Ad hoc and sensor networks is a new area of research which is rapidly growing due to the development of new technologies in inexpensive sensors. These electronic devices have increased capabilities in processing speed, memory, communication and networking . Such sensor networks have a vast amount of applications including environmental monitoring, military, ecology, agriculture, inventory control, robotics and health care. This paper discusses the issues and challenges in the use of this new and very promising technology in the protection and monitoring of the critical and essential infrastructures of pipelines carrying oil, gas, water, and other important resources. The paper presents an architectural model that can be used to provide this monitoring and control functions. The model includes an overview of networking and routing protocols that can be used to provide the necessary communications. In addition, the paper provides discussions and recommendations concerning network reliability and the use of different wireless sensor technologies and protocols.