News

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.

Jeff Griffin, Senior Editor

Misaligned manhole frames in streets often cause driving hazards, failure of pavement around the frames, cause poor access to manholes, may be responsible for inflow and infiltration and can also result in other problems. Because manhole frames are not manufactured to be adjustable, efforts to make repairs is time consuming and often ineffective.

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.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Louis District, MO, has awarded a $9.178 million contract to SAK Construction for the Old Mill Creek Phase 1A project for the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District. The project, which targets the aging Old Mill Creek Sewer and smaller connecting sewers, is designed to eliminate or control related sewer overflows that affect both the city of St. Louis and St. Louis County, MO.

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.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) may require pipelines to severely reduce the presence of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) throughout their systems, a move which would cost the industry tens, and potentially hundreds, of billions of dollars, according to the American Gas Association. Pamela F. Faggert, vice president and chief environmental officer, Dominion Resources Services, Inc., says the new regulatory measures the EPA is considering could cost her company alone a minimum of $300 million.

Charles Stringer, assistant director of Water Operations for the Dallas Water Utilities, Dallas, TX, did double duty when he delivered presentations at two chapter meetings for the Underground Construction Technology Association (UCTA). Attendees at the Gulf Coast Chapter meeting held in Houston on Oct. 12 and those who attended the new North Texas Chapter meeting in Euless, TX, on Oct. 14 had the opportunity to hear about the city of Dallas’ recommended 2010 Capital Improvement Plan.

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.

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