Case Studies - Spring 2020

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Rehabilitation brings chlorine contact chamber back to life


Savy & Sons was contracted to rehabilitate a severely deteriorating and eroding concrete chlorine contact chamber in Connecticut.


They saw-cut and jackhammered out all failing concrete and made all concrete repairs using Epoxytec’s Mortartec Silicate and Mortartec Ceramico to restore the original structure. After making masonry repairs to bring the structure back to its original state, Epoxytec’s CPP Sprayliner was applied in order to protect the area from future deterioration from wastewater flow, chemical contact and atmospheric elements. CPP Sprayliner is suitable for tanks and other fluid storage structures. It has suitable chemical corrosion resistance, with blended cycloaliphatic polymers for increased cross-linking for chemical resistance (ultrahigh hydrogen sulfide and other chemicals), moisture tolerance, UV stabilization, freeze-thaw tolerance and service abrasion. In total, 10,220 square feet were coated, including five longitudinal tank walls, exterior perimeter walls and seven lateral beams.

Result: By resurfacing and epoxy-lining this chlorine contact chamber, Savy & Sons was able to reduce the city’s downtime and substantially save costs. The solution is expected to protect the infrastructure’s substrate from future deterioration and allow this structure to continue to operate efficiently for years to come. 


Manhole risers provide a cost-effective alternative


Like a lot of municipalities, the city of Walker, Michigan, struggles to keep its infrastructure in good condition while also dealing with reduced budgets. This means that the Walker Public Works Department is always reexamining equipment and procedures, looking for ways to do more with less. “We’re on the lookout for better products,” says Gary Postema, deputy director of Public Works. “And we’ll use any new solution that works better.”


Since 2001, Walker has used manhole risers from American Highway Products to raise manholes to grade after repaving. Annually, between 20 and 30 risers are installed. The Pivoted Turnbuckle Manhole Riser is a rustproof, flexible riser that fits into the existing utility rim. Once set, the riser’s turnbuckle is tightened with a screwdriver (used as a lever), which exerts thousands of pounds of force and seats the new riser tightly in the rim.

Result: Compared to cast iron, the riser is also lighter, quicker to install, sets tighter and is less likely to rattle out of the rim over time. They’re also delivered quickly, within a few days of an order, so they don’t need to be stored by the city. When manholes don’t sit low, they provide a smooth driving surface and limit inflow and infiltration from gathering at the manhole lid. 


Sewer inspector uses plugs to seal clean-out openings with fouled threads


A Minneapolis city inspector performing video inspections in search of sewer lateral breaches and improperly plumbed sump pump violations needed a leakproof clean-out plug that could seal fouled, damaged threads.


The inspector replaced the old damaged clean-out plugs with new flush-fitting Real-Tite expansion clean-out plugs.

Result: The plugs sealed behind and over the damaged threads, incorporating a shoulder seal at the lip of the plug that ensures a leakproof seal even over damaged thread openings. 


Permeable pavers provide solution for 500-acre development


As Idaho’s fastest-growing and third largest city, Meridian has experienced intense competition among local developers to attract upscale buyers.


With the goal of maximizing property values and reducing maintenance costs, the BridgeTower Heights subdivision was launched with roadways designed with Belgard permeable interlocking concrete pavers from Oldcastle APG. This enabled the construction of an underground stormwater system that cost far less than asphalt roadways and traditional infrastructures. With the visual appeal of decorative pavers used to beautify patios and walkways, the permeable pavers offer an alternative to stormwater detention ponds and subsurface storage structures. They resist cracking, hold up to freeze-thaw, filter road contaminants and drain melted snow. They’re also environmentally friendly, with the ability to filter rainwater at cool temperatures into local streams and ponds.

Result: With 250,000 square feet of roadways and more than 600,000 square feet of Belgard Aqualine 12-inch, Eco Dublin and Aqua Roc pavers installed, the system is reportedly performing well. The final phases are in the process of being completed, which will bring the total to over 1 million square feet of permeable pavement. Developer Michael McCollum plans to use the pavers for streets, sidewalks and driveways on another 400-acre residential development scheduled for early 2020. 


Push camera and roller skid save time and money


By the time Mack Plumbing showed up on a rural Ohio job, the customer was stressed because their sewer pipe was backing up. No amount of plunging by the customer had helped. A plug in the pipe leading to the septic tank was easily accessible in the basement. Once removed, several buckets were used to collect sewage. Even then, strong flashlights could not show the problem. 


