Funding for sewer rehabilitation projects is the biggest challenge to the sewer industry, according to an online survey of more than 300 NASSCO members conducted in September 2007. 

“It’s no surprise to anyone in the trenchless technology industry that sewer rehabilitation projects around the country are extremely under funded,” said NASSCO executive director Irv Gemora. “With this ‘low-bidder always wins mentality,’ we’re seeing less than quality work going into the ground. That’s a concern for all of us and it’s why we’re extremely committed to bringing standards, training and education to everyone in our industry.”

Awareness was another top challenge identified in the study. NASSCO members said if lawmakers, consumers, state and federal agencies had more awareness of the aging underground infrastructure — what is happening and what will happen if problems continue to go unaddressed — funding would be increased for sewer rehabilitation projects.

The online NASSCO member survey achieved an 18 percent response rate and also found that members are concerned about quality of work conducted, products available and people in the industry. Quality, like awareness, is directly tied to the funding issue since projects must be completed on the smallest budget and often in a tight timeframe.

NASSCO is addressing the concerns of its members and the industry by offering comprehensive education, training and networking opportunities throughout the year. NASSCO is a recognized and respected industry leader that is dedicated to setting standards for the rehabilitation of underground utilities, continuously improving the quality of trenchless technology work around the country. One example is the Pipeline Assessment Certification Program (PACP), an extensive training program for sewer pipe defect assessment. PACP is recognized by municipalities, contractors, utilities and industry as the North American standard for sewer pipe defect assessment. More than half the members surveyed said they have taken a PACP course. Other innovative NASSCO offerings include MACP and LACP, for manholes and laterals, respectively. NASSCO also offers its members free Specifications Guidelines, the latest — SG-12, contains more than 120 specifications and guidelines from information supplied by member and vendor firms. Non-members can purchase the guidelines for a small fee.

“We have an exciting year ahead of us in 2008,” said Gemora. “We are poised and ready to tackle the biggest challenges our industry faces and our members are engaged and excited to help in this effort.”
NASSCO is dedicated to setting the industry standards for the rehabilitation of underground utilities through training, education and networking opportunities for the trenchless technology industry. To learn more about NASSCO, visit www.nassco.org or call (410) 486-3500.


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