MPIW unveils new technology for leak repairs

MPIW workers work on the Carpenters Bridge pipeline in Molo, Iloilo City using the Tyfo Fibrwarp Pipe (TFP) Rehabilitation System, which is more efficient, faster, and economical. (Mariela Angella Oladive photo)

By Mariela Angella Oladive

A first in Western Visayas, Metro Pacific Iloilo Water (MPIW) introduced a new technology dubbed Tyfo Fibrwarp Pipe (TFP) Rehabilitation System that will hasten the repair of leaky pipelines.

The technology was unveiled at the Carpenters Bridge pipeline in Molo, Iloilo City during a site visit on January 17.

The 150-meter, 600-mm water pipeline constructed in 1987 is a critical asset that supplies water to residents in Molo, Arevalo, and City Proper.

According to MPIW’s asset assessment conducted in January 2023, the pipeline’s structural integrity revealed a potential risk of collapse, necessitating repair.

Engr. Jerry Guillergan, engineering head of MPIW, explained, “This is to improve the life of the pipeline; it will be extended.”

Initially considering pipe replacement, MPIW opted for the TFP Rehabilitation System due to its effectiveness and the inconvenience associated with water interruption during pipe replacement which lasts 2-3 months.

MPIW Chief Operating Officer Robert Cabiles said that while the pipe met the 150-pound per square inch (psi) test pressure, significant issues were identified during the assessment, prompting the need for immediate repair.

The Tyfo Fibrwrap system was chosen for its reliability, shorter repair schedule, and flexible installation processes.

Through the combination of innovative trenchless technology and repair methods, MPIW can safely renew a vital piece of infrastructure while minimizing expense and impact on the Esplanade River.

“We want to recover more water for our customers at the soonest possible time without causing interruption to our customers, to property, and the environment so we are constantly on the lookout for technologies and innovations that will allow us to do this” added Cabiles.

The rehabilitation project, costing Php 15 million, is significantly less than the conventional approach of replacing every pipe segment, which could cost up to Php 57 million.

Initiated in November 2023, the project is anticipated to conclude by February 2024.

Tyfo Fibrwrap Pipe (TFP) Rehabilitation is a highly engineered approach using advanced technology to externally repair the pipe with carbon fiber-reinforced polymer strengthening material. The process includes surface preparation, rust converter and epoxy bonding agent application, fiber preparation, surface priming, and pipe painting.

Key advantages of the TFP Rehabilitation System include trenchless technology, durability with a minimum 50-year service life, virtually unchanged internal diameter, segmental repair system, complete non-corrosiveness, environmental friendliness, NSF61 certification, and improved flow.

This initiative is part of MPIW’s aggressive campaign to reduce water losses, with an allocation of approximately Php 400 million for its Non-Revenue Water (NRW) or Systems Loss Reduction Program in 2024. By opting for innovative trenchless technology, MPIW aims to efficiently renew critical water infrastructure while minimizing costs and environmental impact.

The adoption of the new rehabilitation system is expected to benefit 4,700 customers in the covered areas. Upon demonstrating positive results, the company plans to implement similar strategies, highlighting MPIW’s commitment to delivering cutting-edge solutions for sustainable water management in the region.