Strength and leak testing (AKA ‘hydrotesting’, and ‘pressure testing’) of pipeline projects remains a primary method of providing quality assurance on new pipeline construction, and for validating structural integrity of the as-built pipeline . A myriad of regulations surround these activities to ensure soundness of the pipeline, security of the environment during and after the pressure testing operation, as well as personnel safety during these activities. CAN/CSA Z662-11 now includes important clauses to ensure that the pipeline designer/builder/operator consider the potential corrosive impacts of the pressure test media .
This paper briefly discusses some of the standard approaches used in the pipeline industry to address internal corrosion caused by pressure test mediums — which often vary according to the scope of the pipeline project (small versus large diameter, short versus very long pipelines) — as well as the rationale behind these different approaches. Case studies are presented to highlight the importance of considering pressure test medium corrosiveness. A practical strategy addressing the needs of long-distance transmission pipeline operators, involving a post-hydrotest inhibitor rinse, is presented.