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Free Floating Inspection Technology

Pipers®, a free floating inspection device utilizes acoustics to identify gas pockets, temperature, pressure, and sediment buildup on the pipe invert. This technology has been used throughout North America in water, wastewater, and gas pipeline applications to collect data on over 1,000 miles of pipelines of all materials and size.

This equipment is deployed through a minimum 3-inch outlet or through the removal and replacing of a flange to allow for the insertion of the inspection ball necessary to collect the data required on the project. Once the capture point is verified two live spheres are typically launched depending on job specific conditions within 15 minutes of each other (if possible) to collect live operation data on the force main. The spheres are free floating and do not require surface tracking during deployment. All location data and coordinates are picked up during post processing for final reporting. The primary data collected will be acoustic in nature and include leak noises and air pocket locations.

The retrieval of the Pipers® can be achieved with a variety of methods. In force main applications, there is usually a discharge manhole or headworks at a wastewater treatment plant that are the destination of the flow and retrieval location of the equipment. At discharge manholes, a metallic basket would be installed in the manhole to allow flow to continue and catch the Pipers® as they outfall into the manhole. In headworks of WWTP headworks applications, the bar screens or rake systems are locations where the Pipers® can be captured and retrieved. In order for leaks to be detected, the pipeline must be pressurized above ambient levels. The greater the pressure, the more clearly leaks can be identified. However, leaks as low as 0.18 gallons (0.7 liters) per minute have been detected by CPM in low pressure applications. Leaks of even smaller magnitude can be detected if the line is sufficiently pressurized.


Leak Detection

Pipers® flow freely through pipelines listening for leaks with ultra sensitivity due to minimal background noise.

Hydraulic Grade line

With 100 pressure measurements per second, i.e. every 2.5cm (1 inch) at a 2m/s (6.5 ft/s) flow speed, Pipers® provide a detailed pressure profile over the full length of the pipeline.


Pipers® continuously measure the pipeline’s magnetic flux. Using this information, a spool-based metal loss analysis can be performed. Spools are categorized in no or minimal, medium, and severe metal loss, and a confidence level will be assigned.


The detailed pressure profile of the full length of the pipeline provides information valuable to determining buildup or debris in wastewater force mains and raw water mains that can limit the pipeline’s capacity and be a risk for the pipeline’s integrity. Pipers® detect buildup and provide the location, so owners are able to better focus maintenance plans and scheduling.


Elevation and heading of the pipeline are directly measured and combined with bend angles, weld patterns, and spool lengths. This allows for a reconstruction of the pipeline path and a visualization in the pipeline viewer.

Air / Gas Pocket Detection

Pipers® detect air/gas pockets with high sensitivity while free-floating through pipelines, minimizing background noise.

INGU Pipers® Free Floating Inspection Device Launch Tube
INGU Pipers® Launch Tube
INGU Pipers® Free Floating Inspection Technology
INGU Pipers® Free Floating Inspection Technology