Grout Boot Camps Provides Essential Training

Chemical grouting is a joint sealing and stabilization process used to stop ground water flow through soils surrounding structurally sound sewer pipes or structures.

For 40 years it has been one of the most effective methods of eliminating ground water infiltration into sanitary sewer systems.

Chemical grout has the same viscosity of water prior to gelling and is easily injected through pipe joints, cracks, manhole rings and base joints, brick manhole structures and the exposed annulus flow area between liner and host pipe entries to manholes and lateral cut outs. The grouting process can cause less disruption of surface activities than many other methods of pipe rehabilitation and repair.

Achieving maximum effectiveness of grouting depends on operator and contractor integrity and trained, experienced grout team members.

To train grouting personnel, a group of suppliers who are members of the Infiltration Control Grouting Association (ICGA), a division of NASSCO (National Association of Sewer Service Companies), have developed a Grout Boot Camp training program, said Dick Schantz, P.E., product manager, Aries Industries.

Grout Boot Camp training is provided by Aries Industries (television and grouting equipment supplier), Avanti (chemical grout supplier) and Logiball (joint and lateral test and seal packers). Schools are staffed by representatives of these three firms, plus Norm Sirna, a highly experienced grouting contractor, and DeNeef, a grouting chemical supplier. Coordinating the program are Schantz and Logiball President Marc Anctil.

Schantz said Boot Camps are scheduled twice a year. The first for 2009 was completed in January at the Aries Industries Service Center in Pompano Beach, FL; the second is scheduled November 10 – 12 at Avanti offices in Houston.

Valuable training
“We have completed six Grout Boot Camps and trained more than 150 operators, inspectors and sewer service business owners,” said Schantz. “We try for a mix of experienced and new grout system operators and inspectors. We have learned that experienced operators make a tremendous contribution to the class by adding practical experience and providing a rich source of information about what can be done with chemical grout.”

Each Grout Boot Camps operates on a 2½ day schedule that includes classroom sessions, hands on equipment servicing and repair, and operation of a grouting truck system.

“Training,” said Schantz, “includes everything from the Clean Water Act to grout packer construction and chemical grout safety. Technical subjects include VOA (volt/ohm/amp) meters, continuity testing, transducer and head pressure relationship between psi and feet of water, temperature effect on grout gel time, chemical soil mixture effect and more.”

Based on suggestions of those completing the training, the amount of hands on work has been increased, said Schantz. It includes chemical additives and grout mixing, pump maintenance, void pressure transducer trouble shooting, main and lateral test and seal packer repair and maintenance, check valve setting and testing, television cable testing and system demonstration testing to assure compliance with ASTM chemical grouting standards.

Students receive information and hands on training and experience solving problems and maintaining their equipment for increased productivity, said Schantz. They take away an improved working knowledge of the chemical grouting process and equipment plus methods and techniques that help them get the job done. They take home names and phone numbers of both the instructors and their class mates for future reference and assistance, plus a class manual and test kit for use on the job.

“We continue to get constructive and complimentary reviews from the students,” Schantz said. “In addition to more hands on experience, they ask for more full system operation and actual sewer grouting experience. This last item is hard to do in a class environment as there is not enough space and time for all students to do a full line grout job. Throughout the Group Boot Camp program, we have been pleased with the participation and compliments from company owners and experienced grouters.”

ICGA members are suppliers, contractors, engineers and public works representatives whose common goals are to promote and support the proper use of chemical grouting as a safe, economical and effective means to reduce ground water infiltration into sewer collection systems, and to educate sewer engineers and owners about the versatile grouting process.

NASSCO is a national organization composed of several hundred members representing rehabilitation industry manufacturers and suppliers, municipalities and utility districts, engineers and contracting firms. The association’s headquarters is in Owings Mills, MD.


Grout boot camps:, or; or visit the ICGA web site

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