Construction projects that involve pipelines are essential to provide the gathering, transportation and distribution of liquid substances that are chemically stable. Many industries rely on pipelines to conduct important aspects of their business. Liquid products that companies distribute through pipelines include water, beer, oil, natural gas, solid and liquid waste, and hydrogen.
Pipelines provide an efficient method for moving liquid substances safely and without evaporation. These are just a few of the industries that depend on pipeline systems for their practicality and economical operation.
All construction projects, from homes to skyscrapers, involve the installation of pipelines during the earliest stages of building to provide conduits for fresh water and for the removal of solid and liquid waste. As the most efficient and sanitary way of bringing fresh water into a building and avoiding the spread of disease from waste matter, pipelines transport hundreds or thousands of gallons every day. When placed under a concrete slab water and sewer lines typically experience no problems due to breakage or leaks.
A construction project in Germany, where drinking beer is a national pastime, installed a nine-kilometer beer pipeline in the Veltins-Arena to ensure a steady supply for spectators at stadium events. Through this distribution system, it provides access to beer at multiple locations in the arena.
Natural Gas Industry
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission provides guidelines that control the transportation of natural gas across state lines, and strict compliance is required in the construction of pipelines. Avoiding the possibility of a leak that can cause an explosion is essential. News reports often describe gas explosions that result from an accidental break in a pipeline, but those that occur as a result of faulty construction are rare.
The American Petroleum Institute reports that 180,000 miles or more of pipeline moves crude oil, diesel fuel, and gasoline across the country to reach consumers. Construction of pipelines for the oil industry expedites the shipment of oil products in the most efficient manner through the use of conduits that are usually buried under the ground.
Excavation and construction are two of the initial steps in safely providing pipelines for the oil industry, followed by constant monitoring for corrosion at joints to prevent leaks. The U.S. Department of Transportation receives reports of any spill of five gallons or more, and the industry participates in the voluntary Pipeline Performance Tracking System. Construction involves installing long pipes that have extremely large diameters to move oil, gas, and refined products nationally and internationally.
Scientists at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, a division of the U.S. Department of Energy, prepared a report that recommends new materials for building hydrogen pipelines. One of the objectives of the report is to investigate the potential of using fiber-reinforced polymers to distribute hydrogen. Scientists propose that use of the product has the potential to reduce the cost of installation and improve the safe operation of pipelines.
Construction of safe pipelines to transport anhydrous ammonia for fertilizer and for industrial refrigerants is important for public health. According to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, anhydrous ammonia can create respiratory irritations and impair breathing ability, making proper construction of pipelines in the agriculture industry extremely important.