Central American Pipeline Collapse Shows Need for Air Valves, Says IVL Flow Control

April 21, 2016
Air valves are needed to let air in and out of a pipeline, according to IVL's director

The collapse of a pipeline at a $10 million project in Central America provides evidence that procurement of air valves needs to be reevaluated, according to IVL Flow Control.

Craig Stanners, director of IVL Flow Control (part of Ham Baker Group) said:  “This latest incident was actually caused by not having any air valves at all, which was a disastrous oversight by the consultant.  In an increasing number of cases it is not the end-user or the contractor at fault.  It’s a lack of understanding from consultants who don’t seem to understand that when you are putting water into a pipeline or draining out due to a burst, air must be let in—and let out”.

Stanners, who has been a speaker at two recent water loss conferences in the U S and India, says that the vacuum created by negative pressure in a system (caused by no air valves or the wrong type of air valves) is enough not just to destroy plastic pipelines, but tough metallic materials as well.

Stanners said he was horrified to be quoting on one recent project when the asset manager had to admit that although the municipal company knew they had air valves, they didn’t know exactly where—only that the contractor had used “a load” left over from a previous job.

“In an age where anyone could use Google to get an idea of topography,” concluded Stanners, “it seems unforgiveable that some consultants aren’t even specifying air valves to be installed every 500 meters on just a straight length of pipe.”

Source: IVL Flow Control