High pressure cooling systems have become commonplace, but unfortunately they can suffer from underground leaks which are quite difficult to find until the problem has escalated out of control. Locating a small leak can be extremely difficult without the right equipment and expertise. For GPR Data Inc., it’s all part of an extensive resume of successful projects.
Two parallel high pressure pipes travel throughout the power facility for nearly 2600 linear feet. Their depth varies from 8′-12′, and diameter ranges from 14″-24″. The majority of this run is surfaced with 2″- angular gravel from a nearby quarry, however in some areas the pipes travel under asphalt roadways or raised concrete pads. Ground water is encountered anywhere from 2″ to 3′ below grade surface. Somewhere there is a leak…the system pressure consistently drops, requiring the addition of more coolant, at an escalating rate (and price tag). Sniffers, probes, and test wells have all proven futile. Another GPR provider is called on scene and is unable to find the leak. Finally a call is made to GPR Data, and within two days we’re on the ground in Maryland to begin our survey.
The entire run of the cooling pipes is covered with precision grids. Over the next several days, our field engineers methodically collect three-dimensional high resolution GPMR data over every foot of accessible pipe. Each day’s collection is immediately sent back to the Oregon office for analysis. Throughout the operation, several refinements are made to the collection process to custom tailor the results for the unique geology of the area. Before leaving the site, we have collected high resolution data over 28,500 square feet in the five days from Thursday through Monday. Our commitment to the client’s time frame dictates our scheduling, and this job needs to be completed as soon as possible.
Combining precise and methodical field work with the industry’s top experience in processing and analysis changed this from a ‘needle in the haystack’ to a simple process of elimination. After several days of careful investigation, our client was presented with several locations, and the leak was quickly repaired.