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Force Main Rehabilitation

Dennis G. Shin, PE

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA) Sustainable Water Infrastructure Initiative is committed to conducting research to improve and evaluate innovative technologies that can reduce costs and increase the effectiveness of the operation, maintenance, and renewal of aging wastewater conveyance systems. This research is intended to assist in the implementation of Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act requirements; to help states meet their programmatic requirements; and to assist utilities to more effectively implement comprehensive management of wastewater treatment and conveyance systems. It is aimed at encouraging the introduction of new and improved technologies into the US marketplace for wastewater rehabilitation, which will aid utilities in providing reliable service to their customers and meeting their statutory requirements.

Force mains that carry sewage flows under pressure represent a special set of challenges for sewer rehabilitation. Force mains are constructed of materials which are susceptible to both internal corrosion from the sewage flow (liquid and gaseous states), as well as external corrosion due to the environment in which the pipe is buried. Historically, the most common renewal technology employed has been to replace the main using open cut construction. Part of the reason for that choice has been a lack of rehabilitation technologies appropriate for sewer force mains. There is a wealth of technologies available for gravity sewers, but the field has been limited for pressurized systems. Fortunately, that situation is changing as more vendors recognize the growing opportunity in sewer force main rehabilitation. The other reason for replacement is that sewer force mains tend to have a fairly high consequence of failure. A rupture of a sewer force main could release millions of gallons of raw sewage into the environment posing significant health risks to the general public and significant impacts to the environment. As some of the newer rehabilitation technologies develop a positive track record of use in sewer force mains and confidence in their design approach and installation process strengthens, more utilities are willing to consider these technologies as potential renewal solutions.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of course materials.

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NY PE & PLS: You must choose courses that are technical in nature or related to matters of laws and ethics contributing to the health and welfare of the public. NY Board does not accept courses related to office management, risk management, leadership, marketing, accounting, financial planning, real estate, and basic CAD. Specific course topics that are on the borderline and are not acceptable by the NY Board have been noted under the course description on our website.