Emergency Leak on a Concrete Cylinder Pipe? Pacific Flow Control is here for you to solve that problem. 

Brandon PaterEngineered Hot Taps, Hot Taps, Line Stops, Valve Inserts, Valve Maintenance


In an era where continuous access to clean, safe water is vital, maintaining and repairing water distribution systems is more crucial than ever. Imagine a scenario where water lines serving hospitals, airports, ferry terminals, and other vital facilities suddenly develop leaks or need maintenance. In the past, such problems led to costly and disruptive shutdowns. However, today’s fast-paced world demands innovative solutions, driving the evolution of water infrastructure repair techniques.

Enter Pacific Flow Control, a pioneer in the water distribution solutions field. Our commitment to providing cutting-edge solutions for maintaining and repairing water pipelines has led us to embrace hot taps and line stops as game-changing methods for addressing leaks and maintaining the integrity of AWWA Concrete Cylinder Pipe systems. These techniques enable us to perform essential repairs without the need to shut down critical water lines.

In this blog, we will delve into the world of hot taps and line stops, exploring how Pacific Flow Control has harnessed these advanced methods to revolutionize the way we manage water infrastructure. We will discover the benefits of these techniques, the challenges they address, and the impact they have on ensuring the continuous supply of clean, safe water to our clients. 

Main Types of Concrete Cylinder Pipe Found in Canada

While there are several types of Concrete Cylinder Pipe available in Canada, the predominant variants encountered are AWWA C301(L&E) Prestressed Concrete Cylinder Pipe, typically manufactured by Hyprescon, and AWWA C303 Bar-Wrapped Concrete Cylinder Pipe, commonly produced by Ameron. Let’s delve into the distinctions between these two CCP pipe varieties.

AWWA C301 – Prestressed Concrete Cylinder Pipe 

PCCP stands for “Prestressed Concrete Cylinder Pipe,” and it is used in water and wastewater infrastructure. PCCP is covered by the American Water Works Association (AWWA) standard AWWA C301. This standard provides specifications and guidelines for the manufacture and installation of prestressed concrete cylinder pipes.

Here are the key features and characteristics of PCCP (AWWA C301):

1. Prestressed Concrete: PCCP is constructed with a concrete core that is prestressed with high-strength steel wires or strands. Prestressing involves applying a significant initial load to the steel reinforcement before the concrete is poured. This process creates compressive forces within the concrete, enhancing its structural strength and allowing it to withstand high internal pressures.

2. Steel Cylinder: PCCP includes a steel cylinder that serves as a structural component, providing additional reinforcement and protection for the concrete core. It helps the pipe maintain its shape and structural integrity under high pressure.

3. External Coating: To protect the pipe from external corrosion and abrasion, PCCP is typically coated with an external layer of cement mortar or a suitable polymer coating. This coating helps extend the lifespan of the pipe by shielding it from environmental factors.

4. High-Pressure Applications: PCCP is well-suited for high-pressure water transmission and distribution systems. Its ability to withstand significant internal pressure makes it a reliable choice for long-distance water conveyance in municipal and industrial applications.

5. Longevity and Durability: PCCP is known for its long service life and durability. The combination of prestressed concrete and the steel cylinder provides excellent resistance to structural failure, ensuring the pipe’s reliability over time.

6. Applications: PCCP is commonly used for large-diameter water mains, transmission lines, and other critical infrastructure projects. It is especially valuable for water supply systems that require the transportation of water over extended distances or at high pressures.

In summary, PCCP is a type of pipe characterized by its prestressed concrete core, steel cylinder, and external protective coatings. It is designed to handle high-pressure applications in water distribution and transmission systems and is known for its durability and longevity, making it an important component of modern water infrastructure.

AWWA C303 – Bar-Wrapped Concrete Cylinder Pipe

Bar-Wrapped Concrete Cylinder Pipe (BWCCP) is a specific type of pipe used in water distribution and transmission systems. It is governed by the American Water Works Association (AWWA) standard AWWA C303, which provides specifications and guidelines for the manufacture and installation of this type of pipe. BWCCP is known for its unique construction and durability, making it suitable for a range of water infrastructure applications.

Here are the key features and characteristics of Bar-Wrapped Concrete Cylinder Pipe (AWWA C303): 

1. Concrete Core: Similar to other types of concrete pipes, BWCCP has a concrete core at its center. This core is designed to withstand the internal pressure of water distribution systems.

2. Steel Bars: Unlike the steel cylinders used in some other concrete pipe types, BWCCP utilizes high-strength steel bars that are helically wrapped around the concrete core. These steel bars provide structural reinforcement to the pipe and contribute to its overall strength.

