Editor's Log: Raising The Rehab Bar

By Robert Carpenter, Editor | March 2010 Vol. 65 No. 3

Cured-in-place pipe rehabilitation technology for sewer systems has been an industry force for decades. The technology is generally well-accepted as an excellent trenchless alternative to dig-and-replace.

However, some areas of the country are still reluctant to use the method as past experiences have left a bad taste in their mouth. Admittedly, as the technology and market developed, some installations have fallen short over the years and effectively destroyed market potential. Yet, CIPP is a vital technology in today’s marketplace -- important to not only to installers, but also to municipalities in dire need of a proper fix for their sewer woes.

Inspectors on open-cut projects are trained to carefully monitor installations and often quick to pull the plug or ask questions if something doesn’t seem right – as they should. Good contractors like well-informed and trained inspectors. Work is not halted or slowed by unnecessary complaints or concerns, yet acting in a proactive, pre-emptive manner can save time and millions of dollars for both contractors and owners. A good contractor and a knowledgeable inspector make a great team.

Now, with CIPP products advancing into pressure pipe applications, it’s time for the market to assert itself. It’s time for municipal personnel and consulting engineers to take responsibility in overseeing proper installations of CIPP products, whether traditional water, new steam or even UV light cures.

With advances of CIPP technology, there is no excuse for contractors to not provide quality services or for cities to consider themselves “victims” when an installation is not up to par. It’s time for the rehabilitation industry to elevate its game. Industry association NASSCO is again leading the way to do just that.

NASSCO has had a pronounced, positive impact on the sewer pipe inspection marketplace with its Pipeline Assessment & Certification Program. Basically, the program has brought consistency, professionalism, relevance and practical usefulness to the mountains of inspection data cities accumulate on an annual basis. While there are still cities that haven’t yet adopted the PACP standard, that number is dwindling rapidly. For many, excellent reasons, the PACP wave continues to engulf our market. Lateral and Manhole Assessment & Certification Programs have been completed as well.