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Soil and pipeline testing

  • Soil sampling and waste acceptance criteria (WAC) testing
  • Soil resistivity testing
  • Non-destructive pipeline testing

Orbis’ soil and pipeline testing services are designed to help water utilities and municipals make fully informed decision about pipeline conditions and soil wastage. The critical data they provide, supports future investment decisions.

Soil sampling and WAC testing

The Orbis soil sampling service can accurately characterise site waste, so it can be disposed of safely and efficiently. By analysing the waste, we can determine how it is going to behave once it has gone to landfill, whether its hazardous, non-hazardous or inert.

The majority of waste can be classified using a standard range of chemical analysis during site investigations. However, if the results indicate ‘inert’ or ‘hazardous’ categories, then further waste acceptance criteria (WAC) testing is required in the laboratory. This is carried out primarily through analysis of leachate from that waste during laboratory analysis.

Key features

  • Accurate and thorough testing
  • Speedy turnaround locally and nationwide
  • Expert laboratory analysis
  • Complies with landfill regulations
  • Identifies how to correctly dispose of waste

Detailed report with recommendations
Upon completion of the soil test, we will issue an interpretive report explaining the significance of the results, as well the laboratory certificate of analysis, which may be requested by regulators such as the local planning authority or Environment Agency.

Soil Resistivity Testing

Soil resistivity, relates to corrosivity and is one of the most important factors to consider when selecting a groundbed location for a new pipeline. It is advisable to locate the area of lowest soil resistivity in order to prevent pipe corrosion and achieve the most economic grounding installation.

What is soil resistivity?
The soil resistivity is a function of moisture and the concentrations of ionic soluble salts, which indicate corrosivity levels. A volume of soil is tested to determine conductivity and results are expressed in ohm-meter or ohm-cm. Typically, the lower the resistivity, the higher will be the corrosivity (see table). Soil resistivity is measured using the Wenner 4-point test method.

Report with recommendations
Upon completion of the soil resistivity tests, we will issue an interpretive report, with recommendations, explaining the significance of the results for corrosion.

Table shows corrosivity ratings based on soil resistivity

Soil resistivity (ohm cam) Corrosivity rating
>20,000 Essentially non-corrosive
10,000 to 20,000 Mildly corrosive
5,000 to 10,000 Moderately corrosive
3,000 to 5,000 Corrosive
1,000 to 3,000 Highly corrosive
<1,000 Extremely corrosive

Non-Destructive Testing

The Orbis non-destructive testing service can help determine the strength and integrity of a pipeline, without damaging it. This ultrasonic test, can measure pipe thickness and identify areas where the wall is dangerously thinning internally due to corrosion. The test uses dual element probes to create very precise thickness measurements of pipelines, even where there are multiple layers of materials. Using this valuable data, we can confidentially predict how long a pipe is safe to continue using by estimating life expectancy.

Key benefits

  • Provides life expectancy of the pipeline
  • Measures pipe-wall thickness
  • Identifies internal and external pit depths

Report with recommendations
Upon completion of the non-destructive test, we will issue a detailed report, with recommendations, showing the pipe thickness and identifying where there might be corrosion problems.

Interested in learning more about our diagnostic equipment?

Contact us today to discuss how we could help you manage your network.


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