3. External Mortar Coating: BWCCP is typically coated with an external layer of cement mortar. This coating serves multiple purposes, including corrosion resistance, protection against abrasion, and additional structural support.

4. Flexible and Resilient: The helical steel bars give BWCCP a high degree of flexibility and resilience. This flexibility allows the pipe to accommodate external loads and ground movement without sacrificing its structural integrity.

5. Corrosion Resistance: The external mortar coating and the steel bars’ galvanized or epoxy coating provide excellent protection against corrosion, ensuring the pipe’s longevity and the quality of the transported water.

6. Large-Diameter Applications: BWCCP is commonly used for large-diameter water mains, transmission lines, and other critical water infrastructure projects. Its strength and flexibility make it suitable for a wide range of applications.

7. Long Service Life: BWCCP is known for its long service life and low maintenance requirements. It is designed to provide reliable performance over many decades.

In summary, Bar-Wrapped Concrete Cylinder Pipe (BWCCP) is a type of pipe that features a concrete core reinforced with helically wrapped steel bars. This unique construction gives it strength, flexibility, and corrosion resistance, making it an excellent choice for water distribution and transmission systems, particularly in large-diameter and high-pressure applications. BWCCP plays a vital role in ensuring the reliable conveyance of clean and safe water to communities and industries.

Why Does Concrete Cylinder Pipe Start To Leak?

AWWA C301 and AWWA C303 pipes are designed to be durable and reliable, but like any infrastructure, they can develop leaks over time due to various failure mechanisms.

Here are some common reasons why these pipes may experience leaks:

1. Corrosion: Corrosion can occur in both types of pipes. In AWWA C301 Prestressed Concrete Cylinder Pipe (PCCP), the steel strands inside the concrete may corrode over time, which can lead to the loss of prestressing force and cracking of the concrete core. In AWWA C303 Bar-Wrapped Concrete Cylinder Pipe (BWCCP), although the steel bars are typically coated, if the coating is compromised or damaged, corrosion can occur, leading to structural issues and leaks.

2. External Factors: Pipes are exposed to external stresses and conditions. Soil movement, ground settling, and external loads from heavy traffic or construction activities can cause stress on the pipes. This stress can lead to cracking, deformation, or separation of joints, which can result in leaks.

3. Age: Over time, the materials in the pipes may deteriorate due to aging. This can include the breakdown of protective coatings, the weakening of concrete or mortar, or the degradation of the steel components. As the pipe ages, it becomes more susceptible to leaks.

4. Water Quality: The quality of the water being transported through the pipes can also play a role in their deterioration. Highly acidic or corrosive water can accelerate the corrosion of steel components, leading to leaks.

5. Manufacturing Defects: Occasionally, pipes may have manufacturing defects, such as inadequate concrete coverage of steel components, improper curing, or poor quality control during the production process. These defects can weaken the pipe’s structure and make it more prone to leaks.

6. Pressure Surges: Rapid changes in pressure within the pipeline, often caused by operational issues or sudden valve closures, can stress the pipes and potentially lead to cracks or joint failures.

7. Ground Movements: Geological events like earthquakes or ground settlement can exert significant stress on pipes, potentially causing them to crack or rupture.

It’s important to note that regular maintenance and inspection can help identify potential issues before they lead to leaks. Periodic assessments, such as leak detection surveys, visual inspections, and non-destructive testing, can help water utilities identify and address problems early, reducing the risk of leaks and ensuring the longevity of the pipeline infrastructure. Additionally, proactive measures like cathodic protection and corrosion-resistant coatings can be employed to mitigate corrosion-related failures.

How to Fix a Leak on CCP Without Shutdown or Interruption to Services?

Hot tapping and line stopping are innovative techniques used to repair leaks and perform maintenance on pipelines, including AWWA C301 and AWWA C303, without shutdown or service interruption. Let’s explore each of these methods:

Hot Tapping:

Hot tapping, also known as pressure tapping or under-pressure drilling, is a method used to create a connection (usually a branch or a valve) on an existing pressurized pipeline without shutting down the entire system. Hot tapping is particularly useful for pipelines made of materials like AWWA C301 and AWWA C303. Here’s how hot tapping works:

Preparation: Highly trained technicians first assess the pipeline’s condition and identify the location of the desired connection point. They ensure that the pipeline material can withstand the process.

Drilling: A hot tapping machine is used to drill a hole into the pipeline while it is still under pressure. The machine is equipped with a cutter or drill bit designed for the specific material and pressure conditions.

Insertion: After the hole is drilled, a valve or fitting is inserted and welded into place. This new connection can be used for various purposes, such as installing a branch line, a monitoring point, or a pressure relief valve.

Pressure Control: Throughout the process, trained technicians carefully control the pressure to prevent any loss of fluid or disruption to the pipeline’s operation. The valve or fitting is closed and sealed once the hot tap is complete.

