Griffin Dewatering

Infrastructure Bypass: Rehabilitating the Nation’s Decaying Sewer Systems

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Courtesy of Courtesy of Griffin Dewatering

Billions of dollars in federal aid money has been allocated to rehabilitating our decaying sewer systems, and while these are projects that will be done, there will be associated problems with trying to keep roads and businesses open during this work.

Typically, in rehabilitating existing sewer lines, the flow of sewage cannot simply be diverted—it must be “bypassed,” which means temporarily being pumped around the pipe being repaired or replaced. To do this, pumps capable of pumping trash (sewage) laden effluent are used to bypass this flow. The pumps are installed upstream of the faulty pipe and a temporary pipeline is installed from the pumps downstream of the pipe to be repaired, and back into the existing sewer line. Temporary plugs are set in place between these points to allow the pipe to be removed or repaired.

Depending on the number of homes or businesses serviced by the sewer line, the bypass may be a few gallons or several thousands of gallons per minute (GPM) of sewage.

While this is a very simplified description of a bypass, there are many factors associated with this work, which require the use of specialty “bypass”companies that have the right experience. These bypass companies understand the proper installation use of pumps, pipe, and fittings, and have experienced field personnel to insure the proper installation.

Among some of the items needed to correctly do this work, the bypass contractors need to know peak flow, sewer line pipe size, sewer line pipe depths, duration of the work, access issues, and any other issues associated with a particular project. With this information, the bypass contractor can select the proper pump and equipment to do the work.

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