Editor's Log

Robert Carpenter, Editor

The drilling accident in the Gulf of Mexico and subsequent massive oil leak continues to make daily headlines in all media forms. The impacts and fallouts from this disaster will continue to be felt for some time.

Robert Carpenter, Editor

It’s really only been a little over 20 years since horizontal directional drilling effectively became mainstream for all rig sizes. In that time, the technology has progressed from a unique method for installing large diameter steel pipes under streams and rivers, to a procedure that can now shoot a tiny conduit from street curb to home.

Robert Carpenter, Editor

The Houston City Council, bowing to the inevitable, recently voted to phase in sewer and water rate increases over three years by as much as 30 percent. That means an average single-family household will see their typical rate climb from $47 to $60 per month by 2013.

Robert Carpenter, Editor

Politics is a tough business. Just ask the U.S. Conference of Mayors. After years of largely underfunding and ignoring the festering problem under their streets, this group authorized a “special report” stating the obvious: they’ve got serious problems with their sewer/water systems, including the underground piping infrastructure.

Robert Carpenter, Editor

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.

Robert Carpenter, Editor

This issue marks our “lucky” 13th Annual Municipal Infrastructure Survey. It allows us to connect more closely with municipalities of all sizes and from all corners of the country.Tiny towns have just as many seemingly insurmountable issues as do the large metropolises. Yet, many of the concerns and issues are identical.

Over the past few months, I have been asked the same question countless times. With hope in their eyes, industry personnel all are asking for my take on 2010 market prospects. While it is impossible to predict in these uncertain times, here’s an early evaluation.

Robert Carpenter, Editor

This December brings one of the most disconcerting periods we’ve ever faced as an industry. There are so many factors impacting the underground infrastructure market that it is hard to grasp all the implications, let alone find solid direction for which to set course in 2010.

During the 2008 national elections, there was much rhetoric about leadership. Unfortunately, in regards to the energy industry, that leadership has failed miserably with no indication of sanity any time soon.

Robert Carpenter, Editor

It’s no surprise that utilities in new subdivisions typically are placed underground. But what’s really encouraging is that a growing number of cities and states are suggesting or, in some cases, actually stipulating that older lines should be moved underground when feasible.

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