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Italian Municipality Introbio Has Tested the TALR Solution for Trenchless Automated Leakage Repair

Introbio is an Italian municipality that suffers from massive water leakage in its water distribution network. They approached the local company Lario Reti Holding that started a test with Curapipe’s patented TALR technology supervised by Pipecare, Curapipe’s licensee in Italy. TALR, which stands for Trenchless Automated Leakage Repair is able to make automated repairs without the need for digging.

Vincenzo Lombardo, General Manager of Lario Reti Holding explained: “Reducing water losses entails less wasting of water, which is a huge environmental benefit. Curing water leaks also has economic advantages, such as reducing energy consumption generated by e.g., pumps and tanks. In Introbio, we measured at the beginning of 2018 large quantities of non-revenue water, and that the antiquated pipes created problems concerning water pressure and water quality. That’s why several initiatives were taken including the renewal of some sections of the network, the replacement of most of the water meters, the rollout of a smart meter network, and especially the reduction of water losses."

Part of the process to reduce water losses was the testing of the TALR technology in a section of the water network consisting of a total length of approximately 325 meters which was also part of the Provincial Road 62. Any repairs in this section using a classic method of leak repair (digging) would be extremely difficult and expensive.

The selected section of the water distribution network was identified based on the consistent monitoring of water losses. The TALR technology provided by Curapipe’s licensee Pipecare allows leaks to be sealed in water distribution networks, completely eliminating the need for digging thanks to the use of a "PIG Train", which is Curapipe’s patented system composed of two elements: a sealing material wedged between two PIGs. This material is approved for use in distribution networks of potable water for human consumption by Ministerial Decree n.174 / 2004. This special sealing material allows for closing even considerable leaks, up to 3,000 liters / hour.

The use of this technology has considerable advantages, including the total elimination of any disruptions due to digging (which makes it trenchless), the repair of multiple leaks with a single intervention, and a cost reduction of about 70%.

The intervention was carried out on September 12 and lasted about 5 hours in total. The process included the preparation of the insertion point of the "PIG Train" as well as the extraction point consisting of an already existing hydrant.

This intervention, which proved to be very effective, made it possible to repair leaks for a total amount of 1.5 l / s, equal to 80% of the flow introduced into the selected section and 13% of the overall flow to the Municipality of Introbio. The intervention process also included flushing the treated pipe section.

(This blog post is based on an article that was published on September 18, 2019 in Italian, which you can read here.)

Overview of the treated section with access point (green) and points (blue)


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