Out with the old and in with the new can be a different experience depending on how you feel about the old. There are many who look forward to new things and there are some who just can’t get past the love of old faithful. As technology improves in the wastewater industry there are many of our older processes and practices that are becoming obsolete or being given dinosaur status. Pipe rehabilitation and replacement has been no different.
With the emergence of trenchless technologies, pipe replacement efficiency has greatly increased. Old cured-in-place liners would reduce the pipe capacity. With the change from thick liners to fiberglass liners, structural integrity can be reestablished with minimal reduction of the capacity of the pipes. Pipe bursting, directional drilling, microtunneling, and pipe ramming all allow companies to push technology to its limits. Advances in technology, such as using electrofusion couplers, eliminate the need to excavate the pipe to refuse the ends. Some of these technologies seem expensive, but as you begin to asses the cost of digging up an area replacing the pipe, disposing of the pipe, and restoring the area to its natural state is a lot more costly and time consuming.
Even more beneficial, placing new pipe inside existing pipes, can stop internal corrosion in its tracks. This option is better than scraping and scouring pipes older pipes, which speeds the corrosion process in aging pipes as well as creates blockages that will require more frequent cleaning. Also, as a municipality considers trenchless technologies, it should be considered that their own staff be trained to perform the installations. Keep in mind that having this skill is an asset for the employees of the municipality and its citizens, and could save millions of dollars.
The biggest benefit is the savings of labor cost on the projects since the municipality already pays its worker’s labor costs. Your city could earn revenue by performing these services for other local governments since the number of companies performing trenchless technologies in this area is very limited. As times change so should our way of thinking, repairing, rehabilitating and accomplishing tasks in our collection systems.