Underground Infrastructure - July 2023 - 6

EDITOR'SLOG
Rehab Comes of Age
Robert Carpenter | Editor-in-Chief
In this issue of Underground Infr astructure,
we have a strong focus on the
rehabilitation of America's sewer and
water systems. While most take for
granted the wide spectrum of technologies,
methods and applications available
today - and mostly in an increasingly
cost-eff ective manner, I might add - the
fact is that even the concept of rehabilitation has made a phenomenal
jump in a very short period of time.
From largely technological dreams to proven reality, the
diversity of rehabilitation applications has spread like wildfi re
over the past 50 years. It wasn't that long ago that contractors
and engineers had to go to great lengths to convince and prove
to municipal owners that new rehab methods could be the best
and most economical solutions to long-standing problems.
Just mention the need for a replacement and repair project
to a city staff er and you could hear the groans for miles. Such
a project meant torn up streets for blocks, all kinds of heavy
construction equipment sharing the road with urban traffi c, detours
and fl agmen daring their safety in rush hour.
And then you had to put it all back together again and too often
the roads were never the same. Such projects, while necessary,
were the bane of city utility departments as they struggled
to fi nance and execute this work.
With the birth of cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) in 1971, a technology
was born that forever changed the face of infrastructure
rehabilitation and launched a wildly successful market. Appropriately,
CIPP's golden anniversary was celebrated in style in
2021 at the annual UCT Conference in Nashville, Tenn.
Despite recovery eff orts from COVID still ongoing, a large
crowd gathered to celebrate what CIPP meant to the rehabilitation
market and to honor two early pioneers: CIPP founder
Eric Wood, along with Bob Affh older of SAK. Th ese two individuals
are largely credited with the creation and expansion of
CIPP technology.
Although the basic concept of CIPP has not changed since the
1970s, the materials, installation techniques and equipment have
improved and changed dramatically. CIPP installations have
gone from inception to a multi-billion-dollar-a-year industry.
Unfortunately, today CIPP continues to be under siege from
outside forces with litt le understanding of the actual benefi ts and
low risks of the technology. But leading trenchless rehab trade
association NASSCO has stepped up with extensive research
guidance and funding to determine that safe operations can and
are occurring with every CIPP installation and there is litt le-tono
danger to workers or the public.
Fortunately, market evolution over the years has found its
6 JULY 2023 | UndergroundInfrastructure.com
way into academics, with the formation and growth of outstanding
educational centers. NASSCO partnered with two of the top
research centers to address speculation about styrene.
Conducting the fi rst part of what has ultimately become a
three-phase study on the impacts and eff ects of styrene was the
Center for Underground Infrastructure Research and Education
at the University of Texas-Arlington. Phase II and the recently
completed Phase III were conducted by the original research
center for trenchless methods, the Trenchless Technology Center
at Louisiana Tech University.
With each step, the industry has learned more about how
styrene actually works in a fi eld environment. Recommendations
have made the procedures safer but, above all, provided
clarity to the scare tactics, clearly proving that quality operators
following standard operating procedures can deliver a completed
job without danger to employees and community members.
In this issue of Underground Infr astructure, Dr. John Matthews,
TT C director, and Quade Wells, lab manager, explain in
detail the results of the most-recent Phase III study.
NASSCO's dedication to defending the rehabilitation industry
from ill-conceived or erroneous assaults, in fact, goes
back to the early days of the association. Remember when the
late David Magill, then owner/president of Avanti, led the
charge against the EPA when acrylamide grout was improperly
classifi ed as a dangerous material?
NASSCO elevated its position as more than just a social club
by backing Magill's eff orts and ultimately causing a reclassifi cation
of a proven safe product that was much needed for industry.
Today, NASSCO continues to advocate for the rehabilitation
industry in general through a lobbying arm in Washington D.C.
Rehab, of course, has become much more than just CIPP and
grout. Pipe bursting, point repairs, spray-on coatings, lateral and
manhole rehab have taken on all kinds of new forms in steadily
increasing levels of eff ectiveness.
Asset management has become a stalwart of all rehab programs.
Th e assessment of sewer and water lines today is a far
cry from static-fi lled black and white images of a few decades
ago. Now, multi-functional robots crawl through pipes sending
back not only high-defi nition, full-color images and videos, but
all kinds of ancillary data and evaluations of the pipes, supplying
almost instantaneous summations of pipe conditions and
rehabilitation needs.
What's next for rehab? Clearly, a plethora of products will
be hitt ing the market in the coming years. Quality control will
take additional steps. Already, other approaches and concepts
to sewer rehabilitation are being explored that could send the
industry to new heights of dependability, lower community impacts
and bett er long-term results. UI
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Underground Infrastructure - July 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Underground Infrastructure - July 2023

Underground Infrastructure - July 2023 - 1
Underground Infrastructure - July 2023 - 2
Underground Infrastructure - July 2023 - 3
Underground Infrastructure - July 2023 - 4
Underground Infrastructure - July 2023 - 5
Underground Infrastructure - July 2023 - 6
Underground Infrastructure - July 2023 - 7
Underground Infrastructure - July 2023 - 8
Underground Infrastructure - July 2023 - 9
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