Destructive trenching and lengthy road closures used to be par for the course when it came to replacing or repairing aging sewer pipes. With over 500 miles of underground sewer pipes, Stafford County routinely investigates new, more efficient techniques for maintaining and upgrading sewer infrastructure. This year, Stafford will use a Cured-in-Place-Pipe (CIPP) trenchless pipe rehabilitation technique called inversion lining to improve infrastructure.
Trenchless pipe rehabilitation has a couple of significant advantages for taxpayers. On average, inversion lining costs 30 percent less than the open-cut alternative. It is an environmentally-friendly repair that expands the life of existing pipes by making them more resistant to chemicals and corrosion. As well, installation time is a fraction of the time required to completely dig up and replace existing pipelines, causing less disruption to residents. It is also safe for customers after installation is complete.
This no-dig, cured-in-place pipe relining system works by essentially creating a pipe within a pipe. The liner is saturated with epoxy resin and is turned inside-out, or inverted, and then installed through maintenance holes. Through pressurized air, the liner is pushed through the pipe, and then steam is moved through the pipe liner, causing the resin to harden and create a structural, tight-fitting liner inside of the host pipe.
Stafford County crews will be lining pipes throughout the county over the next twelve months. Here is what you can expect if you see crews lining pipes in your neighborhood:
- You may hear a loud popping sound as the lining expands through the sewer pipes.
- You may notice an odor that smells similar to glue from the resin used to coat the new interior pipe wall surface.
- You may see steam rising from within the manholes.
- The process typically takes an average of five to six hours per pipe section to complete.
- While crews are working in your area, residents are asked to reduce water usage as much as possible while the pipe liner cures.
- You will see crews and vehicles along the roadways. Please exercise caution while driving around them.
Thank you for your patience and understanding as our crews work quickly and endeavor to keep any inconveniences to a minimum. If you have any questions, please contact the Department of Public Works at (540) 658 – 8695.