The City of Portland Bureau of Transportation, Environmental Services division, has been recognized for its outstanding achievements in the area of sewer repair using LMK’s inverted CIPP liner system for main and lateral pipes. The City’s cured in-place pipe (CIPP) crew has taken full advantage of the benefits of using LMK’s cured in place lining products. With this technology, the City has been able to perform sewer rehabilitation that would otherwise be very disruptive and costly using open-cut methods due to high traffic volumes, depth or utility conflicts.

The City of Portland is known as one of the most “green” cities in the world. “The City of Roses’ approach to urban planning and outdoor spaces has often earned it a spot on the list of the greenest places to live.

Portland is the first U.S. city to enact a comprehensive plan to reduce CO2 emissions and has aggressively pushed green building initiatives. It also runs a comprehensive system of light rail, buses and bike lanes to help keep cars off the roads, and it boasts 92,000 acres of green space and more than 74 miles of hiking, running and biking trails,” writes Kate Sheppard in “15 Green Cities,” Environmental News and Commentary.  The City of Portland is also referred to as the City of Bridges and is home to 11.1 sq. miles of water,  or 7.6 percent of the total area. It is seated next to Mount Hood, a dormant but potentially active volcano, Mount Tabor and Mount St. Helen’s, which is active. In such a beautiful area, Portland leads by example of how to maintain the environment and is constantly working to improve its resources.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation, Environmental Services division is responsible for maintaining city infrastructure that includes 456 miles of stormwater sewer pipe, 878 miles of combined sewer pipe (carries stormwater and sewage), 58,000 catch basins or storm drains, 9,000 sumps and 4,700 miles of streets. The Bureau also maintains 351 trash racks, 141 miles of ditches and 23 miles of culverts. Each day, the city’s sewer pipes transport more than 68 million gals of sewage, enough to fill more than 100 Olympic swimming pools. In an environment of declining resources over the past decade, the Bureau has sought more efficient ways of doing business to realize cost-savings and expand the useful life of its assets. The system is aging, and the City of Portland, like all others, relies on budget allocations for sewer repair. Smart business practices and new technologies enable the City of Portland to maximize allocated budgets and greatly reduce the amount of tax dollars that are spent on maintaining wastewater treatment operations.

The City accepted the Julian Award which is given in Oregon to “recognizes individuals, practices or projects that showcase the role of public works in furthering the principles of sustainability. The awards are intended to recognize systems thinking, long-term design practices and infrastructure systems that sustain society.” The City has exemplified this in the way it maintains its infrastructure, namely the water and wastewater system.

The City of Portland recognizes broken clay pipes, root-infested and leaking sewers in its infrastructure as a serious issue and is taking a proactive stance to rehabilitate pipe sections utilizing a safe, clean and efficient CIPP liner system. The rainfall averages 37.5 in. (950 mm) per year in downtown Portland and falls more than 155 days a year. The significantly higher rainfall rate creates an above average amount of inflow after a rain event. To reduce the costs associated with processing the inflow in the wastewater treatment plants, the City of Portland uses LMK Technologies’ CIPP products and equipment to rehabilitate the infrastructure. The City recognizes LMK for its technology, training program and technical support. “This job is our longest shot to date. It was 120-ft of 10-in. liner. Once our crew installed the 120-ft sectional liner, they then went and installed an 8-in. by 80-fo liner all in the same day. Without the support of LMK for the past 15 years, this would not have been possible,” says Scott Weaver, Portland’s maintenance supervisor. Not only does the City of Portland take pride in renewing its sewers using a truly “green” pipe renewal method, but the cost-savings to the City and subsequently to the public has been substantial. The sewer maintenance budget has grown annually and today the budget allocates 30 percent to repairing the City’s failing sewer pipes by using the inverted CIPP technology. Savings compared to open-cut methods are proven to be substantial. For example, the City crews can typically renew a section of mainline sewer at a savings of 68 percent compared to open-cut methods, a savings of 50 percent for renewing a service lateral and a savings of 78 percent for renewing catch basin inlet leads. Other latent cost-savings include the elimination of import and export of trench and pipe bedding materials and costs associated with transportation of these items. By reducing trenches, avoiding utilities and reducing the total time of repair, crews and the public are kept safe above ground while removing health safety concerns underground, not to mention the unidentified social cost-savings. The City of Portland further exemplifies the capabilities of this system by buying bulk liner tubes, inversion bladder tubes and resin, making its maintenance crew one of the most efficient lining crews in North America. The City operates its own liner assembly department that assembles the liner and bladder, including the resin, promoter and catalyst system for each specific repair. This allows the crew to be self-sufficient and flexible so it is able to respond to urgent repairs very quickly. The City has an inventory of liner tubes ranging from six inches to 27 in. “It basically looks like a miniature version of the LMK liner manufacturing facility,” says Larry Kiest, CEO of LMK.

Portland can rehabilitate sections of mainline piping using LMK’s Performance Liner CIPP Sectional liner system, which conforms to ASTM 2599  and has a design life of 50 years. Portland also uses Schwalm Robotic self-propelled milling  tractors outfitted with a self-washing pan-and-tilt camera to aid in the maintenance of its infrastructure. The Schwalm  sewer robot  can grind, cut, trim and it can also be used to robotically position  LMK’s T-Liner,  Shorty, and Stubby systems. This new robotic technology considerably increases the crews capabilities and production  allowing the City to efficiently grind back protruding taps, reinstate sewer service connections post lining and inspect its work via the robot.

The City of Portland was the first municipality ever to be licensed by LMK to practice its patented pipe renewal system in the Northwest region. This municipal program has grown substantially spreading to 12 municipalities nationwide. The City of Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services has been an installer of LMK products since 1997 and continues to be an outstanding example of how cities can repair their failing infrastructure, reduce costs and protect the environment.

Kristina Kiest is marketing manager with  LMK Technologies.

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