LEDeG organises one-day workshop on O&M of ductile pipes for PHE workers

Ladakh Ecological Development Group in collaboration with Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) Leh and Bremen Overseas Research and Development Association (BORDA) organised a one-day workshop for operations and maintenance of ductile iron pipes and household service connection under the Liveable Leh project which is supported by European Union and co-funded by BMZ, at Sheynam Community Hall on November 26.

The prominent officers present during the workshop were NN Raina, Executive Engineer, PHE; Tashi Dorje, AEE, PHE, and Iftikar Ahmad, AE, PHE.

The meeting was attended by more than 50 linemen and workers of the Public Health Engineering (PHE) Department, Leh. The objective of the workshop was to make the PHE workers and linemen familiar with the working of ductile iron pipes as all the existing pipes in Leh town are being replaced with more durable ductile iron pipes for more than 1,000 public stand posts (PSP) and 4,500 house connections.

Under the Urban Infrastructure Development Scheme for Small and Medium Towns (UIDSSMT) which was launched in 2014, the following schemes were included in Leh town: building an intake well for groundwater at two points in the Indus flood plains to increase the current supply, constructing five new water reservoirs, replacing all existing pipes with more durable ductile iron pile pipes for 1,000 public stand posts and 4,500 home connections and lastly, laying a piped sewerage.

Ductile iron pipe is a pipe made of ductile cast iron commonly used for potable water transmission and distribution. This type of pipe is a direct development of earlier cast iron pipe, which it has superseded.

Assistant Executive Engineer S Kariyappa from Karnataka Urban Water Supply and Drainage Board, Hubli, gave a presentation on maintenance of ductile iron (DI) pipes. Kariyappa cited three reasons for leakages in DI pipes: failure of joints, corrosion of pipes, and third-party damages.

He explained the reasons for the failure of joints to the workers and linemen of PHE Department Leh. He said the reasons were the failure of rubber gasket, improper insertion of pipe in the socket, improper alignment of the joint, and settlement of soil. He shared that corrosion could happen to pipes that were laid in waterlogged areas and those pipes that were in contact with sewage water.

Kariyappa said that most of the pipes are damaged due to the third party while laying telephone cables, power cables, gas pipes, widening of roads, constructing surface drains, etc.

He also provided solutions to these problems. He said that that joint leakage could be rectified by cutting pushed out the gasket and putting the gasket back to its original place using caulking tools. Once the gasket is repositioned, Kariyappa said lead wool should be filled around the joint and caulking with the use of tools.

To overcome leakages of pipes due to corrosion, Kariyappa suggested excavation of trenches at leakage spots to identify the extent of corrosion and then marking the length of the pipe that needs to be replaced. He said the portion of the corroded pipe should be cut and mechanical joints should be inserted on either side of the existing pipe before lowering and aligning the new pipe piece. Thereafter place the mechanical joints in the new pipe and then align and tighten it with nuts and bolts. Once the pipe is rectified, allow the flow of water to check water tightness and refill the pipe once everything is analysed.

In case of damage to pipes from a third party, Kariyappa said that the spot from where leakages are reported should be excavated and then the nature of the damage should be ascertained. The damaged pipe should be marked and cut at both ends. Mechanical joints should be inserted on both the sides of the existing pipe before it is lowered and aligned with the new pipe. The new pipe itself should be attached to the mechanical joint and then aligned and tightened with nuts and bolts.

Kariyappa informed to the PHE workers and linemen that in cases of extension of the branches, a tee should be provided. He added that the process of excavation should be initiated and the length of the DR pipe from the tee should be marked following which the marked portion should be cut at both ends of the pipe. Mechanical joints should be inserted on either side of the existing pipe and then the DI Tee should be lowered and aligned.

He also showed photographs and played videos of the process involved in these activities so that the PHE workers and linemen could enhance their learnings from the workshop.

Then, Kiran Sarode and Kantilal M Patil from Kimplas Piping, a Nashik-based equipment manufacturer for the micro-irrigation and auto industries, informed about the newest technology available in the market. The company set-up in 1996 is a manufacturer of electrofusion, compression fittings, valves and proprietary equipment for micro-irrigation industry. Post-lunch, they also demonstrated the functioning of the pipes manufactured by the company in which female participants also put Tee extensions on the ductile pipes.

Tashi Dorje, AEE, PHE Department Leh, thanked LEDeG and BORDA for organising the event and also expressed their gratitude to the three experts for providing information and training to the workers from their department. Tenzin Motup, event manager of LEDeG, gave the vote of thanks.