Success Stories: Why “Out of Sight, Out of Mind” Doesn’t Apply to Underground Infrastructure

Featured: Spray in Place employee on job site with huge underground pipe- Success Stories: Why "Out of Sight Out of Mind" Doesn't Apply to Underground Infrastructure

The American Society of Civil Engineers reports that a water main breaks somewhere in the USA every two minutes, losing six billion gallons of water every day. While all those breaks may be underground and out of sight, the impact is all too real.  This article examines the causes of underground infrastructure damage, the types of industrial pipe lining solutions, pipe liner company success stories, and the process that’s used to ensure a long-lasting pipe lining solution.

Causes of Underground Infrastructure Damage

There are several causes of underground infrastructure damage. 

  • Mechanical Wear. This type of wear is caused by fluid flowing through the pipe. Over time, the fluid and any material within the fluid grinds down the inside of the pipe, leading to weakness and eventual cracks and breaks.
  • Positional Changes. Once the pipe is installed, any changes due to soil settling, shifting, and water leaks causing erosion can result in uneven forces that move and break the pipe.
  • Flow Obstructions. This can be clogs that develop, tree roots, hardened deposits, and new construction that encounters the pipe. The decreased flow rate and increased pressure on the pipe can lead to breaks.
  • Corrosion. Pipes, fittings, gaskets, and sealing materials are all subject to corrosion. As they break down over time, it leads to infrastructure failure.
Callout 1: Spray in Place work vehicle- Four causes of underground infrastructure damage

Types of Pipe Lining Solutions 

Four main types of trenchless technology are used to restore aging and deteriorating pipes. The first is pipe bursting and replacement, which involves breaking and expanding the existing pipe and replacing it while leaving the broken pieces underground. 

While this approach is better than digging up and replacing the pipes, a much less costly option is to use pipe lining. Here are the three pipe lining options, including a few pros and cons. 

  1. Cured-in-Place Pipe Lining. With CIPP, a tube is inserted through an existing pipe. That tubing is then bonded to the inside pipe surface. The bonding process is quite challenging, and as the chemicals cure, they release noxious fumes. A study by Purdue University identified more than 100 incidents where residents reported nausea, coughing, and headaches, with some needing hospitalization. 
  2. Slip Lining Insertion. This approach inserts a smaller pipe into the existing pipe, providing an easy replacement. However, since the slip-lining pipe is smaller, it reduces the water flow capacity of the repaired pipe. 
  3. Spray-In-Place Pipe Lining. With SIP, a coating is sprayed inside the pipe using high-tech machinery. It bonds in a few hours, sealing the existing pipe from leaks. This approach maintains the water flow capacity of the original pipe and dramatically reduces the risk of leaks caused by mechanical wear, flow obstructions, and corrosion. 
Callout 2: Inside view of spray in place lined pipe- four types of pipe lining solutions

Reasons to Choose Spray-In-Place Solutions for Your Pipe Lining Project

Spray-In-Place Solutions (SIPS) pipe lining offers several advantages over digging and replacing water and sewer lines. This approach works exceptionally well for all types of industrial pipe lining projects. 

  • Minimal Digging. There’s no need to dig up the entire pipe. Often, only a 6×6 foot access pit is needed every 650 feet. In some cases, access through existing manholes is the only requirement. It requires only 5% of the trenching and excavating time needed for pipe replacement.
  • Limited Disruption. Spray-In-Place Solutions pipe coating takes roughly 15% of the time required to dig up and replace pipes. It repairs water and sewage pipe leaks quickly. 
  • Safe and Durable. Pipe repair spray systems provide a protective barrier between the pipe and sewer wastewater or potable water. This prevents any leaks from the pipes and environmental hazards. The life expectancy is roughly 75 years.
  • Eases Maintenance. Pipes can flow more freely, limiting pipeline buildup due to their smooth surface. They also help prevent internal pipeline corrosion.
  • Cost-Effective. Repiping is 50% to 75% more expensive than Spray-In-Place Solutions lining for pipe restoration. The cost of digging, removing, and replacing while shutting down the digging locations is substantially reduced.

All these reasons add up to making Spray-In-Place Solutions your go-to pipe liner company for all your industrial pipe repair needs. But don’t take our word for it. Check out some of our success stories.

Callout 3: Five reasons to choose Spray in Place Solutions for pipe projects.

Spray-In-Place Solutions Pipe Lining Success Stories 

We’ve captured three Spray-In-Place Solutions success stories highlighting the key reasons to consider high-build epoxy coatings for your pipe lining projects. 

Water Main Pipe Lining Using SIP and CIPP — Chicago, Illinois Area

Spray-In-Place Solutions recently rehabilitated a 100-year-old 8-inch ductile iron water main in the Chicago area. This line had an extensive history of significant water leaks and pipe breaks. Due to these accumulating problems, it had been out of service for nearly ten months. 