Hot tapping allows for the installation of new components or repairs to be made while the pipeline continues to operate, minimizing service interruption.

Line Stopping:

Line stopping, also known as line plugging or flow stopping, is another technique used to temporarily stop the flow of liquid in a pressurized pipeline. Line stopping is often employed when maintenance, repairs, or modifications are required downstream from the stopping point. Here’s how line-stopping works:

Preparation: Trained technicians assess the pipeline and identify where the line stopping will take place. They ensure that the pipeline material and pressure conditions are suitable for this method.

Isolation: A line-stopping fitting or plug is inserted into the pipeline through a hot tap connection. The fitting has a sealing element, such as a mechanical stopper or an inflatable bladder, that is positioned to block the flow of liquid when activated.

Activation: Once the line-stopping fitting is securely in place, the sealing element is activated. This stops the flow of liquid downstream from the stopping point, effectively isolating the section of the pipeline where work needs to be performed.

Work: Maintenance, repairs, or modifications can be carried out in the isolated section of the pipeline without affecting the rest of the system.

Deactivation: After the work is complete, the line-stopping fitting is deactivated, allowing the flow of liquid to resume through the pipeline.

Both hot tapping and line stopping are highly specialized processes that require skilled technicians and specialized equipment. When applied correctly, they can significantly reduce the impact of repairs and maintenance on critical water distribution systems, such as those utilizing AWWA C301 and AWWA C303 pipes. These techniques ensure that essential services remain uninterrupted while necessary work is carried out.

In a recent emergency leak situation, Pacific Flow Control swiftly executed a line stop using the JCM 415 Concrete Steel Cylinder Pipe Tapping Sleeve. These specially designed tapping sleeves provide reinforced support to the pipe and offer easy installation while ensuring maximum safety.

Pacific Flow Control – The Best Municipal and Mechanical Hot Tapping and Line Stopping Contractor in Canada

Unlocking Unmatched Expertise: Why Pacific Flow Control is Your Premier Choice for Hot Tapping, Line Stopping, and More in Canada

When it comes to critical infrastructure maintenance, repair, and emergency solutions, there’s one name that stands out in Canada: Pacific Flow Control. We are your trusted partner for all your hot tapping, line stopping, valve insertion, nitrogen line freezing, and emergency leak repair needs, especially for pipes like AWWA C301 and AWWA C303. Here’s why you should choose us:

1. Specialized Expertise: Pacific Flow Control boasts a team of highly trained and certified professionals who are experts in the field of hot tapping, line stopping, and related services. Our specialists have a deep understanding of the intricacies of AWWA C301 and AWWA C303 pipes, ensuring that every job is executed with precision and care.

2. Cutting-Edge Technology: We invest in the latest state-of-the-art equipment and technology to provide you with the most advanced and efficient solutions. Whether it’s hot tapping on a live pipeline, line stopping to isolate sections for repairs, or emergency leak repairs, we have the tools to get the job done safely and effectively.

3. Safety First: Safety is our top priority. Pacific Flow Control adheres to the highest safety standards in the industry. We take every precaution to protect our team, your assets, and the environment while delivering our services. You can trust us to handle your projects with the utmost care and diligence.

4. Minimal Service Disruption: We understand the importance of maintaining uninterrupted services, especially in critical sectors like healthcare, industry, and municipal utilities. Our hot tapping and line-stopping techniques are designed to minimize downtime and service disruption, ensuring that your operations continue without interruption.

5. Emergency Response: Emergencies can strike at any time, and when they do, you need a reliable partner to address the situation promptly. Pacific Flow Control offers rapid emergency leak repair services, available 24/7, to mitigate potential damage and ensure the safety of your facility and community.

6. Comprehensive Solutions: Whether you require hot tapping for new connections, line stopping for maintenance, valve insertion for improved control, or nitrogen line freezing for temporary pipe isolation, Pacific Flow Control offers a comprehensive range of services to meet all your pipeline needs.

7. Proven Track Record: We have a solid track record of completed projects across Canada, earning the trust of numerous industries and communities. Our reputation for excellence and reliability speaks for itself.

8. Environmental Responsibility: Pacific Flow Control is committed to environmental sustainability. We take measures to minimize waste, reduce environmental impact, and ensure that our services align with your environmental goals.

In Canada, when it comes to services like hot tapping, line stopping, valve insertion, nitrogen line freezing, and emergency leak repair, Pacific Flow Control is the name you can rely on. We offer unmatched expertise, cutting-edge technology, and unwavering dedication to every project, ensuring the safety and reliability of your critical infrastructure. Choose Pacific Flow Control and discover the difference. Your pipeline needs are in capable hands.