The Pro Service Group crew, an Epoxytec certified applicator.

Manhole Renewal in South Florida

Pro Services Group of Miami, Florida, is a small, locally owned utility contractor. The company’s services include cleaning and repairs of utility infrastructure. In addition, Pro Services Group is a certified applicator of Epoxytec, a specialty manufacturer of rehabilitative and repair product systems. This certification, along with other industry experience, makes Pro Services Group qualified to assess the condition of various wastewater collection structures and execute needed repair and rehabilitation methods. With years of experience maintaining sewer collection systems, Pro Services Group is well suited to join other industry partners to tackle sewer collection and pumping infrastructure needs around the Miami-Dade County area and beyond.

Having regular access to local infrastructure, due to its primary service agreements, Pro Services Group is situated in an ideal position to assess existing infrastructure conditions. If there are any disconcerting observations, the company would be the first to detect and report them, typically followed by proposals on rehabilitative methods to repair and line. Pro Services Group would consult with its coatings manufacturer and system partner, Epoxytec, to determine the most prudent repair solution and select the appropriate system to meet the need. These proposals would subsequently be presented to the local owner of the infrastructure, where long-term expectations and cost would be reviewed. Often these projects can be completed within a few days to ensure the infrastructure can be repaired, protected and returned to service in a timely manner.

A prime example of the aforementioned infrastructure rehabilitation process took place in the City of North Bay Village located in South Florida. North Bay Village is a quaint city that is home to several of South Florida’s most popular restaurants, as well as a variety of business enterprises, apartment buildings, condominiums and single-family homes. Similar to many South Florida cities, prior to the 1940s, most of what is now North Bay Village lay beneath the water. By 1941, however, dredging and bulk-heading created North Bay Island, where palm-lined streets were laid out and homes were built. What once lay under the Biscayne Bay is now a thriving city with lush neighborhoods.

However, the surrounding brackish water (which includes corrosive salts) presents a constant inflow and infiltration (I&I) challenge. In addition to I&I, the City has hydrogen sulfide (H2S) in the collection system that contributes to the corrosive conditions. The Public Works Department of North Bay Village consists of seven divisions all dedicated to serving and working for the citizens under the administrative direction of Rodney Carrero-Santana, Director of Public Works of North Bay Village.

Manhole leading into LS before rehabilitation and repair began.

Manhole leading into LS before rehabilitation and repair began.

Pro Services Group was servicing some of North Bay Village’s structures, including a number of manholes running into and out of a wet well structure. The company was in the process of cleaning, repairing and completing some mechanical retrofitting. While working on these structures, Pro Services Group determined that although these structures were still in fair condition, now would be the time to reline and protect them to extend their life before the deterioration got out of hand. After all, avoiding the cost of replacement is the goal of using rehabilitative methods, such as those provided by Epoxytec and others.

In this case, the H2S had already eaten away most of the previously installed coatings and was beginning to attack the concrete structures. Prior to compromising the critical rebar and structural properties of the original substrate, it was determined to rehab and restore these structures immediately. As long as the majority of the binder between the aggregate is still sound, the structure can be easily repaired and protected. Furthermore, considering the structures were out of service, it would be the ideal time to complete the project simultaneously.

At Pro Services Group’s request, Epoxytec was called in to consult and assist with coming up with the right recommendation. After completing necessary concrete tests, condition assessment, etc., a recommendation was agreed upon – the Epoxytec UME Composite System, one of three Epoxytec manhole and pump station rehab systems. This method would allow North Bay Village to restore and protect the structure from H2S and eliminate I&I.

The UME Composite System is a popular rehab and lining methods proven throughout the United States. It utilizes a combination of new generation epoxy modified mortar in conjunction with a hybrid epoxy top coat for enhanced sulfuric protection and sealing capabilities to control I&I. The proposal was presented to the owner. Since the lining system was installed by a manufacturer certified contractor, it would come with an inspected and tested installation and provide the owner an affordable, yet durable solution for years of sustainability.

The City agreed to have the repair work done and the project was completed within a few days and on budget. The infrastructure was returned to service on time, but has now been lined and repaired to extend its life by a significant number of years. Not only have the structures been saved, but the walls have been restored to original profile and a high-performance liner has been added for long-term protection and sealing.

Manhole after rehabilitation using Epoxytec’s UME composite system.

Manhole after rehabilitation using Epoxytec’s UME composite system.

The mission of the Public Works Department is to provide quality, efficient services that meet and support the infrastructure demands of North Bay Village. In addition, the City’s goal is to enhance the quality of life for its residents, businesses and visitors through the construction, operation and maintenance of a safe, effective and aesthetic physical environment. With Epoxytec, Pro Services Group accomplished this while also protecting the environment with high-performance lining. Pro Service Group, in conjunction with Epoxytec, was able to assist North Bay Village in meeting that goal during the rehabilitation process of its wastewater collection structures.

Furthermore, as a result of Pro Services Group being a certified applicator of Epoxytec products and services, the company was able to offer the City of North Bay Village a warranty on the work performed. “The pump station was maintained operational throughout the entire rehabilitation process. The ease of application and quick drying time allowed Pro Services Group to perform the work expeditiously and to minimize the time and cost of bypassing the pump station,” said Carrero-Santana.
Demetri Rapanos is Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Epoxytec Inc. He is based in Hollywood, Florida.
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