UV Technology Saves Historic Home

Underground pipe repair technology that uses ultraviolet (UV) light helped preserve an 18th Century home nestled among hills near Pittsburgh, PA.

The Reline America Inc. technology installed by Abel Recon also restored natural water flow to the creek that runs past the historic building. The Vipel UV-cure resin system used for the job was supplied by AOC.

The problem was occurring in 647 feet of old 10-inch diameter clay sewer line that runs near the home and creek. Water that should naturally flow through the creek was entering the pipe through cracks and failing joints. The infiltration and inflow (I/I) problem left the creek bed dry. The extra water reduced the pipe’s capacity to carry wastewater and added to the workload of the treatment plant.

“By far the largest obstacle was the physical location and historic nature of the property,” said Tom West, construction technical advisor for Reline America. “Once the sewer was repaired, the creek became one-third full within 24 hours.”

The solution was designed by Gateway Engineering Inc. for the Municipality of Penn Hills. Engineers specified a cured-in-place-pipe (CIPP) inside the existing pipe to eliminate trenches that would add costs, create delays and threaten the structural integrity of the historic home.

Shining a new light on CIPP
Abel Recon installed the new CIPP using Reline America’s “Blue-Tek” technology. Pat Godwin, business development manager for Abel Recon, explained how this technology can provide advantages over conventional CIPP.

“The I/I at the Penn Hills site was so severe that the pipe still had seven to 10 percent flow even after the by-pass was installed,” said Godwin. “Blue-Tek technology starts with a slip sheet that protects the resin-impregnated liner as the liner is winched into place.”

The liner was custom-made for the job in Reline America’s certified facility. Because UV-cure resin is not affected by temperature, the liner was shipped without costly refrigeration.

At the job site, the liner was pulled instead of inverted as is the case with most conventional CIPP. The Blue-Tek liner was then inflated, and a UV light “train” was introduced into the liner to initiate resin cure. The Penn Hills project cured at three to five feet per minute with no styrene release.

Superior liner and resin technology

Godwin pointed out, “The material for the Blue-Tek liner is made of spirally-wound fiberglass. The finished product is a reinforced composite that is half as thick as and at least four times stronger than a conventional felt-based liner.”

For resins used in Blue-Tek projects, Reline America’s Tom West emphasized the importance of professional technical support. “Bill Moore of AOC’s technical staff and AOC Sales Representative helped us formulate a resin specifically to the needs of the job. We work with AOC as a team to get consistent characteristics.”

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