IWA Publishing

Environmental impact of cured-in-place pipe renewal on an asbestos cement water main

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency's (USEPA) estimation, asbestos cement (AC) pipe accounts for approximately 15% of the total length of pipe networks for water distribution systems in North America; and just as other pipe materials, the AC mains are deteriorating and are in need of attention/renewal. However, there are concerns surrounding the environmental impact of AC pipe renewal that are leading to confusion among the utility managers. The prevailing apprehensions led to the commission of a project to examine the concerns associated with the current pipe renewal practices. While the first phase of the project examined available pipe renewal practices and the data required to determine the practice's safety, the second phase of the project focused on demonstrating and evaluating two renewal practices (namely, pipe bursting and cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) renewal methods). The findings from the CIPP demonstration conducted on a 400-mm (16-in) AC water main are presented herein, which point out the CIPP's applicability to transmission sized AC water mains (i.e. 300-mm or 12-in and larger) and its negligible environmental impact based upon air, soil, and water samples collected on site.

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