Trenchless Water Main Rehab in Pasco, Wash.

Together with its licensee, Michels Pipe Services, SEKISUI NordiTube Inc. solved a recurring water main problem for the City of Pasco, Wash.

The leaking 12-in. water pipe was located under an active railway intersection in the southeast side of the City of Pasco. The deteriorated existing pipe was successfully rehabilitated increasing the functionality of Pasco`s water supply system.

In 2011, the City of Pasco needed to find a long-term solution for the deteriorated two sections of a 12-in., lead joint, ductile iron pipe that runs 8 ft under six sets of Burlington-Northern railroad tracks.

About five years ago, city officials chose to temporarily reroute the water supply because open-cut construction was out of question. Due to the continual traffic and the importance of the switching yard on the southeast side of Pasco, as a major intersection of railways on the west coast, shutting down the railways to repair the leaking pipe was not possible. Equally as important, three of the rails immediately cross the Columbia River on one of the few bridges providing access to the south.

Michels Pipe Services, a SEKISUI NordiTube licensee, was instructed to rehabilitate the 1945-installed pipe by the trenchless pipe rehabilitation technology NORDIPIPE.

Quick Repair

Michels Pipe Services started the installation of the NSF 61-approved NORDIPIPE liner in October 2011. The liner was prepared in Michels’ Salem, Ore.- facility and transported to the site overnight, reducing the time between activating the epoxy resin and the actual pipe installation. This was different than most epoxy methods that require onsite resin preparation. Additionally, costs could be reduced by preparing the liner at the Michels facility as opposed to assembling an on-site wet-out area.

What took years of rerouting — the water main supply for the City of Pasco — Michels crews repaired in two days.

Michels tackled the project in two separate 275-ft sections. Using a pressure vessel to invert the tube and curing it with steam to a statically self-supporting pipe within a pipe meeting AWWA Class IV standards, each installation took 12 hours. End seals were used to join the NORDIPIPE liner to the existing ductile iron pipe and after a 150 psi pressure test, the pipe was returned to service.

“The project went as planned despite of some changing conditions. Michels, the City of Pasco and SEKISUI NordiTube made adjustments on the project to compensate and complete the job,” said Michels onsite supervisor Chris Tavernier.

Both the City of Pasco and Burlington-Northern Railroad were pleased with the outcome. Robert Blain, associate engineer II of the City of Pasco, said, “The City has now an operational line that increases the functionality of its system and the only excavation was to provide access to the pipe on each side of the rail crossings, no rail traffic was affected by the tailor-made pipe lining and the economic and time savings are substantial.”

This article was submitted by SEKISUI NordiTube, headquartered in San Clemente, Calif.

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