Trenchless Technology

AUG 2018

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24 T R E N C H L E S S T EC H N O LO GY AU G U S T 2018 E A C H DAY, billions of gallons of wastewater flow through an extensive underground network of sewer pipes to reach one of thousands of treatment plants. Regular- ly inspecting this great network of pipes is necessary to ensure proper collection, treatment and disposal of wastewater. To achieve this, wastewater collection system managers must correctly deter- mine where and how to deploy their inspection and maintenance resources. This can be challenging since blocked pipes can be difficult to spot before se- rious consequences, such as sanitary sewer overflows, occur. Current main- tenance strategies are commonly time- based, meaning that pipe segments are cleaned on a time interval basis. How- ever, since most pipes in the average util- ity are clean and functioning properly, time-based cleaning can result in wasted resources through "cleaning clean pipe." To address this dilemma, an acous- tic inspection technology was devel - oped through a multi-year partnership between a utility and academia. The patented product, manufactured by InfoSense Inc., is called the Sewer Line Rapid Assessment Tool, or SL-RAT. The technology uses transmissive acoustics – or in other words, yelling and listen- ing – to screen 6- to 12-in. gravity- sewer lines for blockage conditions. The SL-RAT has been gaining traction with utilities since 2012, as it enables conditioned-based maintenance of a collection system – line by line. New Castle County, located in northern Delaware, is one utility that recognized the potential for its de- partment to operate more efficiently through integrating acoustic technol - ogy. The county 's wastewater division oversees a network of 1,760 miles of sewer pipe serving a population of more than 500,000. The collection system is comprised of 169 pump sta- tions and 45,000 manholes and man- ages more than 50 MGD of wastewater. " In 2008, we had to make a CMOM program where we are required to clean 500 miles of our system a year, unless we can show why we can clean less," explains New Castle operations services manager Robert Roff. The mandate by Delaware's Depart- ment of Natural Resources and Environ- mental Control, led the county to fund a $1.7 million per year increase for col- lection system maintenance resources to expand and enhance CCTV, root control and truck cleaning operations. Recogniz- ing that the additional funding would likely not be supplemented in subse- quent years, the County has sought ways to stretch this funding to get long-term results and sustainable benefits. The Problem – Addressing Limitations of Time-Based Preventative Maintenance Prior to integrating acoustic in- spection, New Castle County relied on a time-based preventative mainte- Now Hear This Implementing Acoustic Inspection for Prioritizing Sewer Cleaning in New Castle, Delaware By Alex Churchill

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