Case Studies - Fall 2020

Case Studies - Fall 2020

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Chemical treatment helps remove root infiltrations


 Sanitary sewer overflows are one of the largest costs to municipalities, and the majority are root related. In one case, the town of Meno, Oklahoma, was experiencing stoppages and overflows throughout the city. In January 2019, Mayor Rick Goodman and the board of directors for the city of Meno decided to move forward.


 In order to provide a comprehensive risk management program for its 500 municipalities, Oklahoma Municipal Assurance Group partnered with Duke’s Root Control to provide sewer root control treatments to participating municipalities via a $5,000 matching funds grant program. OMAG begins with providing a Sewer Line Rapid Assessment, or SL-RAT, tool from InfoSense to the participating municipality. The SL-RAT is a portable on-site assessment tool that identifies capacity issues in gravity-fed sewers within minutes, without the need for traditional CCTV and at a fraction of the cost. OMAG trained the team on its use and loaned them the instrumentation for two to three weeks. In Meno, 14,000 linear feet were inspected, and the SL-RAT identified significant blockages and poor scores. The lines were treated using Duke’s RazoRooter II, an herbicide-laden, thick foam that kills roots on contact, penetrating through wye connections and killing roots in laterals as well.

Result: Upon inspection of manholes after treatment, there were no stoppages and no overflows in the city. RazoRooter II allows roots to decay naturally and slough away, with regrowth delayed for two to three years. 


Manhole risers a fit for coastal community


 Ocean Springs, population 17,500, is a town on Mississippi’s Gulf Coast. The 42 members of Ocean Springs’ Public Works Department maintain 186 miles of roadway along with 7,200 manholes. They sought a reliable way to bring manholes to grade easily during repaving projects.


 For about 30 years, the department has relied on adjustable manhole risers to raise manholes to grade after new paving. The American Highway Products Pivoted Turnbuckle Manhole Riser is a ring of galvanized steel featuring a turnbuckle link used to expand or contract the riser as needed for insertion into manhole rims. The adjustable risers are available in fine size gradations to match manhole diameter and paving lifts precisely.

Result: The risers save money and many hours of labor. At-grade risers are gentle on roads in many ways, compared to concrete ring replacement. They don’t set low, so water doesn’t collect around the manhole lid causing excessive infiltration; and they don’t set high, so vehicle tires don’t jar the lid and rim continually. Ocean Springs has been ordering and installing about 60 adjustable risers annually for a few decades, and it plans to continue indefinitely. 


Two-coat system used to rehabilitate manholes


 In Santa Barbara, California, four brick and concrete manholes needed rehabilitation due to root intrusions and mild body deterioration caused by gas exposure.


 Having no outside water intrusion made for an easy rehab project for contractor V. Lopez Jr. & Sons G.E.C. Using Mortartec Ceramico for rehabilitation combined with Epoxytec’s CPP liner for protection created a suitable system for manhole rehabilitation. Mortartec Ceramico provided a quality rehabilitation mortar, and a topcoat of CPP provided the protection necessary for the harshest environments. V. Lopez Jr. & Sons applied this two-coat system. Mortartec Ceramico was installed over deteriorated areas, and CPP was applied at 250 mills over the manholes. The crew constantly checked the mill gauge to ensure 250 mills were reached consistently.

Result: The entire project lasted five working days. Since there was an experienced contractor on the job, no major obstacles to contend with and proven products were used, the rehab project was a slam-dunk. “The Epoxytec products are easy to use and extremely durable,” says Butch Lopez, project manager and treasurer for V. Lopez Jr. & Sons. “Customers are pleased with the product and the overall look.” 


Find sources of wet-weather peak flows with Superior Smoke

For more than 60 years, Superior Signal’s Superior Smoke testing technique has been used by municipalities in the U.S. and around the world. Hundreds of millions of feet of sanitary sewer mains have been effectively tested using Superior Smoke products, eliminating countless faults and the costly sanitary sewer overflows that would result. Smoke testing is the fastest and most cost-effective method to find all sources of surface inflow to sanitary sewers: Anywhere that surface water can flow in, the smoke will come out. Finding problems quickly and cost-effectively is the key to reducing peak flows, stopping sanitary sewer overflows and saving money. Superior Classic Smoke Candles provide a highly visible smoke to find more faults at a longer distance. Superior Smoke Fluid Systems feature a stainless steel injector to maximize dry-smoke output, producing a higher-quality, liquid-based smoke. 


City addresses inflow and infiltration with reformed inspection process


 Roughly 10 years ago, the city of Bedford, Indiana, was facing criticism from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management regarding its sewer and stormwater systems. Many of the city’s pipes were cracked and filled with debris. The department threatened a ban on Bedford’s ability to add pipes if action wasn’t taken. Bedford’s biggest challenges were addressing overflows and I&I.


 The city purchased a ROVVER X sewer inspection crawler from Envirosight, but it also needed an organized way to report the problems to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. To tackle the issues head-on, the city set up a monitoring system and invested in additional equipment, including the QuickView airHD zoom camera, Quick-Lock point repair sleeves, a second ROVVER X crawler and a ROVVER X SAT lateral launch. It even custom-designed a mobile unit to take its inspection equipment on the road. The crew has divided the 79 miles of pipe it manages into two sections. Each day it picks up where it left off, documenting defects, damage and other issues.

