Easier sewer repair no pipe dreamWhile construction season will not exactly be quiet in Red Wing, at least one process will be quicker and less disruptive this year.
By: Danielle Killey, The Republican Eagle
While construction season will not exactly be quiet in Red Wing, at least one process will be quicker and less disruptive this year.
An unusual process for repairing sewer pipes — called Cured in Place Pipe — has already started throughout the city.
The CIPP procedure essentially creates a new layer within the existing system, eliminating the need for digging up the roads to fix or replace pipes.
"They're actually installing a pipe within a pipe," said Bob Stark, deputy utilities director.
The process involves propelling the new lining into the sewer pipes with water pressure. The lining material then hardens in about an hour after hot water or steam runs through the pipe.
The lining has a 50-year guarantee, Stark said.
The process is quicker and less invasive than previous methods — mainly, digging up the roads — and also saves the city some money.
"We used to have to dig up the street," Public Works Director Rick Moskwa told the City Council last month, when one such project was approved. "The cost of doing that is almost always more than the cost of the CIPP process."
It can take less than a day for crews to finish a section of pipe.
After the lining has hardened, crews come back to cut out the home service lines. They use a camera and a video game-like joystick control to cut through the pipe at each home, watching on monitors.
This year, about 7,000 feet of sewer pipe will be lined. One CIPP project on Spruce Drive and East Fourth and Hill streets wrapped up Friday, and another including Pioneer Road will take place later this year.
The city contracted with a Pewaukee, Wis. company to do the procedure.
Public Works has found about 13,000 feet of sewers that need repairs or maintenance in the near future. On top of partial collapses or damage to pipes, roots are the main cause of problems in Red Wing's sewers, Stark said. As they grow they break through the pipes and can cause clogs and backups into homeowners' basements.
The city uses many different techniques to repair problems throughout Red Wing's more than 100 miles of sewer pipes, and the CIPP adds another option.
"It's not a new technology," Stark said, "but it's a new one in Red Wing."