On the corner of Quaker Lane and South 32nd Street in Arlington, Va., an Arlington County Office of Historic Preservation historical marker reads:

“Designed in the Colonial Revival style by Kenneth Franzheim and Alan B. Mills and constructed between 1942 and 1944, Fairlington is an early example of successful community planning and large-scale, publicly financed rental housing built for defense workers and their families during World War II. With 3,439 garden apartments, Fairlington was the largest project financed by Defense Homes Corporation (a component of the National Housing Agency) and the nation’s largest apartment complex at that time. The units were renovated and sold as condominiums between 1972 and 1977. The name Fairlington combines Fairfax and Arlington, the counties in which the project was located.”

During the World War II era, Arlington County, Va., experienced a boom in population, thus creating a need for housing. Among many apartment complexes of the time, Fairlington Village was constructed to accommodate government employees, military officers and their families. Long before World War II, the property now known as Fairlington Village was inhabited by one of our founding fathers, George Washington. The early 1990s marked the 50th anniversary of the apartment complex. A catch phrase common to Fairlington Village: “Come visit the rolling hills and gentle shade trees.”

As beautiful an historic as the area is, it had a problem: Root intrusion and old age of its sewer pipes, which led to clay pipe collapse and sewer backups in Fairlington Villages. Enter trenchless technology and cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) and JED Mechanical’s Saddle Cleanouts.

The project JED Mechanical undertook with Fairlington Village was not a short process: this sewer rehabilitation project began in 2001. The project includes 1,800 apartment units and 900 sewer laterals at an average of 75 ft per lateral. This is valued at $6 million. To date, JED Mechanical has completed about half of the CIPP sewer lining project, which is based on the Fairlington Village Association’s annual budget. JED Mechanical will continue to work on Fairlington Villages until completion.

The best part of trenchless sewer lining is that JED Mechanical avoids damages to the lawn and surrounding areas while replacing problematic sewer pipes with CIPP trenchless sewer liners. Since old sewer pipes are typically made of concrete, cement, clay or cast iron, they are susceptible to corrosion and breaking of tree roots. This was exactly the case for residents in Fairlington Villages:  Sewers started backing up due to root intrusion and clay pipe collapse.

One solid repair and no joints is a specialty of the trenchless CIPP sewer lining method. Unlike the previous hard materials referenced in the first installation, the pipes are ensured that tree roots are not intruded into the sewer liners and no corrosion will happen. To date, JED Mechanical has saved the Fairlington Village Association more than $1 million in sewer repairs and restorations.

JED Mechanical’s goals are to preserve this landmark property while also saving them money at the same time. JED Mechanical is a LMK Enterprise licensee, with the ability to install a sewer liner through a clean out on the front lawn without digging or restoration. The sewer lining method is installed the same day, with only a few hours of interruption, and back on line — all in the same day. In cases where there is not an existing cleanout, JED Mechanical is uses the JED Saddle System, a PVC saddle that is snapped onto the pipe and adhered by sealing to the exterior of a lateral pipe. The method of installation first requires accurate locating performed during the initial condition assessment. Then, the lateral pipe is exposed by hydro-excavating a 16- to 20-in. diameter borehole. Where existing cleanouts are located and identified to be deteriorated or broken, traditional open-cut excavation is used to replace the defective cleanout. The lateral conditions observed during the video survey dictate which method of cleanout installation is used.

Robert J. DiPalma is president of JED Mechanical Contractors Inc.

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