IAPMO Grants NASSCO’s Petitions Regarding UPC Section 715.3

NASSCO has spent nearly two years advocating for the removal of language in the Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC) that banned the use of cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) and other trenchless technologies to replace cast iron soil pipes and fittings.

On Feb. 26, in response to its petitions, NASSCO received a decision from the IAPMO Board of Directors that reversed this ban. The prohibitive language for existing sewers was included in Section 715.3 of the 2018 Edition of the UPC and the 2021 Edition of the UPC as stated:

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Replacement of existing building sewer and building storm sewers using trenchless methodology and materials shall be installed in accordance with ASTM F1216. Cast-iron soil pipes and fittings shall not be repaired or replaced by using this method aboveground or belowground. Replacement using cured-in-place pipe liners shall not be used on collapsed piping or when the existing piping is compromised.

 NASSCO is thankful for the persistence and dedication of NASSCO members and its Lateral Committee and Plumbing Code Workgroup who contributed substantial time and effort throughout this process. They engaged with IAPMO’s Technical Committee and Standards Counsel and followed the due process procedures in IAPMO’s regulations that are available to parties interested in its code setting process.

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In response to NASSCO’s petitions and efforts, IAPMO’s Board of Directors determined that extraordinary circumstances required intervention to protect the integrity of the codes and standards development process.  In granting NASSCO’s petitions, the Board rendered Section 715.3 of the code as follows:

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2018 UPC

715.3 Existing Sewers. Replacement of existing building sewer and building storm sewers using trenchless methodology and materials shall be installed in accordance with ASTM F1216.

2021 UPC

715.3 Existing Sewers. Replacement of existing building sewer and building storm sewers using trenchless methodology and materials shall be installed in accordance with ASTM F1216, ASTM F2561, ASTM F2599 or ASTM F3240.

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NASSCO would like to give special thanks to members Kaleel Rahaim (NASSCO Technical Advisory Council member), Joanne Carroll (principal, Subtegic Group, Inc.), Tom Bowman (director of technology and licensing, NuFlow Technologies), Michael Jennings (vice president of operations, Rotoco), and NASSCO’s legal counsel, SkarlatosZonarich, for their hard work and dedication throughout this process and for their continued support of our industry.

“We have come together as trenchless technology providers and have been unified through the representation of NASSCO to have this prohibition removed,” said Carroll, who heads up NASSCO’s Plumbing Code Workgroup.  “Now, we must continue to build awareness and offer educational opportunities for the quality application of trenchless technology within the plumbing segment of the wastewater market. I’m so thankful for the support given throughout our industry and for NASSCO stepping up to support not only their membership, but all service providers, to enable the opportunity to provide technically sound solutions that minimize disruption when pipelines need repair or replacement.”

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In addition to setting standards for the assessment, maintenance and rehabilitation of underground infrastructure, NASSCO’s mission is to assure the continued acceptance and growth of trenchless technologies.

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“While cured-in-place pipe technology has been used successfully for over 40 years,” said Bowman, “the manufacturing businesses providing these solutions have, for the most part, operated in their own silos in the process of competing for customers and market share. While this code process was unfortunate and caught our industry by surprise, it has been most refreshing to put aside our individual interests and work together for a shared purpose.”

NASSCO’s vision is to increase the awareness of aging underground infrastructure and to provide viable solutions through education, technical resources and industry advocacy. This can only be accomplished when competitors and others aligned to trenchless technologies come together to do what is best for the entire industry, as they did in this case.

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“I am often asked what value NASSCO brings to its members, and this outcome is a perfect example of what can happen when our members take a stand for what’s right,” said Sheila Joy, NASSCO’s executive director. “As a 501 c (6) not-for-profit trade association, it is NASSCO’s responsibility to represent the entire industry fairly and objectively. Advocacy programs such as this one, along with government relations activity to secure funding for underground infrastructure, research studies on employee safety, workforce development and other initiatives that create opportunities for our members and keep our communities safe are what NASSCO is all about.

“We appreciate IAPMO for providing procedures to voice concerns regarding their code and their Board of Directors’ attention to and careful consideration of our concerns. I encourage all of us to get involved and have a voice in the development of these important codes.”