How often are pipes replaced? Are there regulations stating replacement intervals depending on type of pipe used? Or are they only replaced if anomalies are found? If so, how often are pipelines inspected according to both provincial and federal regulations? – Erynn (Lloydminster, AB)

Hi Erynn,

Great question. Transmission pipelines don’t have limit on their life span, so there aren’t regulations in place regarding how often the pipes should be replaced. Pipeline operators focus on proper and regular inspection and maintenance to ensure their pipelines can be safely operational for a long time.

Pipelines are monitored 24/7 from control rooms to ensure that they are operating safety and securely, and anything out of the ordinary gets investigated quickly. There aren’t regulations for the intervals required for transmission pipeline inspections. Pipeline operators consider the product the pipeline is carrying, the age of the pipeline, geohazards and other critical elements to determine how frequently pipelines should be inspected.

To give you an idea of the commitment of transmission pipeline operators‘ to inspections and maintenance, in 2015, CEPA members conducted over 3,000 integrity digs to examine pipelines for defects and make repairs. There were over 30,000 km of pipelines inspected by in-line inspection tools and over $1.3 billion was spent on maintaining and monitoring Canadian transmission pipeline systems.