Features

Jeff Griffin, Senior Editor

Addressing the problems of the nation’s aging underground infrastructure is a priority for many cities and sanitary sewer and water districts across North America. Though slowed by the economy, there is still a host of massive rehabilitation and construction projects under way or in planning stages with many more such efforts to come.

Jeff Griffin, Senior Editor

The Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD) is in the midst of a multi-million dollar, multi-year capital improvement and replacement program that is expanding and rehabilitating the district’s entire wastewater collection and treatment system. It is the largest, most extensive improvement program in the history of the district.

After three years on the road, the annual Underground Construction Technology International Conference & Exposition (UCT) returns to Houston from Jan. 25 -27 at the George R. Brown Convention Center.

UCT is the underground construction industry’s premier trade event, focusing exclusively on the underground construction and rehabilitation markets. It is the only annual industry event that brings together contractors, utility providers, consulting engineers, manufacturers and service providers in a true business and educational environment.

Jeff Griffin, Senior Editor

Finding ways to effectively address problems posed by deteriorating laterals is one of the most serious challenges municipal and utility districts face in rehabilitating sanitary sewer infrastructures.

In this article, several industry representatives say what they believe is necessary to make significant progress in bringing laterals up to acceptable standards. Industry representatives sharing their views for this report agree on many points, differ on others.

A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report published earlier this year contains a wealth of information about rehabilitation technologies available for sewer force mains. The report, “State of Technology Report for Force Main Rehabilitation,” was prepared as part of the EPA’s Sustainable Water Infrastructure Initiative. Here, the principal author of the report gives his summary of the contents.

Jeff Griffin, Senior Editor

Cobble -- usually rounded pieces of rock that can range in size from a marble to a basketball -- is considered one of the most difficult and challenging soil conditions for making a directional drilling installation.

“Cobble is not fun,” said Boyd Simon, P.E., field services division manager for Ranger Directional Drilling.

Jeff Griffin, Senior Editor

Projects requiring excavation are recognized as among the most dangerous in construction, and protecting personnel who must work in trenches and surrounding areas from cave-ins is a priority with life and death implications.

For small jobs, trench protection may be as simple as dropping a trench box into the excavation. Larger jobs are more complex. A major project often requires extensive engineering and the use of specialized shielding and shoring.

John English

In just a few short decades, the use of horizontal directional drilling, as a method to install pipelines and utilities, has become common place.

The advantages of HDD are two-fold. HDD has already saved billions if not trillions of dollars in bottom line construction costs.

Jeff Griffin, Senior Editor

Grouts have a multitude of uses for many types of construction.

For utility construction, grouts are most often thought of for sealing leaks and joints in water and sewer pipe infrastructure, manhole rehabilitation and filling annular space between pipes and surrounding structures.

Dale M. Smith, P.E. Collinsville Branch Manager, Geotechnology Inc.

When faced with a project that is 133 miles long, spans two states and dozens of counties and features a tight schedule, logistics can be a serious foe. Communicating to many design team members and being responsive to the many challenges encountered in the field only complicate the efforts to successfully complete a project on time and on budget. Developing organizational and coordination skills into a serious strength and planning appropriately are paramount to operating efficiently, performing well and providing quality results.

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