Archive for Sunday, February 1, 2009

City cuts costs by relining sewers

Covering old pipes saving time, money

February 1, 2009

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Before the pipe repair

The view of a damaged, clay sewer pipe before the Cured-In-Place-Piping has been used to re-line the pipe. Enlarge video

After the pipe repair

The same pipe after it has been lined with Cured-In-Place-Piping. Enlarge video

Crews with I-CON Underground were installing a sewer line material that goes over existing lines without having to excavate the ground for access. The blue polyester material will become a Cured-In-Place-Pipe.

Crews with I-CON Underground were installing a sewer line material that goes over existing lines without having to excavate the ground for access. The blue polyester material will become a Cured-In-Place-Pipe.

A sewer-maintenance company has been leaving bright green signs on the doors of Lawrence residents. And those who haven’t received theirs yet will in the next 10 years.

The sign — from I-CON Underground — notifies the resident of a scheduled sewer-line reconstruction. It usually states the project will last all day and cut off the residence’s access to the main sewer line for that time.

By 2019, Lawrence Department of Utilities expects to have about 175 miles of the city’s main sewer lines redone.

Rather than tearing up Lawrence streets, lawns and trees, the city decided to reline as many pipes as it can with a technique called Cured-In-Place-Pipe.

“For a much lower cost, we can extend the life of a city main sewer line another 40 to 50 years,” said Bob Brower, field operations manager for the utilities department. “We’re saving time and money, and we’re improving the system life and health by using this liner.”

Jeanette Klamm, utilities programs manager, said the cost of the CIPP construction probably won’t affect utility rates this year because the city includes the cost of the work in the budget.

Last year, the utilities department spent almost $1.2 million for CIPP construction. Although city commissioners voted to increase water rates by 12 percent starting Jan. 1, sewer rates remained the same.

“The water rates increased last year, but it wasn’t because of Cured-In-Place,” Klamm said. “If anything, it saves us money.”

The department contracted I-CON to reline 31,000 feet in 2009. The cost for this year’s CIPP work will be about $921,927.

The utilities department began CIPP replacements in 1998. Since then, more than 30 miles of piping has been relined.

CIPP takes a fraction of the time and costs about five times less than replacement methods, Brower said. A line that would have taken two or three weeks to install, he said, takes eight hours with the CIPP process.

CIPP covers the older pipe — some more than 150 years old — with a thin liner. The liner covers the cracks in the older pipe and allows sewage to move more easily through the pipes.

The process also prevents tree roots from breaking through the pipe — a leading cause of sewage backup — and helps keep groundwater out of the sewer system, said Mark Slack, president and founder of I-CON.

Since beginning the process, Brower said, the reports of main-line sewer backups has decreased from 156 calls a year to 33 calls.

Comments

6 years, 1 month ago

How does someone get this done on their own sewer line?

George_Braziller 6 years, 1 month ago

Some plumbing contractors can do it for residential sewer lines or the entire line can have a new line inserted inside of the old one. Unfortunately (if you live in an older existing neighborhood) once you disconnect from the main sewer for the work and try to reconnect to the sewer in the alley the cost goes through the roof. City code requires a special concrete and massive excavation at the connection which the property owner has to pay for. including repairs to the alley. Checked into it once for my own sewer line.

Sigmund 6 years, 1 month ago

"Last year, the utilities department spent almost $1.2 million for CIPP construction. The cost for this year’s CIPP work will be about $921,927."Two years of sewer relining that will last 40 years for less than what we pay in a single year, year after year, for the empTy that 1% of the city uses.

Sharon Aikins 6 years, 1 month ago

Sure they raised the water fees but anyone noticed that on a $40 water bill, only about $6 was for water and about $23 for sewer. I don't know how long the average sewer line lasts, but this seems like a good idea, especially since it prevents tree roots from growing into the lines and covers existing cracks. What are the chances, I wonder, of the old lines crumbling inside these liners? I'm sure there will be some that will have to be replaced over the years but for the most part, this makes sense to me. I'm glad to see that in one instance at least the city is doing something smart and saving money. Now if they could just learn to construct a street or road better, saving us money in the long run by not having to rebuild them so often.

George_Braziller 6 years, 1 month ago

Sewer, trash, and water charges are all tied together in an unholy union. Even if you are single, only have one barrel of trash per month, flush the toilet three or four times a day, and the only other water you use is to bathe, wash, and cook, you pay pretty much the same total bill as a family of six. Even if you are gone for an entire month there is still a minimum consumption charge even if you don't use a drop of water.

spankyandcranky 6 years, 1 month ago

Sounds good to me! Although, maybe it would be more thoughtful to give owners a day or two notice, instead of on the same day.

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