CIPP, Insituform Celebrate 40th Anniversary

By Jeff Griffin, Senior Editor | January 2011 Vol. 66 No. 1
Insituform recently completed one of the largest North American CIPP projects to date in Sacramento, CA.

Insituform introduced the Controlled Heat Inversion Process (CHIP) unit in 1990.
Compared to the 20- to 30-foot high scaffolding formerly used, set-up of the CHIP unit proves easier and faster than erecting scaffolding and overall installation is more efficient for small-diameter CIPP. Safety benefits include decreased risk of a fall hazard, elimination of overhead wire danger, increased stability and improved set-up procedures.

Advances in compact closed-circuit television inspection cameras and robotic cuttings for reinstating laterals has been an important factor in the growth of CIPP.

Insituform crews understand their products and procedures and how to implement them.

“Insituform always has recognized the importance of training,” said Driver. “Training includes not only operation of equipment and the installation process, but safety. Safety never has been optional at Insituform.”

Basic patents that had allowed Insituform to be the sole provider of CIPP products and services expired in the mid 1990s, opening the market for the first time to competitors.

Continuing growth
Today the CIPP sanitary sewer market in the United States is estimated to be approximately $1 billion a year, and Insituform has about 50 percent of the market.

To fill demand, Insituform CIPP tubes are manufactured at Insituform’s manufacturing plant in Batesville, MS, and in the United Kingdom. Insituform’s management system received ISO:9000 certification in 1995, and the certification was renewed in 2008.

Insituform also is expanding CIPP markets with processes for pressure pipe, including force mains, raw water lines and other systems for potable pipeline repairs.

Said President/CEO Joe Burgess: “Our expansion falls into two basic categories. First we are taking our technical portfolio for gravity pipes to the drinking water side. We seek to recreate the wastewater profile and franchise on the drinking water side with improvements suited for pressure pipe. Robotics and retapping are more sophisticated, and basically the task becomes harder as pipe diameters become smaller.

“We believe the pressure market can be as large as the wastewater market.”

The second aspect to expansion is geographic.

“In Europe,” said Burgess, “the CIPP market is mature. We now are going to Asia and the Pacific to convert markets to CIPP rehabilitation as in Europe and the United States. We are exposing the technology with demonstrations and have been successful in Hong Kong, Singapore, India and Australia. It is very exciting.”