Result: In this way, Bedford has discovered many roots and broken pipes and can now identify needed repairs. “In these last few years, they have basically been going line by line televising, doing reports, repairs and just getting everything lined out,” says Charles Parsley with Best Equipment, Envirosight’s regional sales partner. “Bedford is a small community, yet they bought this box truck with everything. It’s Middle America and everyone has the same problems they do, but they are acting on it and getting the work done.” 


Expansion plugs provide a leakproof seal on clean-outs


 The Camera Inspection Division for Q3 Contracting, a subsidiary of Primoris Services Corp., a large energy contractor located in Minneapolis, inspects municipal pipe and sewer laterals, looking for breaks and breeches. The crew frequently encounters leaky clean-outs or broken pipe openings when doing premise-out inspections. The inspection crews needed a replacement expansion clean-out plug that seals even when encountering fouled threads or damaged clean-out openings.


 The video inspection crews switched from installing a clean-out plug that ineffectively sealed behind the clean-out threads, allowing leakage, to using Counter Sunk Expansion Plugs from Real-Tite Plugs that incorporate a large gasket that seals three ways: behind the threads of pipe openings, over the fouled threads and at the mouth of the opening with a shoulder seal. 

Result: The expansion plugs effectively provided a leakproof seal, even when installing in a damaged clean-out opening with a broken lip or fouled threads. 


Smart pumping solutions alleviate stormwater flooding


 The city of Hoboken, New Jersey, has a long history of flooding. Two-thirds of the populous city lies in the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s flood zone, and most of Hoboken’s water infrastructure dates back a century or more. 


 To help mitigate stormwater flooding, the North Hudson Sewerage Authority installed two wet-weather pumping stations. The H1 pumping station, completed in 2011, has alleviated flooding on Hoboken’s southwest side. The station can expel approximately 84 mgd. Pumps activate automatically when water in the system reaches a certain level, and excess stormwater is pumped into the Hudson River. The H5 station, which went online in 2015, has provided Hoboken’s northwest region with major relief. Pumps and controls from Flygt - a Xylem Brand contributed to a pump station design that helped reduce costs, increase efficiencies and alleviate stormwater flooding. The station has two high-performance submersible pumps, each with a capacity of 40 mgd, for a total pumping capacity of 80 mgd. During intense rain events at high tide, the pumps will work against the tide, preventing the combined sewers from filling to capacity and overflowing.

Result: Based on data collected and analyzed over a six-month period, a 2013 report concluded that the H1 pump station kept city streets and basements free of an unhealthy mix of sewage and stormwater runoff that otherwise would have overwhelmed the combined sewer system. The authority realized similar results with the H5 pumping station: Between November 2016 and April 2017, the station handled four rain events that previously would have caused flooding. 


Department of Transportation replaces remote telemetry units to help keep drivers safe


 One key priority for the Michigan Department of Transportation is to enhance the safety of all drivers by preventing freeways from flooding during rainstorms and snowstorms. As part of this project, MDOT decided that 98 stations needed to have their remote telemetry unit (RTU) replaced to better measure and report the amounts of water being pumped and to keep the roads safe.


PRIMEX built the RTUs and delivered them based on the timing the general contractor specified, which included shipping five panels per week for a period of 18 weeks. Included in the build-out was integration of the MultiSmart controller, cell modem, all wiring, relays and time-delay relays to manage the backup float control, phase monitor and emergency stop. As part of its standard testing procedures, PRIMEX configured all the programmable devices per customer preferences so a complete operational panel test could be completed prior to shipment.

Result: PRIMEX updated the pump stations with new technology to ensure the pumps not only work 24/7, but also continuously monitor all the critical station information to ensure the pumps are working properly. If they are not, the system will immediately notify work crews. PRIMEX was able to adapt to requests from MDOT and the general contractor as the project continued and meet key deadlines. 


Coating system used to reline PVC pipe


 NTX Plumbing of Richardson, Texas, got a call for a residential home that had pipes leaking in both the front yard and backyard. The PVC pipe had root intrusion along with cracks and leaking at the joints.


 Since the new homeowner wanted it fixed before move-in, Scott Hooper, owner of NTX Plumbing, came to the rescue. On the first day, he inspected the pipe with Pipe Lining Supply’s 100-foot sewer inspection camera, then cleaned and jetted the pipe. On day two when the pipe was prepped, he accessed the front leak via a clean-out that had 12 feet of pipe total — 5 feet of 3-inch pipe that then transitioned to 4-inch pipe for the rest of the run. With the Quik-Coating System and Renssi 50-foot high-speed cable machine, he repaired the pipe with five passes to build a 3 mm finish. He then moved to the back clean-out that consisted of 8 feet of pipe — 3 feet of 2-inch that transitioned to 3-inch pipe. He did four passes in the smaller-diameter pipe with five-minute quick-dry polyurea resin. The transitions are simple with the brushes, which fill in the cracks, coat the pipe and return it to new condition.

Result: The second day took a total of three hours, and it was 98 degrees F with 90% humidity. The leaks and root intrusion were repaired in a short time, and it was a one-person job. 



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