A Mack technician installed the CPI Products / Cavallero Plastics Trapmaster to get a 1.5-inch push camera into the 4-inch pipe and was able to pass by the remaining debris to view the blockage and determine exactly where it was. It turned out to be the last remaining section of a more than 30-year-old asphalt-coated paper pipe that had collapsed. The technician was able to pinpoint the location, and the collapsed section was easily accessed. This saved time compared to the alternative of digging up the entire pipeline.

Result: The repair was completed quickly, and the customer has a proper line all the way to the septic tank. 


Municipality finds solution to fill gap between lining on manholes


After relining many of its old and deteriorating manholes, a Georgia municipality needed a solution to fill a 3- to 5-inch gap between the new liners and the manholes.


Precision Fill from Prime Resins was chosen to fill this space due to its high expansion rate, the fact that it is hydro-insensitive and because its slower set time allows for a more consistent pour and prevents void pockets from forming. The project included several manholes, and each one used between 8 and 12 gallons of material. Recommended uses for Precision Fill include undersealing and stabilizing concrete slabs, compaction grouting of soils, stabilizing soils and filling voids behind pipes, walls, manholes and other structures.

Result: The process of lining and filling the annular space cost roughly a third less than tear-out and replacement. 


Internal joint seal used to repair leaking box culvert


A construction joint between a precast section and a cast-in-place box culvert in an elevated 3-by-7-foot aqueduct in Dallas was leaking onto the highway and traffic. The movement of the elevated structure had deteriorated the joint, and previous repairs using cementitious grouts and preformed mastics continued to fail and be ineffective.


Technicians utilized the HydraTite internal joint seal from HydraTech Engineered Products. It includes an extruded EPDM membrane that provides a flexible, continuous watertight seal for pipes, tunnels and similar conduits. The seal is custom-designed to accommodate the inside dimensions of the box culvert. The compression of the EPDM rubber to create the watertight seal is achieved with stainless steel retaining bands and anchor plates equally spaced along the perimeter of the seal. Previous repair materials that interfered with the installation of the seal had to be removed, and the surface of the aqueduct on each side of the joint had to be repaired to render a uniform surface. The seat was assembled in place and hydraulically expanded and compressed to create the watertight seal.

Result: The seal provided a repair that was able to accommodate the special shape. The leak was sealed, and the aqueduct returned to service after two days of work. 


Updating existing lift stations increases communications reliability


The Iowa Great Lakes Sanitary District was looking to replace and modify its operations. Specifically, it wanted a prime contractor to retrofit its existing lift stations with new Allen-Bradley programmable logic controllers, replace its existing collections system and SCADA systems, and move from radio to Ethernet communication.


As the prime contractor, PRIMEX first retrofitted 49 different lift stations across the district with Allen-Bradley CompactLogix PLCs. Second, it removed and replaced the PLCs and input/output cards at the wastewater treatment plant main SCADA control panel with an Allen-Bradley ControlLogix PLC. Third, it facilitated combining the separate wastewater plant and lift station’s WonderWare software programs into one common WonderWare System Platform software package, installing related hardware as indicated in the project specifications. Finally, it switched the communication style from radio to Ethernet to improve the reliability of the district.

Result: PRIMEX increased the district’s onsite presence from the standpoint of multiple reviews of submittal packages prior to providing the finished product. The Ethernet communication upgrade represented a large piece of what made this project successful for the Iowa Great Lakes Sanitary District and PRIMEX. Additionally, the process was highly interactive throughout, leading to a strong relationship with the client. 


Monitoring solution proves to be a money saver and timesaver


With a small staff, South Suburban Sanitary District in Klamath Falls, Oregon, is responsible for more than 100 miles of sewer pipe and more than 1,000 manholes. The utility started monitoring in 2012 to detect and locate I&I by installing four flow monitoring units for a cost of $50,000, but when the need arose for expanding to more locations, they required a more flexible, easy-to-install and cost-effective solution. 


To address the I&I monitoring expansion plans, the district turned to SmartCover Systems. The cost per unit was significantly lower than the flowmeter solution, and installation was quick and less invasive because confined-space entry isn’t necessary. The system supported flow measurements and in-depth trend analysis to identify where I&I was an issue. 

Result: A flexible monitoring configuration expanded coverage and defined a subbasin within a sewershed that had specific issues. SmartCover’s instant infrastructure design allowed the district to quickly deploy and get more granular data at a much lower cost without wasting valuable staff time. The district was able to anticipate I&I issues before a storm event caused a spill. The bonus of aggregate flow information from multiple locations and integrated rain data adds more flexibility to analyze relationships between sites and to better understand the dynamics within the subbasin. Results included a significant reduction in sewer spills, mitigation of I&I issues, and more accurate allocation of valuable resources and funds during times of urgency, all while protecting public health and the local environment. 



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