(324c) Double Containment Piping Systems: A Fail-Safe, Leak-Proof and Environmentally Friendly Solution

Authors: 
Johnson, D. - Presenter, IPEX USA LLC

Safety and environmental concerns are top priorities on today’s global agenda. Reduction of emissions, energy conservation and prevention of ground water contamination are some of the areas where regulations are increasingly defining an important line between utilization and exploitation of our planet’s resources. Where applications call for a fail-safe, leak-free piping system, the solution is a double containment piping system.

Double containment piping systems are essentially a piping system within a piping system. The inner pipe is referred to as the “primary” or “carrier” pipe, while the outer pipe is referred to as the “secondary” or “containment” pipe. The goal of double containment piping is to create a fail-safe system where the secondary containment piping would contain any leaked fluid if a failure occurred in the primary carrier piping.

The majority of double containment piping systems are mandated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA requires that all underground piping systems conveying regulated substances be equipped with secondary containment systems that are capable of preventing the release of these substances to the environment.

Although not required by most regulatory bodies, the combined cost of litigation, clean up and increasingly stringent safety guidelines have also necessitated the use of fail-safe double containment systems for above ground piping applications. These above ground piping systems are utilized to ensure protection of plant personnel and equipment.

Leak or release detection is an important consideration when designing a double containment piping system. Two forms of leak detection exist, visual and electronic, to ensure leaks are immediately identified and the appropriate corrective action is taken.

This presentation will focus on why double containment piping is used, the different types of double containment piping systems that are available today, design considerations and installation techniques. The presentation will also address leak detection, including where it is required and how it is utilized in conjunction with double containment piping systems.

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