Raising the Bar with Sahara II

Raising the Bar with Sahara™ II


SSIS recently took delivery of their brand new Sahara II unit - the latest and most technologically advanced internal leak detection and live CCTV inspection system in the world!

Trusted and Proven Sahara™ Pedigree

Sahara™ is a tethered in-line audio-visual condition assessment technology that pinpoints the location and estimates the magnitude of leaks and air pockets in bulk water pipelines whilst simultaneously inspecting the internal condition of the pipeline.

This technology has proven sensitive to leaks as small as 1 litre per hour. Leaks are located in real-time and their surface locations marked to an accuracy of less than 1 m. The system is inserted into a live pipeline through any tap of 100 mm or more in diameter. Carried by the flow of water, the tethered sensor head can then travel through the pipe for distances up to 1.6 km per survey. The leak’s position is located and marked on the surface in real-time, facilitating subsequent repairs or intervention.

The Sahara™ platform has an extensive history and was the first tool designed for live inspection of large diameter water mains. With over 5,500 leaks found in 5,700 km of inspections worldwide, it sets the standard in leak detection for large diameter pipelines. As a result, Sahara™ is a critical component of condition assessment and water loss management programmes for utilities around the world.

Sahara™ II

The second generation of the proven Sahara™ platform boasts significant technological advances including full electric operation, a fibre-optic tether, improved sensor stability, improved leak sensitivity, vastly improved image quality and integrated pipe wall assessment capability – all while the pipeline remains in service with no interruptions to the end user!

The system was built into a customised inspection vehicle (on the right in the photo below) to ensure ease of use and rapid mobilisation. Our trusted Sahara™ I unit (left) remains fully operational, providing even more flexibility and inspection capacity in South Africa.

Hands-on Training Ensuring Local Expertise

SSIS staff underwent extensive shop training in Toronto, Canada, followed by hands-on training on a number of Rand Water pipelines.

SSIS took delivery of only the second commercial Sahara™ II unit stationed permanently outside of the USA and Canada and is one of only a few partners having certified operators that can perform autonomous inspections using both Sahara™ and SmartBall™ technologies. This illustrates SSIS’s commitment to the local water industry through the innovation and dedicated support from Pure Technologies.

Leading the way …

SSIS offers the South African water industry the most advanced, industry leading inspection technologies in support of the likes of Rand Water who embraced these advances by implementing the largest pro-active bulk water pipeline condition assessment investigation ever performed in this country to date. At the centre of this investigation is the in-line non-disruptive leak detection inspections covering just over 2 200 km of Rand Water’s 3 500 km bulk pipeline network using both tethered Sahara™ and free swimming SmartBall™ inspection technologies. The SSIS and SSIS/Epitome JV teams are hard at work inspecting these critical bulk pipelines - keep an eye out for them on the road and in the field!

High Value Leaks and Non-Intrusive Condition Assessment

Leakage on large diameter pipelines can be classified as a structural failure depending on its location and severity. Corrosion of the pipe wall may lead to perforation and leakage. Leakage can also occur at joints and pipeline components and contribute to mechanical failures due to eroding pipe bedding support. It is well known that pipelines often leak before they fail. Leakage can therefore be seen as an indicator of wall penetration by pitting as well as the integrity of pipe joints and is hence a useful indicator of the overall pipeline condition.

Historically, many water utilities have aggressively repaired leaks which surfaced either by visible leakage above ground or where reported by a third party. However, most leaks result from "unreported" or hidden leaks in trunk mains.

Unfortunately, from experience the majority of large leaks, including high-pressure leaks, can go undetected for years, wasting millions of liters of water, causing damage to underground infrastructure and resulting in public safety issues.

Pro-active leak detection and repair programmes on bulk water pipelines can result in significant water savings while simultaneously offering very useful information regarding the overall operation and condition of a pipeline. This may include air entrapment and movement, flow variation, location of bends and illegal connections.

Through our relationship with Pure Technologies, SSIS offers a suite of innovative inspection technologies backed up by sound engineering judgment and international best practice to pro-actively manage risk, reduce cost for the pipeline owner and extend the service life of pipeline assets. Please contact us to find out how we van assist you to Assess and Address™ your pipeline problems and extend the life of your buried assets.

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