“Line of Defence”
Pipe lining is quickly becoming a cheaper alternative for protecting drinking water from corrosive material and contamination—so what are the benefits? written for Water Canada magazine by Rachel Phan
Who are the major players?
While this trenchless pipe lining technology is relatively new to North America, a number of Canadian companies are offering similar technologies and services to municipalities dealing with rapidly aging infrastructure. These companies include:
• FER-PAL Infrastructure
• LiquiForce Services
When the town of Rothesay, New Brunswick began to receive complaints about dirty water, it was discovered that the source of the problem was a section of cast iron watermains constructed in the 1960s. Rather than digging up and replacing the pipes, the Town opted to explore other cheaper and less disruptive options. Pipe lining—a relatively new technology in North America—was chosen as the most convenient solution.
Liners are primarily used to solve the problem of municipal water pipe deterioration. When pipes are corroded over time, pipe liners are applied to the inside of unlined cast iron or cement mortar-lined pipes. While older structural spray lining, often called Cured-In-Place- Pipe, is slow setting and requires a minimum 16 hour cure period and an additional 36 hours of service shutdowns, the new generation polyurea pipe linings are rapid-setting and quick cure.
“Generally speaking, pipe liners have been specifically developed for the rehabilitation of potable water pipe infrastructure to help extend service life, reduce leaks, and improve water quality by preventing tuberculation—the build-up of corrosive material on the inside of iron piping—that can lead to colour, taste, and odour issues,” says Sylvain Masse, the business development manager of the 3M Infrastructure Protection Division.
“Essentially, liners reduce the contact water has with piping, which in turn reduces the likelihood of water discolouration and poor pressure,” he adds.
Aside from acting as a thin layer of protection, liners can also be applied as a structural addition to the pipe, which means the layer of liner can act as a pipe in the event that the actual pipe fails due to age or corrosion.
As a result, pipe liners can prevent contaminants from reaching water in cases where the earth surrounding a corroding pipe is contaminated.
The Town of Rothesay came across the new lining technology after receiving complaints about poor pressure and water becoming yellowish or rusty during high flow events. While these issues are not generally health hazards, the discoloured water is often unsettling for customers. In 2011, Rothesay started a trial run project where 1,000 metres of cast iron pipe were relined in about three to four weeks.
“Initially, it was very attractive to do the relining versus digging up pipes and replacing them because there was minimal disruption to the customer and it was cost saving for the municipality,” says Bruce King, Rothesay’s utilities coordinator. “The benefit of relining outweighed the process of replacing the pipe.”
In Rothesay, approximately 100 metres of pipes were relined in a day, and for the most part, the water was back in service by night on sections that were relined that day (albeit on a boil water advisory while the process was ongoing). This made the process relatively pain-free for residents.
The original trial run was so successful that the Town of Rothesay applied the liner to an additional 1,600 metres of iron pipe in 2012, which took approximately four to five weeks to complete. An engineer estimates that the 2012 project was about 36 per cent of the cost to replace the pipe.
“There was a dramatic drop in dirty water complaints and the process was fairly easy,” King says. “We received a lot of immediate positive feedback, especially about the water quality improvement.”
He says Rothesay has plans to reline its last remaining cast iron mains in 2014. In the meantime, the technology continues to gain popularity with municipalities looking for a cost-effective alternative to replacing aging infrastructure. WC
Rachel Phan is Water Canada’s managing editor
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Alexandra Cousteau, granddaughter of the famed oceanographer and environmentalist Jacques Cousteau, was in the Ottawa for a 13-day filmmaking trip to the Ottawa River watershed as part of a project to make three short documentaries on the Ottawa River, in co-operation with the Ottawa Riverkeeper group. Cousteau and Riverkeeper Meredith Brown took to the water to sample the river near the Hull Marina, testing for oxygen, phosphorus and nitrogen in the water. The documentary is about the Ottawa River and its tributaries, focusing on issues of waterway management and conservation.
In my previous blog the video, ‘Ottawa River Keeper’ provides historical background and impressive scenery for today’s video, “Alexandra Cousteau on the Ottawa River”, published on Youtube September 14, 2013.
Alexandra Cousteau heads the Washington-based Blue Legacy foundation, which is “dedicated to advocating the importance of conservation and sustainable management of water in order to preserve a healthy planet.”
