Residents in Amsterdam were surprised on March 3, 2018, when a pipe suddenly burst along a canal in the city center. According to a Dutch news article, the water main break not only damaged an intersection and pavement, but also took a bike rack along with it. Parked cars became stuck in the mud along the quay. Even more alarming than the damage to the quay was that the pipe break left some residents in the heart of the city without clean drinking water. Others were affected by a drop in water pressure.
The city had to act fast in order to fix the problem but was faced with two main hurdles. The first was that the location of the water main break in the middle of the city along the busy Nassaukade required a minimally invasive solution.
Additionally, replacement of the 100-year old pipe was not an option. “The customer initially thought that a brand-new pipe would need to be installed as a permanent solution,” said Insituform R&D manager Ton van Geest. “However, they realized this involved doing major construction work in a very busy part of the town. Because of the complexity of the operation, both road and water traffic would likely be blocked for several months.” Identifying a way to fix the pressurized pipeline and get water back to residents was a daunting task.
The city first shut down the line, which had completely failed, in order to prevent any further damage. The city then reached out to the business community to identify a solution and ended up partnering with Insituform in The Netherlands. It was determined that nearby was another 100-year old pipeline that was out of service and had never been used. The pipeline, roughly 24 in. in diameter (600 mm), ran about 160 ft in length (50 m). A plan was made to rehabilitate the out of service line using Insituform’s reinforced cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) product, known commercially as the InsituMain system, to get it back into service. It could then be tied into the existing system and transport water for the citizens of Amsterdam.
The InsituMain system is a glass-reinforced product that can negotiate bends and stand up to the more demanding requirements of systems pressure-rated up to 80+ psi. It withstands both internal pressure and external load requirements while also eliminating leakage and corrosion. Composed of an epoxy composite layer reinforced with glass materials, it provides added strength and stiffness to pressurized pipelines. Additionally, a polypropylene layer on the inside of the pipe surface increases the pipe’s smoothness, reducing surface friction while also providing an additional corrosion barrier for the pipe. In The Netherlands, the InsituMain CIPP system has received the KIWA watermark as confirmation of its quality manufacturing and installation.
AOC Aliancys Europe head of technical service Rob van de Laarschot offered some more background about the history of InsituMain CIPP and use in the European market, “Insituform and AOC Aliancys have been working together for the last five years to develop this robust relining technology. The liners are impregnated with the new styrene-free Beyone 700-T-01 FC resin from AOC Aliancys. The ingredients of this resin are on the positive list for food contact applications, the resin is manufactured in line with GMP, and resin/ glass liner systems have been approved by KIWA-ATA as a sign of quality and trust. Liners impregnated with Beyone 700-T-01 FC resin have already seen many successful installations for drinking water networks in several European countries.”
The bustling commercial and residential area presented unique jobsite challenges. Heavy construction and dig and replace could have potentially caused disruption to residents and businesses. Insituform’s trenchless CIPP technology offered a less disruptive solution.
“Insituform supplied a state-of-the-art relining system based on our InsituMain CIPP technology, which is a proven solution around the world for renovating drinking water pipelines,” explains Ton van Geest. “Through this technology, we create a new, clean and resilient pipe inside the existing pipe. The composite pipe provides structural integrity, corrosion resistance and can cope with water pressure fluctuations, ensuring a reliable network operation for many years to come.”
Excellent site preparation, an experienced installation crew, robust material system and cooperation with the civil subcontractor made it possible for the project to be fast-tracked. Insituform completed its portion of the rehabilitation work in just two days with the entire pipeline back in service in just five days.
“Our customer was very happy with the support received from Insituform and AOC Aliancys during project preparation and execution,” added Ton. “They were delighted that the whole renovation did not require major reconstruction work. Obviously, this was also a relief to the nearby residents.”