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Tracking Cables in a Muddy River-Way

“Happy customers are your biggest advocates and can become your most successful sales team.” – Lisa Masiello

JW Fishers Mfg has designed and manufactured underwater search equipment for over 50 years. Thanks to their customer base, JWF has achieved great success as a global leader in underwater electronics. The brand has become synonymous with quality, affordability, reliability, and superior customer service. It is critically important to JW Fishers that every customer is valued; whether purchasing spare battery packs, a high-tech sonar or ROV system to accomplish the mission when disaster strikes, or simply looking for the right tools for the job.

Commercial Diving & Marine Services, Inc., is one customer that has been in the spotlight recently for their underwater commercial applications. The Michigan based company has provided quality diving services for over 40 years. Owner Keith Mear employs top- notch commercial divers that perform salvage operations, preconstruction surveys, endangered species investigations, sediment sampling, pipeline inspections, sonar Surveys, water intake cleaning, and maintenance of industrial and municipal facilities throughout the Great Lakes. They currently are own both the Pulse 8X and CT-1 Cable Tracker. Recently, the company was tasked with two similar jobs that ultimately required two different pieces of equipment.

For the first project, the team was tasked with locating a 6-inch steel gas main that had been directionally bored. It was immediately clear that JW Fishers’ CT-1 Cable Tracker was the right tool for the job. The main was located on the shoreline of the river, but the exact location was unknown. With two separate construction operations taking place, both calling for cofferdams to be installed, the pipeline needed to be pinpointed before the projects could continue. Some pipelines are buried with a tracer wire alongside. The JW Fishers CT-1 Signal Injector can place a signal into this tracer wire, allowing the CT-1 Probe to trace the pipeline over great distances. The pipeline location and burial depth can then be pinpointed. Another key to tracking underground steel pipelines is that they are typically protected by corrosion coatings. Cathodic Shielding is a secondary protection system that uses a system of anodes and electrical currents to protect areas where the coating has been compromised. The JW Fishers CT-1 Signal Injector can be temporarily connected to the cathodic protection station to apply a signal and allow the probe to track the pipeline. Keith and his team ultimately located the pipe buried deep under the surface. “Using the CT-1 and the Pulse Injector, our team quickly located the line and had a survey team plot the coordinates. After locating the line our team measured for depth, in some areas the pipe was about 25’ under the river bottom.”

Divers Carl DeCaussin and Ryan Zohr were on the job and accomplished the work in quickly with the help of the CT-1 cable tracker. “Once we hooked up the pulse injector and got it working properly, we located the entire 200’ run in about 15 minutes.”

Commercial Diving & Marine Service, Inc was subsequently contracted to locate another 6-inch steel gas main. This time, the general area of the pipe was known but the exact location was needed to allow for a bridge contractor to drive sheet pile. The pipeline was assumed to have over 3 feet of overburden in areas. “We needed the Pulse 8X to locate from shore to the middle of the bridge span where it was exposed. Another reason the 8X was necessary instead of just drawing a straight line was that drawings showed that the pipeline had two 90-degree elbows in it, however, they did not give the location of the elbows. Our diver was able to locate and buoy the elbow that was under the riverbed, it turned out the other elbow was under riprap on the shoreline.” The diver located the pipe quickly and placed weighted buoys identifying the location for approximately 140 feet. Diver Carl DeCausin was on lead for this project.


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