May 2021 Vol. 76 No.5

Rehab Technology

Rehab Technology: NASSCO Remains Active Despite COVID Challenges

By: Jeff Griffin, Senior Editor

The Covid 19 pandemic has affected everyone, every company and organization, including NASSCO (National Association of Sewer Service Companies). 

“Early-on, we made the decision to remain strong and steady in 2020,” said NASSCO Executive Director Sheila Joy. “That meant our board of directors and president, Jacob Trapani, would serve another year, and the majority of our committee chairs and co-chairs agreed to guide NASSCO committees through 2020.” 

That proved to be an excellent decision. 

“If anything,” Trapani said, “the ability to minimize travel time and work remotely seems to have made us even more productive. There were very few, if any, disruptions in 2020 to the flow of work to achieve the objectives of the board and staff.” 

NASSCO’s membership has grown to a record level, with 650 member organizations representing thousands of individuals. Trapani attributes this “to NASSCO’s goal to become the number one source for education, technical resources and industry advocacy.” 

In spite of the pandemic and the constraints it brought, the rehabilitation market has also been surprisingly steady during 2020. 

“The stay-at-home market has resulted in facilitating more work than usual, as we’ve seen this market continue to grow,” Trapani observed. “Other than going through the pandemic and dealing with employee health and safety, and the different municipality restrictions, 2020 was a strong year.” 


Trapani, who is vice president of BLD Services, summarized the year’s accomplishments. 

Education: NASSCO’s virtual classrooms have made it possible to extend the reach of PACP and ITCP to anyone who has access to a computer. The Infrastructure Assessment Committee also has developed supplemental tools that help the industry better understand PACP and its role in asset management. To further educate about trenchless technology, various committees have been busy producing informational videos to build awareness of grouting and CIPP, with more planned in the future. 

Technical Resources: NASSCO committees were extremely busy last year developing performance-based specification guidelines on various technologies, including grouting, spiral wound pipe, pressure pipe rehab using CIPP and smoke testing, and updating the CIPP Specification Guidelines. 

NASSCO-produced webinars were completed for introduction in 2021. The first, Remaining Useful Life of Gravity Pipes, prepared and presented by NASSCO’s Technical Advisory Council, was met with great success. The second, Lateral Ownership, attracted nearly 400 industry professionals. Another important initiative was the Pipe Rehab Committee’s CIPP Safety Workgroup’s development of a new styrene safety page, which is available online at safety. 

Advocacy: Continuing to be the industry’s voice in Washington, DC, NASSCO conducted its first Virtual Fly-In to share with elected leaders about the need to fund underground infrastructure. Held in early December, we had 26 virtual meetings with U.S. senators, representatives, and congressional staff from 12 different staff offices.  

“Coming into the second quarter of 2021,” said Trapani. “Our market is still strong and growing. There are probably municipalities that used Covid as a reason to not get projects out, or delay them, but there are quite a few that sped things up. 

“There also are some sewer system owners who are concerned about decreased revenues going forward due to the pandemic, but there is no indication thus far that there will be a significant decline in the spend that will take place to address the aging underground infrastructure.” 

Important issues 

Because safety is NASSCO’s top priority, one of its major initiatives for 2021 is the continued investigation about CIPP emission safety. 

“We have recently selected the Trenchless Technology Center (TTC) at Louisiana Tech University to conduct Phase 3 of the study, which will be a follow-up to TTC’s Phase 2 recommendations regarding refrigeration/storage trucks and emission stacks,” said Trapani. 

To ensure a safe work environment, he continued, for anyone entering liner transport trucks or a storage unit, active air monitoring should be utilized at the initial opening of the truck or storage unit door. 

Also, suitable PPE should be worn by those opening and immediately entering the truck or storage unit. Emission stacks should be a minimum of six feet in height to enhance the dispersion of emissions and lessen the likelihood of workers entering the perimeter from having to cross into the plume, even when wearing PPE. 

For emission stacks, a perimeter of 15-feet should be implemented around exhaust manholes and emission stacks during curing. This perimeter could be entered for short amounts of time, not exceeding five minutes. If this area must be entered for longer than five minutes, suitable PPE should be used. 

Phase 3 of the study has two objectives. The first is to measure breakthrough times of various coating/resin combinations to create a mathematical model showing emission concentration versus time for different coatings and thicknesses. Objective two will validate that model via the building of VOCs inside a liner transport truck. 

“To keep step with advancements in machine learning, NASSCO is also working with software vendors, WRc and others aligned to our industry, to develop accuracy rating systems for Automated Defect Recognition (ADR) products that use PACP,” Trapani said. 

Another 2021 priority is the late-spring launch of a new learning management system that simplifies the process of class registration for both students and trainers. 

“These are exciting times for an exciting industry,” said Joy. “we all look forward to the time we can meet freely in person.”  


NASSCO, (301) 624-2400, 

From Archive


{{ error }}
{{ comment.comment.Name }} • {{ comment.timeAgo }}
{{ comment.comment.Text }}