New Technology Saves a Sewer Interceptor—and $1.5 Million!

By Angus W. Stocking, L.S. | January 2011 Vol. 66 No. 1

“The work went on during sub-zero days and when it was 90 degrees in summer,” explains Smolik. “The contractors learned to use hot water in winter, and on some hot days they actually put ice in the mix!”

Smolik performed quality control by paying attention to the amount of dry mix used as the work was done. He would calculate the amount needed per foot of rehabilitated pipe, and would check that the right amount had been used as work was performed. By watching the mix, and spot-checking as needed, he could be sure that an even 1/2-inch was applied. If the amount of dry mix used appeared to be off, sections of pipe were cored to verify thickness and patched as needed.

Kelly notes that as the year progressed, the contractor grew more and more proficient. “Toward the end of the project,” he says, “they could line about 350-500 feet per day—very impressive.”

Innovation pays off
Trying relatively new techniques and products is not always a comfortable position for city engineers, but the Westlake interceptor project shows that the rewards can be huge.

“This cost less than half of what the manhole-to-manhole cost would have been,” says Kelly. “And I believe the finished product is at least as good, maybe better. Because of this savings, we were able to use our own funds, and do the work within a year. Those are huge wins!”

About the author: Angus W. Stocking, L.S., is a licensed land surveyor and full time infrastructure writer.

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