A Focus on Safety: The Role of Smart Pigs

Now that the Dakota Access Pipeline project has been given the green light across all four states along its route, voluntary conservation measures can begin, and construction is expected to follow soon after. As was shared at the deliberation hearings in Iowa, the pipeline will have numerous safety measures in place to maintain its integrity. One of the technologies that will be used on the pipeline is the smart pig.

Smart pigs are sophisticated instruments sent through pipelines to monitor the state of the pipeline and to clean its interior. “Pigging”, as it is called sometimes, eliminates the need to flush pipelines and helps gather thousands of data points to help identify any potential for problems.

Having evolved from simple wire brush units, smart pigs have turned into sophisticated instruments that gather vital information, and are just one of the many tools that modern pipelines are inspected with to assure safety and reliability.