Environmental Services is designing a project to clean and inspect a section of a force main that pumps sewage from the Guilds Lake Pump Station on the west side of the Willamette River to a receiving station on the east side of the river.
The map below illustrates the locations of the launch site and receiving end of the pig launcher as well as the route of the 30-inch force main.
What's Happening Now
Environmental Services is inspecting the pipe using equipment called “Smart Balls” these smart balls run through the system and provide information about the condition of the pipe. Engineers will then analyze the data to help determine the best way to clean the pipe.
A pig launcher is a small wye section of pipe that is attached to the force main at the pump station that allows maintenance crews to insert a cleaning device – a pig – into the pipe. Force mains are pressurized pipes, and installing this device allows maintenance crews to safely insert a pig, which can be pushed through the pipe with pressurized water. The pigs will discharge at a receiving station on the opposite side of the river.
This process is repeated using varying sizes of pigs. Once the pipe has been cleaned, maintenance crews will send in an inspection device called a Smart Ball through the system. This ball shaped device uses sonar to detect leaks or places where obstructions exist. This is to determine if further cleaning or maintenance is needed.
Environmental Services is assessing the need to install a launching station at the Guilds Lake Pump Station. This permanent structure, referred to as a “Pig Launcher,” will allow for future cleanings of the force main. This routine maintenance is crucial to ensuring that our sewer systems are functioning properly. If project engineers determine the need for a launching station, the station will be constructed and installed, and maintenance crews will then begin sending “pigs” through the pipe. This process is often referred to as “pigging” (see graphic above).
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