In cities across the world, sewer problems are straining public utility systems more than ever. From clogged pipes that cause massive floods to millions of gallons of raw sewage spilling into the oceans due to burst pipes, the sewer issues in cities can have dire consequences. That is why city officials are now turning to an alternative solution: trenchless sewer line replacement!
Trenchless technology isn’t a new concept, but it’s slowly growing in popularity as cities look to replace their old sewers and tunnels. The process of replacing these systems with trenchless technology is much more efficient, environmentally friendly, and cost-effective. In this blog post, we’ll explore the benefits of trenchless technology and how it’s being used in cities around the world.
What Is Trenchless Sewer Line Replacement?
Trenchless technology is quickly becoming the go-to choice for sewer line replacement in cities across the country. What is trenchless sewer line replacement? Simply put, it is a new way of replacing sewer lines without digging up the ground. Instead, trenchless technology uses a camera and special machinery to create a tunnel under the street. Trenchless sewer line replacement saves both time and money, as it can complete the job in just a few hours instead of weeks or months like traditional trenching. Why are cities switching to trenchless sewer line replacement? Trenchless technology is more environmentally friendly and efficient than traditional trenching. It also eliminates the danger of accidents, as there is no need for workers to enter hazardous geographical areas. Finally, trenchless technology is much cheaper than traditional trenching, which means that cities can save millions of dollars each year on their sewerline replacement projects.
What are the environmental concerns?
The municipal sewer and tunnel systems in cities across the United States are aging and in need of replacement. The processes of sanitary sewer (SS) installation, operation, and maintenance are complicated, expensive, and environmentally hazardous. The EPA estimates that the cost of replacing traditional sewers with modern infrastructure will outweigh the benefits by 2040.
A big environmental concern with sewer modernization is the potential release of contaminants into waterways. Traditional sewers are filled with human waste and other materials that can break down into large quantities of pollutants, including bacteria, viruses, chemicals, heavy metals, and oils. When these pollutants reach waterways, they can cause public health problems, damage marine life, and contribute to climate change.
Trenchless technology is a popular solution to reduce the environmental impact of sewer modernization projects. Trenchless technology is based on the principle that tunnels can be constructed without digging trenches or removing underground soil. Instead, pipes are laid down using high-pressure water jets and rapidly excavated using compressed air or ground-breaking machines. This method minimizes the release of contaminants into groundwater and waterways.
How Will Trenchless Sewers be Installed?
It seems like cities everywhere are slowly transitioning away from sewer and tunnel systems. In fact, some cities have already completely replaced their sewers and tunnels with trenchless methods! So what are trenchless sewers and why are they becoming so popular? Here’s a look:
Trenchless sewer installation is typically done by using a camera-based system to inspect the entire sewer system. Once the system is identified as needing repair or replacement, a trenchless drill bit is inserted into the pipe to make the necessary repairs or modifications. As opposed to traditional sewers and tunnels, which require large amounts of excavation, trenchless systems work with existing infrastructure. This means that less land is needed for new construction, which can save both time and money.
Another benefit of using trenchless sewer installation is that it allows for a more precise delivery of waste. Traditional sewers and tunnels can often disperse waste in an uncontrolled manner, which can lead to environmental issues such as overflowing rivers or streams. By using trenchless technology, waste will be delivered directly to treatment plants without any municipalities having to deal with potential environmental disasters.
The Cost of Trenchless Sewer Line Replacement
There’s a reason why trenchless technology is slowly making its way into sewer line replacement — it’s much cheaper. In fact, some cities are finding that trenchless technology can actually be cheaper than traditional methods like digging trenches. Here’s how it works:
1. Map out the area where the sewer line needs to be replaced. This will help determine where to install the new lines.
2. Use a camera to view the area below ground and identify any potential obstructions that might need to be cleared before installation of the new lines can commence.
3. Use a robot to clear these obstructions and make sure there are no rocks or other objects in the way of the new lines. Once this is done, the trenchless installation process can begin.
4. They drill a small hole in the ground, insert a specialized pipe called a tunnel boring machine, and start drilling down towards the sewer line. The machine creates a tunnel underground which is then filled with water and compacted using pressure waves. This process makes it very difficult for stones or other objects to get stuck in the machine, so there is minimal damage to the surrounding area during construction.
Three Common Causes of Sewage Leaks
1. Broken or missing pipe fittings
2. Corrosion caused by water or chemicals
3. Congested or collapsed pipes
Trenchless technology is a great option for repairing sewer and tunnel issues because it does not require the use of large machines, which can cause damage to the surfaces beneath. It also avoids the potential for ground subsidence, which can lead to even more serious problems down the line.