We located the breaks using our Robotic Spray Application System’s CCTV camera process. We then developed an approach to cleaning and repairing them. That approach used separate Cured-In-Place bladder patches at the breakpoints, inserting them into the pipe from 6×6 access points spaced approximately every 600 feet along the line. 

We applied 3mm of NSF 61 approved, zero VOC, single coat 100% solids epoxy along the entire length with our Spray Application System. This ensured one monolithic coating, bonding, and adhering to the host pipe and bladder patches. This sealing made sure that no water could get behind the patches. Once completed, the like-new pipe has an engineered life of over 75 years.

This is a superb example of successfully combining CIPP and SIP to meet the demands of this industrial pipe lining project.

Municipal Pipe Restoration Using SIP — Milton, Massachusetts

We recently rehabilitated a more than 100-year-old 10-inch ductile iron water main in Milton, Massachusetts. This line had severe tuberculation and a history of significant leaks and breaks. Since the 1880s, they have installed over 730,000 feet of water main pipes. Over that time, system breaks plagued the underground system, growing more frequent. 

Heavy erosion covered both the exterior and interior of these water mains. As a result, the municipality needed a quick and effective solution that offered minimal disruption. The Spray-In-Place pipe lining method fits their requirements perfectly. 

An analysis using a remote-controlled camera system to travel through the mains allowed a close look at the damaged pipelines. Based on that review, a plan was established for pipe restoration using water main lining. The epoxy system’s single-coat application and fast cure time minimized water service disruption and avoided disruptive traffic issues. Plus, it was very cost-effective compared to traditional digging up the old pipe and replacing it.

Callout 4: Spray in Place Success Stories in Chicago, Milton, MA, New York City Major airport

Industrial Pipe Rehabilitation Using SIP — New York City Major Airport

For this pipe rehabilitation project, we used several diameters of co-generation pipes, ranging from 10” to 36” and up to 500 feet in length. These pipes run under runways and terminals at a major New York airport. This line required an innovative approach as the pipes have very limited accessibility and restricted work hours, in addition to their significant corrosion issues. 

The pipes distribute superheated 250°F water. When tides rise, the exterior of the pipes gets wet, creating steam vapors. After CCTV inspection and planning, our Robotic Spray Application system applied 3mm of high temperature tolerant, zero VOC, single coat 100% solids epoxy along the entire length. This ensures one monolithic coating bonding and adhering to the host pipe. This also significantly increased system insulation values, allowing chiller output temperatures to be raised and boiler temperatures to be lowered, subsequently reducing energy consumption. That led to significant efficiencies and savings for this pipe rehabilitation project.

These are only three of the projects we’ve implemented in the USA. For more, see our Projects page highlighting success stories from California to New Mexico and Minnesota to Florida. Also, note our article on lead issues in municipal and residential water pipes. 

Read Another Success Story: Water Main Rehabilitation Revolution: Insights From Houston’s Trenchless Technology Success

Callout 5: Spray in Place employee checking pipe interior, before and after pipe lining application- Spray in Place Solutions Process- five steps

What Is the Spray-In-Place Solutions (SIPS) Process?

There are lots of pipe liner companies. The key to selecting the right one for you and your industrial project is to examine their process closely. It must follow detailed procedures to ensure the lining corrects the problem and lasts for the estimated 75-year lifespan. Here’s the process we use.

  1. Pipe System Assessment. We map the pipe to verify project details. A robotic closed-circuit television camera examines the entire length of the pipe and identifies all issues.
  2. Cleaning and Surface Preparation. A drag scraper, pulled in both directions, removes rust and debris. That also helps return the pipe to its original diameter. Water jetting, at the exact pressure required for the age and condition of the pipe, is then used to remove any remaining scaling, dirt, and film.
  3. Surface Preparation Verification. At this point, our robotic closed-circuit camera is used to verify that the pipe has been cleaned sufficiently for the epoxy application.
  4. Spin Casting Epoxy Application. A state-of-the-art robotic spin cast system applies the epoxy to the pipe. During the application, the epoxy mix ratio, temperature, and speed of the spray head are continuously monitored to ensure the correct thickness is obtained. 
  5. Curing and Final Inspection. The pipe is fully submersible after a brief two- to three-hour cure time. Then, we conduct a full inspection using the robotic closed-circuit television to verify full coverage. 

When choosing among pipe liner companies, ensuring they use the best epoxy coatings and follow all health standards is essential. Spray-In-Place Solutions uses an epoxy that is certified compliant with the newly updated health effects criteria of NSF/ANSI/CAN 600. This ensures that rigorous testing has determined that it is safe for drinking water. Plus, no wildlife will be harmed by our materials or processes. 

Ready to Get Started with Trenchless Pipe Lining to Fix Your Industrial Pipe Problems?

Are you ready to discuss how Spray-In-Place Solutions’ (SIPS) innovative process can help you enjoy the advantages of trenchless technology? Then, please fill out our Pipe Lining Questionnaire today to get a quote for your project.