The three documentaries will be released in the spring of 2014.
Link ~ … “The goal of our water quality monitoring program is to provide communities with timely, easy-to-understand information on water quality along their reach of the river; information that is surprisingly difficult, if not impossible, to get elsewhere,” says Riverkeeper Meredith Brown. “Not only does this engage communities in protecting the river, they have a right to know what’s in their water.”…
Posted in Conservation, Educational, Environment, Nature, Ottawa Riverkeeper, Preserving rivers in their natural state, Video
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“A WATER SOLUTIONS COUNTRY – Strategic steps for a more competitive water sector in Canada lead the way to global opportunities” – excerpts taken from the May/June issue of Water Canada by David Crane.
The availability and quality of water is the overarching challenge facing the global community in the 21st century. It is also Canada’s opportunity.
A world population that is projected to add 2.5 billion people by 2050, a global economy that is forecast to quadruple in this same period, the prospect of adding one billion people to the global middle class, and a sharp increase in the number of people in big cities will mean a an unprecedented demand for water. As well as more people, which will mean much greater need for clean water and sanitation, a bigger population with rising incomes means a much higher level of consumption of food, energy, natural resources, and industrial products—all of which will also increase the demand for water.
Add the expected impact of climate change on the distribution and availability of water, which could leave large numbers of people facing severe water stress, and the threats of drought and floods to food production, and it’s clear water is the most serious challenge we face. We can substitute batteries for oil in automobiles, but there is no substitute for water. So we face a water-stressed world.
Need, however, equals opportunity. The challenge is for Canada to contribute to water strategies and help the world meet the global water challenge. How do we utilize our strengths—the excellence of our engineering and technical Graduates, our proven academic research capabilities, and our innovative companies that can deliver water goods and services to build up a strong water sector—to generate new jobs and competitive companies while helping to meet the overarching global challenge?
Steps for a world water strategy: First, Canadians need to raise the level of understanding, not only among policymakers but also among the wider public; that there is an enormous challenge facing the world and that there is also a significant opportunity for Canada, by strengthening our research base and the strength of our companies. This is the first great challenge—to identify our water champions who will provide the leadership to make Canada a water-solutions country. These champions must come not only from academia and our clean water companies but also from the user community, our municipalities, and businesses that need a safe and reliable water supply. Water users have a significant stake in a solutions strategy. There is the risk of complacency due to a widespread public assumption that Canada’s abundant water supply means we don’t face water challenges. Yet Canada itself faces challenges—to improve water quality and sanitation performance, meet the threats of droughts and floods in agricultural lands, ensure the efficient and sustainable use of water in energy and mining industries, meet the water needs of First Nations, and improve water efficiency and conservation technologies and practices in the economy and society. Meeting domestic challenges through innovative solutions will strengthen the research base and the capabilities and competitiveness of Canadian water companies. This means efforts to balance federal and provincial budgets must not come at the expense of research or improvements in water infrastructure. Cutting these investments would mean a weaker future Canadian economy. Research and infrastructure spending are investments in a more secure and sustainable future. Another challenge needs to be addressed: How do we grow more small companies into mid-size or large companies? Canada is very successful in starting companies, but many water companies are small and remain small. They face significant challenges in obtaining the capital needed to develop new products or services, pursue new domestic and foreign markets, build the management strengths they need for success, and scale up so that users and systems integrators in Canada and elsewhere are confident in using their products or services. Many promising smaller companies fail to make the transition to significant scale, which means they can become takeover targets by large multinational corporations seeking their proprietary technologies. While federal and provincial programs that support company technology development are important, we also need to find ways to strengthen the equity base of promising Canadian companies. It is equity rather than debt that enables companies to innovate and to pursue new products or markets.
There are many advantages in Canada, including a well-developed research base, a significant number of companies with proprietary technologies and experience in the global marketplace, easy access to the U.S. and Mexican markets (which have huge future water needs), universities and colleges that graduate high-quality engineers and technicians, and some well-targeted government programs to assist small and mid-size companies. Given these strengths, failing to capitalize on them to meet the enormous world need for water solutions would represent a huge lost opportunity for Canada.
David Crane is an award-winning Canadian writer and the author of Canada as the Water Solutions Country: Defining the Opportunities, a discussion paper published by the Blue Economy Initiative.
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