and
used to assure future success in locating
these pipes.
Many utilities are now using tracer
wire in their specifications for a way
to locate plastic pipe materials in the
future. The problem that sometimes
occurs is that the utility doesn't make
sure that they have detailed specifications for example:
1) as to the type of wire, example:
solid, not strained copper or other
new materials such as copperhead
tracing wire
2) size or gauge of wire, example: most
utilities specify as a minimum #12
solid copper wire, many are starting
to require a #10 for larger pipes
3) type of wire insulation material,
example: that is meant for direct
burial, some insulation will deteriorate when placed in the ground and
leave the bare wire to deteriorate and
go to ground over several years. For



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Streamline - Summer 2017

From the President: 2017 Legislative Efforts
From the Executive Director: Give Us Another Drum Roll Please…
2017 VRWA Conference Highlights
Locating Plastic Pipe
The Value of VRWA
Portable Ladder Safety
The Chesapeake Bay
These Boots Are Made For...What?
RUS-Funded Projects: New Requirements
SOPs: The First Step to Sustainable Utilities
Throwing My Loop: The Horse Trailer with the Broken Heart (Part Two)
VRWA Member Corner
eLearning Benefits
Membership Application
Benefits for VRWA Members
Board of Directors
VRWA Committees
Index to Advertisers/Ad.com
Streamline - Summer 2017 - Intro
Streamline - Summer 2017 - cover1
Streamline - Summer 2017 - cover2
Streamline - Summer 2017 - 3
Streamline - Summer 2017 - 4
Streamline - Summer 2017 - 5
Streamline - Summer 2017 - 6
Streamline - Summer 2017 - 7
Streamline - Summer 2017 - 8
Streamline - Summer 2017 - From the President: 2017 Legislative Efforts
Streamline - Summer 2017 - 10
Streamline - Summer 2017 - From the Executive Director: Give Us Another Drum Roll Please…
Streamline - Summer 2017 - 2017 VRWA Conference Highlights
Streamline - Summer 2017 - 13
Streamline - Summer 2017 - 14
Streamline - Summer 2017 - 15
Streamline - Summer 2017 - 16
Streamline - Summer 2017 - 17
Streamline - Summer 2017 - 18
Streamline - Summer 2017 - 19
Streamline - Summer 2017 - 20
Streamline - Summer 2017 - 21
Streamline - Summer 2017 - Locating Plastic Pipe
Streamline - Summer 2017 - 23
Streamline - Summer 2017 - 24
Streamline - Summer 2017 - The Value of VRWA
Streamline - Summer 2017 - Portable Ladder Safety
Streamline - Summer 2017 - The Chesapeake Bay
Streamline - Summer 2017 - These Boots Are Made For...What?
Streamline - Summer 2017 - 29
Streamline - Summer 2017 - RUS-Funded Projects: New Requirements
Streamline - Summer 2017 - 31
Streamline - Summer 2017 - SOPs: The First Step to Sustainable Utilities
Streamline - Summer 2017 - 33
Streamline - Summer 2017 - 34
Streamline - Summer 2017 - Throwing My Loop: The Horse Trailer with the Broken Heart (Part Two)
Streamline - Summer 2017 - 36
Streamline - Summer 2017 - VRWA Member Corner
Streamline - Summer 2017 - 38
Streamline - Summer 2017 - eLearning Benefits
Streamline - Summer 2017 - Membership Application
Streamline - Summer 2017 - Benefits for VRWA Members
Streamline - Summer 2017 - 42
Streamline - Summer 2017 - VRWA Committees
Streamline - Summer 2017 - 44
Streamline - Summer 2017 - Index to Advertisers/Ad.com
Streamline - Summer 2017 - 46
Streamline - Summer 2017 - cover3
Streamline - Summer 2017 - cover4
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