In-Situ, Inc.

Infiltration Study Poses Challenges But Could Save Millions on Treatment Plant

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Courtesy of In-Situ, Inc.

Lower 48 Instruments works in partnership with consulting engineers to provide equipment and manpower for flow studies. IBI Group, out of Columbus, OH, USA, contracted with the company to provide placement expertise, equipment and data collection for a period of 60 days. Lower 48 installed 16 meters across the combined sewer district collection system to measure flow as well as rainfall-event intensity and duration.

Challenge

In instances of clean water infiltration into sewer pipes, the source of the additional water can be tough to discern, especially in older systems that are large and susceptible to both stormwater and groundwater intrusion. This is the case in northeast Ohio, where a mix of residential and old commercial users bring in more than 5 million gallons a day for treatment across a 17-square-mile area, with more than 112 miles of collection line.

Placing the sensor in a pipe

Lower 48 was hired to measure the source of infiltration and correlate the magnitude of increase with local rainfall. Affected municipalities will use the information to plan rehabilitation and repair projects and maintain EPA compliance. The application was familiar to Lower 48 Member Chris Davis, who has performed this kind of work many times before, but the complexity of this project and speed of installation (all meters had to be placed in two days) presented challenges.

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