Guidance on Pipe Rigs for Corrosion Studies With The Water Research Foundation

Lead pipe

Guidance on Pipe Rigs for Corrosion Studies With The Water Research Foundation

The Water Industry’s Guide to a “Fit-for-Purpose” Pipe Rig Study (WRF #5081)

The Water Research Foundation is the leading research organization to advance the science of water. Its efforts include creating formative guidance like its most recent publication, “Guidance for Using Pipe Rigs to Inform Lead and Copper Corrosion Control Treatment Decisions." HDR was a key part of the research team that assisted WRF in developing this guidance.

Pipe rig studies are tests designed to determine how different water reacts with pipe materials. Harvesting and rigging pipes found in a water system (along with potential, new piping) into a pipe study helps utilities analyze water chemistry to reduce lead, copper, and iron leaching from piping into drinking water. 

Our team and the other project investigators set out to produce a universally accepted procedure for conducting these experiments. The development of the pipe rig guidance material was organized into five workgroups: drivers, design, operations, data analysis, and cost. We led the workgroup and technical guidance chapter on pipe rig design and also contributed to the other chapters. Using a combination of literature review, interactive workgroup meetings and full team workshops, our team harnessed the collective knowledge of the group for the successful planning, design and operations of these pipe rig studies. 

In all, our team created and is sharing a series of tools developed for utilities of all sizes, regulators, consultants and other stakeholders to use in planning, conducting, and interpreting pipe rig study results. Tools include pipe corrosion information sheets, design and operations checklists of parts and procedures, instructional videos on harvesting pipes and operating a pipe rig, a program guide for statistical analysis using R and Excel, and a financial tool for project cost estimation.

This guidance will result in improved public health outcomes through the selection and implementation of optimized corrosion control treatment in water distribution systems. 

Lead pipe
The Water Research Foundation

Denver, CO
United States