Epoxy Resin-Based CIPP Liner System

When the Canadian City of Burnaby, British Columbia, studied the results of a recently completed sewer infrastructure assessment, it was evident that a significant portion of the improvement project would require an innovative approach to sewer repair.

It’s a classic case and a contemporary dilemma. The City wants to preserve the natural, lush wilderness of its past, and at the same time, meet the demands that come with an incredible population growth and post-modern urbanization.

Then, mix in a healthy dose of “green initiatives” mandated by the City, and strongly supported by its residents, and the City felt compelled to look for unique solutions like the new trenchless pipeline repair system — RS CityLiner, a fully-equipped, turnkey mobile CIPP installation system that utilizes epoxy resin impregnated liners.

With the Canadian Rockies to the north and the Pacific Ocean to its west, Burnaby experiences mild summers and cool, rainy winters. The City boasts a wealth of freshwater lakes, forested and mountain sites, wetlands and watersheds, making it a popular place to live. And everywhere you look, citizens and tourists alike are reminded to be environmentally responsible — such as the presence of recycling waste cans on street corners and warnings against idling your car when leaving it to take a picture at one of the city’s countless scenic overlooks.

Progress & Development Above-ground Taxes the Infrastructure Below Ground

Today, Burnaby’s sewer system is buried beneath more than a century of progress. Hundreds of new roads and sidewalks, high-density residential areas and scores of high-rise condos now dot its landscape.
Restaurants, commercial retail centers, and businesses have replaced and revitalized old neighborhoods. Parts of the city that were once untapped forested areas have given way to schools and professional buildings. Each and every one of these developments further taxes a sewer infrastructure originally designed to serve only half of the current population of nearly 225,000 people.

Understanding that repairs were imminent for the 60-plus-year-old sewer infrastructure, city officials thoughtfully and carefully established repair criteria to provide improved sewer services, without compromising the environment. “We wanted to make sure we addressed several areas of concern expressed by our own department and the community, as well,” stated Bill Lowrie, City of Burnaby engineering technologist–public works. “We had to find a way to improve sewer services while minimizing the negative social and environmental impact on their daily lives,” he added.

The Perfect Environmental Sewer Rehab Solution

When the assessment revealed that root intrusion was causing significant inflow-and-infiltraton problems, city engineers quickly prioritized the areas in need of immediate repair. These sections were scattered all over town and were difficult to access. The contractor that would ultimately be awarded this project would need the ability to efficiently move from location to location, while minimizing surface disruption. Adding to this logistics problem was the wide range of sewer line diameters that needed to be repaired.

In all, roughly 4,300 ft (1,300-plus m) of clay tile pipe ranging in diameter from 6 to 24 in. (150 to 600 mm) were identified. This included 20 different manhole-to-manhole segments, 79 service lateral reconnects and numerous other laterals to cap.

The contract was awarded to DFI, an Edmonton, Alberta-based company  that specializes in infrastructure rehabilitation. DFI was awarded the job because it uses a cost-effective, environmentally sound process — RS Cityliner, an advanced and highly mobile CIPP installation system.

It features a computerized, onsite wet-out unit capable of quickly and precisely impregnating a wide variety of liner sizes. It uses an environmentally friendly, epoxy resin-impregnated liner system that is strong, and durable. Collectively, these advantages would also enable DFI to conduct multiple repairs in a day.

Once on the job, DFI found each installation to be unique. Installation runs were long, short, up hills, straddling property easements, down the middle of major commuter paths, in back yards and parking lots — and a lot of rain.

“Given all these challenges, we were able to substantially complete the project inside of three weeks,” said DFI operations manager Matt Meyer. “There is no way we would have accomplished this, within that timeframe, with any other system. Our ability to wet-out and calibrate the liner thickness onsite was critical to us accomplishing our goal.”

The “Green” Infrastructure Movement Is Here to Stay

“We live in a time where we have to pay careful attention to what we’re putting in the ground, especially when it comes to repairing the water and sewer infrastructure,” stated Joanne Hughes, managing director in the Americas for RS Technik. “We also pay attention to what goes on above ground. This system was designed for fast, efficient installation that minimizes social, environmental and economic impact. Our CIPP systems utilizing epoxy resins deliver a trenchless or “no-dig” solution that is virtually odor free with no styrene and no VOCs. It delivers a highly durable renewed pipe for water and wastewater infrastructure. We believe minimizing the carbon footprint we leave behind above ground, is just as important as the environmentally safe product we put in below ground.”  

Epoxy Resins Take CIPP Liner Systems to the Next Level

When cured-in-place pipe lining technology was first introduced, epoxy resin use was limited due to handling difficulties and much higher cost than other resin alternatives. That is no longer the case today. Over the last 15 years, RS Technik has been perfecting its mobile, environmentally friendly, epoxy resin cured–in-place systems. It has proven to deliver higher performing resins and liners that are designed for long-term durability. Today’s systems are fully-integrated, tested and proven to answer the industry’s increased design, environmental, economic and safety demands for the repair and renewal of both potable water and sewer gravity or pressure pipelines.

Each component of a RS Technik System — from its on-board mixing module, computerized controls and data logging, to the Dow epoxy resins, hybrid liners and standardized installation procedures — is critical in obtaining consistent and predictable performance. Contractors throughout Europe, and now in the Americas, are successfully bringing these mobile CIPP systems to municipalities that place a high priority on environmentally sound trenchless rehabilitation systems.

And the benefits to residents and business are plenty: no VOC emissions, elimination of styrene odors, minimal surface disruption, less construction time and equipment; all leading to a reduced carbon footprint.
The first phase of the sewer rehabilitation project is now complete, and the City of Burnaby is now evaluating the next phase.

“We were pleased with the responsiveness of DFI and the quality of the product,” Lowrie stated. “And we were pleasantly surprised at how quickly the job was completed. Just a few years ago, ‘dig and replace’ probably would have been the mandate for repair. I can’t even begin to imagine the mess and the inconvenience to the residents. I don’t even want to think about the cost.”

Kit Jones  is owner of, Wheelwright Marketing Communications, which  specializes in working with clients who cater to the trenchless pipeline rehabilitation marketplace. Wheelwright specializes in working with clients that cater to the trenchless pipeline rehabilitation market place.

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