Mitigating the risks of pipe abandonment and decommissioning
Without appropriate decommissioning, pipe abandonment can create significant safety hazards and environmental problems. Abandoned pipes can deteriorate over time, potentially leading to soil and groundwater contamination, as well as posing a risk of subsurface voids and ground instability.
Mainmark’s technologies provide fast, cost-effective methods for dealing with pipe abandonment and decommissioning. Our solutions permanently seal the pipes and provide void filling, using structurally stable materials that are environmentally inert for long-lasting and reliable results.
- Terefil® is a lightweight engineered cementitious void filler suitable for a variety of geotechnical purposes, including pipe abandonment and decommissioning. It is ideal for locations where other filling options are too heavy, or where there is limited or restricted access.
- Teretek® is a resin-based material that can be injected into voids through small holes measuring just 16mm in diameter. It can be used to fill abandoned pipes, as well as other cracks or voids in the ground and can also be used to gently lift structures suffering from subsidence.
As well as the structural integrity that Mainmark’s solutions provide, they also streamline the pipe abandonment and decommissioning process, minimising disruption and ensuring efficient project completion, saving time and resources.
The dangers of pipe abandonment without appropriate decommissioning
In the interest of public safety and satisfying legal requirements, it is vital that councils and asset owners decommission abandoned pipelines and fill them properly, quickly and safely. An abandoned pipe effectively creates an underground void, which can cause a wide range of problems for commercial structures and the people using them. These include:
- Subsidence – Causing damage to buildings and potentially dangerous structural problems
- Soil destabilisation – Leading to ground shrinkage, voids and sinkholes
- Water ingress – Residual fluids could leak into public areas, potentially leading to ground collapse or sinkholes. It may also contaminate local groundwater resources
Proper pipe abandonment and decommissioning can mitigate these potential hazards, helping to protect the structural integrity of nearby buildings, preserve the stability of the surrounding soil and prevent harmful water ingress.
Without adequate pipe abandonment and decommissioning, stakeholders may also be neglecting their duty of care and failing to comply with regulatory requirements. Mainmark’s solutions can help achieve compliance and avoid potential legal liabilities and penalties while offering peace of mind and long-term reliability.
Find out more about our technologies for safe pipe abandonment and decommissioning.
Teretek® – Pipe abandonment with resin-injection
Teretek® resin injection technology is a swift and non-invasive solution suitable for void filling in commercial or residential applications that is suitable for pipe abandonment and decommissioning. With the Teretek® resin injection technology method, we drill small holes into the ground. Through these holes, we inject our resin formula, which fills pipes, as well as cracks or voids in the soil, improves the ground and, if needed, restores any structure above to the correct level. Void-filling projects using Teretek® resin injection technology can be completed with minimal disruption.
Pipe abandonment with Terefil® lightweight cellular concrete
Terefil® is a technology used to create lightweight, cellular concrete for large void fills that is utilised for pipe abandonment and decommissioning. Terefil® material densities can range from 500 to 1,500 kg/m3 with strengths ranging from 0.5 to 5 MPa. The material sets within hours of placement and is flowable and self-levelling. Terefil® is routinely used for pipe infrastructure abandonment, retaining wall backfill, and shallow ground improvement via soil replacement in soft or liquefiable soils.
Mainmark technology benefits
Benefits of Mainmark’s treatments for pipe abandonment and decommissioning
Our technologies for pipe abandonment and decommissioning have fast curing times and treated areas can be used immediately or without the delays of traditional repair methods.
Varied density choices
We provide pipe abandonment and decommissioning materials across a wide density range, from 30 to 1500 kg/m3.
Our pipe abandonment and decommissioning materials can be designed for strengths ranging from 50 kPa to more than 20 MPa.
Variable flow properties
Our pipe abandonment and decommissioning materials have variable set times, from seconds to hours, and can be pumped over long distances.
Gas Main Pipes
When ageing or abandoned gas pipelines need to be safely decommissioned, they are often left in situ to avoid the cost of substantial excavation to remove them, and the disruption this would cause to the local community. Mainmark can efficiently fill redundant gas pipes once they have been isolated from the broader gas network. Using Terefil®, Mainmark’s advanced lightweight polymer-modified cementitious-based fill, works can often be completed in one day, ensuring the pipe is structurally filled for maximum safety.
Water Main Pipes
The construction and placement of water main pipelines are important in ascertaining the potential risk of collapse and damage to the structures above ground. Disused pipelines below properties can lead to subsidence if the utility is compromised. To safely fill the pipelines, making them stable underground without the need for costly removal, Mainmark uses its unique Terefil® lightweight cementitious fill which can be pumped from a single-entry point. Many councils have recognised Terefil® for its ability to deliver a fast, cost-effective and long-term solution for filling large voids and pipes. Terefil® is commonly used for decommissioning water main lines beneath private properties, roads and other sensitive sites without the inconvenience of digging and disruption to the community.
Whether due to structural damage, general dilapidation or redundancy, concrete culverts demand significant volumes of fill when being decommissioned. As a highly flowable and easily placed material, Terefil® is ideal for this type of work. The solution does not require preloading or compaction for settlement mitigation and is applied both quickly and with controlled pressure, typically exhibiting shrinkage of less than 0.1% to 0.3%, subject to strength. Whatever the specification, Mainmark can devise the appropriate Terefil® formulation to meet requirements. This may include a design life of 100 years, a defined compressive strength to support above-ground needs, and resistance to other substances, such as sulphates. Despite often limited site access, Mainmark can monitor fill progress and success in real-time using sacrificial cameras installed within the crown of the culvert. This ensures the culvert has been completely filled, with no air pockets within the crown of the pipe.
We’re happy to have helped
We had confidence in the resin injection solution proposed by Mainmark from start to finish and it delivered exactly what Mainmark had promised based upon their detailed surveys and analysis.
Nathanael, Head of Purchasing, Cork, Ireland
Your guys did an excellent and tidy job despite some unusual ground conditions.
Graham, Consulting Engineer, Swindon, UK
Featured pipe abandonment and decommissioning case studies
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