Oakland University’s utility tunnel experienced flooding resulting in damage to the heating water pipe insulation and accelerated corrosion to the steel piping and pipe supports. Oakland University had concerns on the pipe integrity due to the pipe corrosion. Commonwealth was chosen to support in inspecting the piping and prioritize repairs to support budget planning.
Commonwealth performed an initial inspection to verify that the system condition would allow for the safe continued operation of the utility tunnel. A study was performed to determine repairs required due to the flooding and age of the system. Working with Oakland University staff, Commonwealth identified critical areas of the system for Non-Destructive Testing. The day after the pipe integrity concerns were brought to light, Commonwealth inspected and determined the pipe was in no immediate danger of failure. This inspection performed the day after the concerns were brought to light allowed for the remaining inspections to be done during normal business hours avoiding overtime and saving Oakland University money.
This project is currently underway, with plans for Commonwealth to work with a testing firm to document the current conditions from the Non-Destructive Testing. At the completion of this project, Commonwealth will have performed a visual inspection of over 1500 feet of tunnel, piping, and pipe supports to identify required repairs and the repairs will be prioritized. The prioritization will allow for Oakland University to schedule repairs in multiple fiscal years to meet maintenance budgets. Alternative pipe materials and coating systems will be investigated and recommended to protect against future flooding incidents.