May 2021 Vol. 76 No.5

Rehab Technology

Rehab Technology: I&I elimiNation Returns at UCT 2021 in Nashville

In 2019, rehabilitation industry representatives created a unique, pre-show specialty conference at the Underground Construction Technology International Conference & Exhibition (UCT) that was focused on the bane of sewer systems: infiltration and inflow. The overwhelming success of that event has led to another event to be held in conjunction with UCT on July 12 at the Music City Center in Nashville, Tenn. 

A persistent and potentially highly damaging industry problem, I&I in sewer systems is often misunderstood and frequently underestimated. This will be an intense and highly informative program featuring some of the industry’s best experts sharing their knowledge regarding I&I. 

The pre-UCT conference, aptly named I&I elimiNATION, will explore root causes of infiltration and inflow into sewer systems, revealing both the short- and long-term destructive impacts upon sewer pipelines, and examine possible solutions. 

This educational forum is geared for municipal stakeholders, consulting engineers, regulators, technology and service providers and contractors converging on the challenges of removing I&I for the preservation and performance of wastewater collection systems. 

Once is not enough 

The I&I elimiNation chairman is Don Rigby of Logiball who was also instrumental in helping to organize the initial conference. “The importance of that first I&I program led organizers to believe it was definitely needed again. 

“We anticipate by bringing together municipalities learning simultaneously with their specifying engineers and contractors, that they will learn better together,” Rigby emphasized 

One of the primary presenters at the elimiNation Conference will be Robert G. O’Dette of the division of water resources for the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, who explained that “I&I is important because it costs utilities millions of dollars per year to treat large volumes of diluted wastewater. 

“I&I causes collection system overflows and bypasses which constitute illegal and harmful discharges that usually results in property damage,” he stressed. “Furthermore, I&I reduces the efficacy of the wastewater treatment plant in terms of bio-microbial kinetics causing problems meeting their NPDES permit limitations. The dilution effect alone, makes achieving percent removals for TSS and BOD a challenge.” 

James Shelton of Arcadis is another well-known industry expert participating in the conference. He pointed out that “I&I is important for two reasons. First, it causes our sewers to overflow, often into people’s basements and almost always along the very rivers and streams the sewers were first installed to protect. Toilet paper hanging from tree branches along a stream bank indicates we are not protecting ours streams and human health. 

“Second, I&I is the proximate cause of most of the structural deterioration in our sewers, as the movement of water triggers the movement of pipe bedding, which triggers the eventual structural failure of the mains, laterals, taps and manholes.” 

Lee R. Haessig, Cretex Specialty Products, has been on the  
front lines fighting I&I for many years. “I&I is one of the most significant problems facing owners and operators of sanitary sewer systems. 

“I&I is excess water from rain and groundwater that reduces system capacity and often limits growth or expansion of the system. This excess flow which is part of dry weather and wet weather flow increases operating, treatment and maintenance costs. There are also environmental issues caused by CSO’s and SSO’s as well as potential property damage caused by flooding and basement backups.” 

Registration for I&I is only $25 and a networking mixer immediately follows. See the agenda and register at

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