Pipeline Analysis, LLC is specially suited for the evaluation of wastewater collection systems as this is our only field of endeavor. All of our efforts are in maximizing testing results and preparing sound analysis recommendations. Pipeline Analysis, LLC (PA) has established a core group of processes, equipment and field testing software designed to diagnose, maintain and support the valuable assets that are our clients’ wastewater systems. Our refinement of field testing equipment and data processing procedures increases field productivity thus reducing project costs.
A goal of the collection system manager is to develop long-term solutions to infiltration/inflow (I/I) and sanitary sewer overflows (SSO’s). The first step in achieving this goal is to establish the magnitude and location of the problem. Temporary flow monitoring will isolate and quantify the dry weather groundwater infiltration that enters the collection system through poor pipe joints, poor service connections and cracked/broken pipe. In addition, flow meters will isolate the areas of the collection system that contribute to excessive rainfall dependent infiltration/inflow (RDII) that enters through poor fitting manhole castings, vented manhole covers in ponding areas, holes in pipes, open or defective cleanouts, yard drains, storm sewer cross connections, etc. Our experience on performing hundreds of such evaluations show that approximately 80% of the RDII will be isolated on approximately 50% of the collection system. Knowing which 50% to target by priority will minimize overall collection system rehabilitation cost and will provide a structured phased plan. Keep in mind that chronic SSO’s during wet weather indicate inadequate capacity at that location, but the rain water that entered the system to cause the SSO may originate miles upstream. Temporary flow monitoring will isolate the areas of highest priority and a systematic phased plan can be developed to then locate and prioritize repairs.
With a design life of 75 to 100 years, many collection systems have reached its design life. Infiltration/inflow is a symptom of an aging collection system. As engineers working on these project we must identify specifically where the deterioration is occurring and develop a plan to locate and repair these City assets. Municipalities can not afford to wait for system failure and replace the collection system. The least cost strategy will be to locate system defects early while trenchless repair methods can be used.
Timing of field work is critical in evaluating collection systems. Flow monitoring is the first phase and it is critical that the meters be installed at the optimum time to reduce project costs. In addition, it is just as important to perform smoke testing during the dry seasons to maximize the testing results. Smoke testing results are dependent on dry soil conditions to maximize the effectiveness of the testing. Pipeline Analysis owns all the flow meters, rain gauges, testing equipment and diagnostic equipment for evaluating collection systems.
Pipeline Analysis has extensive recent experience working with state regulatory agencies to develop reasonable programs that meet the needs of all parties involved. Analyzing the data gathered in the field, the necessary “engineering evidence” is prepared that supports the overall plan and presents the regulators with the information to justify the plan or any requested revisions to the original plan. Pipeline Analysis only performs sanitary sewer evaluations and over 90% of our projects involve regulatory compliance issues. Assisting the utiltiy in achieving regulatory compliance may include recommendations for addressing repairs on private service lines, distinguishing chronic SSO’s from periodic stoppages, impact of grease, current fats, oil and grease (FOG) ordinance update, documentation of customer stoppages, etc.
Educating the customer on the vast investment sitting “out of sight, out of mind” and the need to repair these assets can be facilitated throughout the various phases of the project. Effectively presenting the findings in easy to understand graphics and language will help the customers acknowledge the need for repairs and the costs associated with it. Benchmarking with other similar cities can show the city leaders and public that the problems being faced are not unique to their system. Using the team’s technical expertise in trenchless rehabilitation, the impact to residents during construction can be minimized and least cost solutions recommended.
To minimize project costs for our clients, Pipeline Analysis has invested in all the necessary inventory of flow meters, rain gauges, gas detectors, smoke blowers, CCTV inspection truck, GPS, ArcGIS, digital databases, pen based data entry system, etc. There is no need to rent equipment and pass that expense on to our clients. In addition, since collection system evaluation is our only field of endeavor, all our resources are targeted for similar projects. Our staff has extensive experience in the most cost-effective methods of data gathering and analysis, prioritizing future work, recommending least cost repair alternatives, and minimizing the impact to customers.