Potable water pipes in North America are aged and steadily deteriorating, often resulting in poor quality tap water and high utility bills to compensate for the additional costs of trying to maintain failing pipes. Water pipe issues must be properly investigated to find a suitable resolution to help reduce the infrastructure backlog affecting water utilities across Canada and other parts of North America.


Under the Alberta-Ontario Innovation Program (AOP)-NSERC program, a unique partnership has formed among the universities of Waterloo and Alberta and Insituform Technologies to advance the rehabilitation and maintenance of the water distribution pipelines.

The research is focused on the use of the cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) method, which involves fitting a new pipe within the existing deteriorating pipe. Studies will be conducted at the two universities to advance the properties and characteristics of different materials that may be used to repair the pipes. It will also advance CIPP pressure liner design methods. With this collaboration of industry leaders, “the market is expected to embrace watermain CIPP with confidence,” said Dr. Mark Knight of the University of Waterloo.

The University of Waterloo will perform advanced laboratory tests and the University of Alberta will conduct pilot field tests designed to perform the rehabilitation on a larger scale. Insituform Technologies, the National Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Ontario Centre of Excellence (OCE) and Alberta Innovates Technology Futures (AIIF) will sponsor the research needed to rehabilitate the lines.

“The use of CIPP is expected to revitalize the value and quality of water pipelines, and this unique partnership will help find solutions for the challenges the water industry is facing in North America,” said Ken Foster, Senior Vice President and General Manager for Insituform Technologies. It will also train the next generation of engineers and experts in advanced water pipeline renovation technologies.”