What is Hydrostatic Pipeline Pressure Testing?

With hundreds of thousands of miles of pipes, the UK’s water network is constantly at risk of leakage, increasing the maintenance burden on utilities, raising bills for customers and increasing the likelihood of water shortages – you can read about the challenges facing the UK’s water network in our previous feature.

There are lots of different ways leaks can occur, but to prevent them from happening in the first place, rigorous pipeline pressure testing, also known as hydrostatic pipeline pressure testing, must take place on all new pipelines prior to commissioning.
Here’s what pressure testing is, who uses it, its benefits, and Ant Hire Solutions’ range of pipeline pressure testing solutions.

What are hydrostatic Pipeline pressure tests?
Hydrostatic pipeline pressure testing is when a pipeline is exposed to water pressure levels above its normal operating pressure in order to determine whether there are any faults or weaknesses in the pipework. This would be carried out prior to it being commissioned and adopted into the pipeline network.

Pipeline pressure tests involve isolating the section of pipe that needs to be tested and then pumping water into it. As this happens, the pressure of the pipe is monitored using remote data loggers and data management platforms such as PIPE by Ant Hire Solutions. If structural problems are detected, the test is aborted, and the compromised section of pipe reported to the contractor or utility company.

What Problems does pipeline pressure testing solve?
All new pipelines must be fully tested, shown to be able to withstand the excess pressure during testing and are free of defects or damage.
In the long run, properly tested pipelines reduce the risk of water shortages and deliver much lower lifetime costs on future maintenance. It’s because of this that accurate pipeline pressure testing is an essential component of any pipeline laying operation.

Ant Hire solutions’ range of hydrostatic pressure tests
Ant Hire Solutions offer three different types of pressure tests:

  • Type 1 pressure tests – for rigid pipe materials such as ductile iron, stainless steel and glass-reinforced plastic (GRP).
  • Type 2 pressure tests – for polyethylene pipework.
  • 10-minute tests – for polyethylene pipes in situations where water supply disruptions must be kept to a minimum.

Alongside these all-encompassing tests, we have a wide range of industry-leading pressure testing equipment including pumps, data loggers and accessories that are designed and precision engineered by our expert in-house team.
Conducting pipeline pressure tests is an industry requirement, but without the correct analysis and insight, lessons can’t be learned, and processes can’t be optimised, leading to continuing inefficiencies across pipelines and a greater opportunity for leaks to form.

Pipeline Installation Performance Evaluator: Data Management System
To help you conduct smarter pipeline pressure tests, Ant Hire Solutions has developed PIPE, an end-to-end pressure testing system with an innovative data management platform that combines pressure test results and pipeline data within a single, real-time dashboard. Letting you view all your test information, plus location data, deep analysis and automatic certificate generation in one place, it’s a time and resource-saving answer to conducting safe and compliant test, identifying leaks and safeguarding networks.

Our Guides

To assist our customers in solving the problem of leaking pipeline networks, we’ve created the following guides:

  • Leakage, shortage, stress: the challenges facing UK pipeline networks
  • How to conduct pipeline pressure tests
  • How to solve problems with pipeline pressure testing and repair
  • Ant Hire Solutions’ 9 steps to leak-free networks

For more information on Ant Hire Solutions’ range of pressure testing products and services, please contact our expert team.