System Owners Keenly Aware of Role that Leaking Laterals Play in Overall I/I Picture
When it comes to pipeline rehabilitation options, cured-in-place pipe (CIPP), which turns 50 in 2021, is by far the leading trenchless method when looking at improving mainline sewers.
Generally speaking, when the system owners look to rehabilitate these mainline sections, they also look to rehabilitate the associated manhole structures. The hope is that the two combined will considerably reduce inflow and infiltration (I/I). While these two portions of the system get much of the attention, when looking at the overall health of a system, lateral service lines are just as important.
Studies have been done that indicate a significant portion of I/I issues can be traced to damaged lateral connections. Because of this fact, for the last several years, the relining industry has often pointed to the lateral rehabilitation sector as one of the fastest growing segments in the industry.
“As more pipe is being rehabbed, cities and engineers are seeing that the water table rising and infiltration migrating back to the laterals. The lateral rehab market is continuing to rise,” says Marc Anctil, president of Logiball Inc. “With all the time and money spent on rehabbing pipes and manholes a more holistic approach seems to be the way to move forward in order to reduce I/I. Attacking the laterals after mainline rehab is the way to move forward and obtain the most bang for rehab dollars.”
Unlike mainline work, which is greater in scope (longer rehab lengths and larger diameters) and orchestrated by larger contractors working for the sewer system owners, the lateral market is an area serviced by both larger mainline CIPP contractors and smaller residential plumbers.
“On the municipal side of things — searching for solutions from the main going upstream — I/I problems have always been the target and as the mains are lined. A lot of municipalities discover I/I from the laterals. Therefore, more and more municipalities will look to seal their portion of the lateral and even beyond the property line sometimes through various programs,” says Carl Marc-Aurèle, P. Eng., vice president, Formadrain. “On the residential side of things — looking for solutions from the cleanout going downstream — more and more plumbers install liners and trust their efficiency through training and experience.”
To read more about lateral rehab and other pipe relining methods, follow this link to download a copy of the 2021 Pipe Relining Guide.