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Pipelines Offer Instant Delivery

Not everyone will immediately think of pipes and pipelines as a form of transport but, for those living in remote areas, where there is no piped water system, vital drinking water may have to be delivered in tankers much like petrol. Pipes, then, are indeed a vital form of transport; from those that carry water to and around the home and workplace to those that transport oil thousands of miles across the desert to a refinery.pipelines

Pipelines act like a system of arteries that now criss-cross the whole planet, pumping fluids, gasses and even solids that maintain both life and commerce in our modern world.

Constant Maintenance And Repair Are Vital

These vital links come under intense wear and tear during use and must often keep working around the clock for years without a break. In the oil industry even a brief halt in the transport system could lead to huge losses and in these situations, pipelines are watched closely for any sign of failure.

Whether it is drinking water or oil supply that is at risk, constant service by expert teams serves to prevent serious breakdowns while, in the event of an actual stoppage, this constant care tends to reduce the repair time required and, with it, any excess downtime that could lead to big losses or, worse still, any risk to public health and safety.

It Takes More Than Just Pipes

Typically, most pipelines have to extend over quite long distances and so they need some means to ensure that their contents remain on the move. The motive power takes the form of a series of pumps. These are housed in special pump stations that also house the control systems used to govern the flow rates and pressures of the pipe’s contents.

The pump stations are installed at intervals that ensure adequate flow rates and pressures are maintained all along the pipelines from their source to the point of delivery. Installing, maintaining and repairing these vital and complex systems are tasks best left to the experts. 

Designing Of Pipeline Systems To Cope With Growth

As increasing urbanisation causes in inflow of people into South Africa’s cities the demands on the pipeline systems that supply both potable water and sewage services, as well as the supply of refined petroleum to these cities continues to increase. The designing of pipeline systems, usually the responsibility of civil engineers has for this reason assumed a new urgency and new materials and techniques for the design of these pipeline systems have meant that they are today both less expensive to manufacture and install, as well as less prone to failure.

The urgency of designing new pipelines has now become an even greater priority for several cities in South Africa due to the fact that legacy systems for the transport of water and sewage are becoming more and more prone to failure. During the previous municipal authorities control over these piping systems they were inadequately maintained, either due to a lack of funds or a lack of suitable skills required for this maintenance.

The establishment of new townships that serve as integrated communities where housing, commercial and industrial usage of water and waterborne services need to be incorporated into urban design during the planning stage is also calling for a more proactive approach to designing pipelines in South Africa. New technologies to both detect leaks and prevent them have also become extremely important as new pressures are placed on South Africa’s piping systems.

The design of pipeline systems that can supply agriculture more effectively has also become a strategic priority for both the agricultural concerns in the country and those who rely on agricultural output to provide foodstuff to the increasingly urbanised populace. The designing of these new pipeline systems has become more and more important to the operators of these agricultural concerns as legislation governing the use of ground water and water sequestered from riverine sources comes into effect.

New materials for the designing of pipeline systems are also increasing the effectiveness of the supply of water to homes and businesses across South Africa. Not only are the new materials less prone to leakage and water loss than the older concrete piping systems but they are also more cost effective to manufacture and install due to the light weight of the piping system components and the ease with which they can be transported to the site where they are required. PVC pipeline systems are today in common usage for the transport of water to homes and their light weight and non-corrosive properties make them ideal for this use.

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