Smart solutions for pipeline safety after a natural disaster
Proceedings Publication Date
On the night of Tuesday, 16th of October a magnitude 4.6 earthquake hit New England centred 20 miles West of Portland, Maine. For gas companies, earthquakes can damage buried facilities, especially cast iron pipe.The local gas supplier Unitil, needed to check that their network integrity had not been compromised, and that there were no leaks. Unitil manages their annual inspection process using the Verotrack solution supplied and implemented by Ubisense. This combines pipeline inventory data inspection routes on mobile devices, linked to gas leak detection devices. These devices track the path walked or driven by the field crews and provides an audited record of inspection. This paper describes how Unitil mobilised their workforce to carry out a full inspection of their cast iron pipelines. Unitil were able to prioritise the areas most at risk from damage by combining information from shake maps provided by the US Geological survey with the pipeline location data. They were able to rapidly ensure that the entire network was leak free and to ensure the safety of their customers.