Southfield Using Cured in Place Pipe to Replace Old Water Mains, Minimize Cost & Disruption

ScottWrightadTOPSouthfield SaharaAd_04Using Cured in Place Pipe to Replace Old Water Mains, Minimize Cost & Disruption

(Crystal A. Proxmire, May 16, 2016)

Southfield, MI – With the costs of failing infrastructure and matters of public health on the minds of municipal leaders, communities are on the lookout for solutions to water system issues such as deteriorating water mains.

One such solution is C.I.P.P. (Cured in Place Pipe) structural lining from Fer-Pal Construction USA in Taylor, Michigan.  Fer-Pal is currently working blumz07in Southfield, repairing water mains with a product called Sanexen Aqua-pipe. This technology uses the host pipe as a mold, essentially creating a new pipe within on the existing one.

Workers from Fer-Pal gave a live demonstration of the installation process at a job site in Southfield in the 29300 block of Rock Creek.  There they’d been tasked with lining over 6,000 feet of water main that had been originally installed in the 1950s.

The current Southfield project runs from 12 Mile to Webster Street, and is a perfect example of one key benefit of the C.I.P.P process; less site restoration than typical underground construction. This area of the city has many newly paved streets. Using Cured in Place Pipe Lining allows the majority of the new concrete to remain in place.RB_04

Unlike a full line replacement, the C.I.P.P. lining process only requires access holes every 300 – 500 feet.  These access pits are located on fire hydrants, valves and intercepting pipe; mechanical fitting areas in need of repair to complete the process.

Visitors from several other communities and engineering firms were in attendance to witness the process firsthand, including Detroit Water & Sewer, Rochester Hills, Ferndale, Saline, SOCWA, HR&C, Giffels-Webster, Hennessey Engineers, OHM and Alfred Benesch Co.

Access pits were dug and temporary by-pass water main was in place to support the neighborhood water needs. The existing pipe had already been thoroughly cleaned, inspected and the service connections capped.  A large GT ad 05foam swab; that resembled a giant marshmallow, had already been pulled through the pipe to remove excess water and the old pipe was ready for rehabilitation.

The visitors watched as crew members guided a large, 2-piece woven polyester liner jacket from the back of a truck, down a stainless steel table, where two workers injected epoxy resin between the layers, before sending it down the access hole where it was being led through the pipe by cable and guided by a large spindle at the opening.  Once the lining is completely pulled through the length of the pipe, hot water is circulated through the liner to expand the lining and presses it up against the inside of the existing pipe.  The epoxy resin migrates through the mesh and fills in around the service connections and any imperfections in the host pipe wall. A thermal polyurethane Schrock2015_SmilingFace_admembrane bonded to the inner jacket keeps the epoxy from while

Chris VanWormer, Business Development Manager for Fer-Pal, explained “Basically the liner is under pressure overnight, but is 90% cured 2 hours after being pulled.”

Once the liner is cured, crew members inside a portable camera truck operate a robot through the lined pipe, drilling out the caps and liner from the service connections to the homes.  The service connections makes an obvious protrusion in the lining, but an internal map is made from initial video inspection, also helping to make sure no connections are missed.

After the holes are drilled the system is flushed and sanitized before residents are reconnected to the system.  As the project has been in progress, residents on Rock Creek have been getting free water delivered via a temporary bright sidebar01sponsorblue water main that snakes across yards and stretches across driveways under temporary speed bumps of gravel.

“The whole idea is to minimize disruption to the neighborhood,” VanWormer said.  “We’re not digging up the street or interrupting service.”

Fer-Pal has installed the system across the US and Canada.  In Michigan their lined pipes are in use in Allen Park, Bloomfield Hills, Clinton, Farmington Hills, Huron Township, Muskegon, Pittsfield, Southfield, Southgate, Taylor, Warren and Waterford according to their website.

When asked why communities might opt to do this, VanWormer said “Various reasons – Difficult main locations like under a railroad track, rivers, streams, in people back yards, in congested downtown areas, under new pavement, areas where the community might not want to cut down trees.”

Ferndale DPW Director Lloyd Cureton said he was glad to have sent someone from the water department to see the process first hand.  “We’ve used a similar process for sewers, but not for a water main.  We will be using it in a project coming up though.”
Check out video of the camera system in use, and the lining being pulled into the main.

To learn more about Fer-Pal and their Structural Pipe Lining Solution visit ferpalinfrastructure.com.

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