What Are The Challenges Of Wastewater Rehabilitation?

Aging sewer infrastructure is a problem facing the entire country. Systems put in place decades ago are beginning to deteriorate and become inefficient. For a long time, this was a major problem for cash strapped municipalities that did not have the budget for a total reconstruction of their damaged systems.

Today, there are effective alternatives to total reconstruction that will rehabilitate damaged wastewater systems and extend the life of the structure by 50 years or longer. Advanced polyurea coatings are cost-effective and “designed to create highly elastic waterproof coating and lining systems that are resistant to chemicals and abrasions,” according to an article written by WaterWorld. The article goes on to say that “they are ideal linings for immersed surfaces and will resist hydrogen sulfide.”

With the advancement in polyurea coating options to rehabilitate wastewater systems, it is easier than ever to maintain and prolong the life of an aging sewer infrastructure. This is increasingly important, because if left unaddressed, infiltration, corrosion and deterioration can lead to major challenges.

Infiltration leads to rising costs

A frequent issue facing wastewater structures is cracks in the concrete walls and damaged or missing gasket material in fittings and joints. These issues can be particularly troublesome on rainy days, as they allow groundwater to penetrate the system. The wastewater treatment plant can’t tell the difference between clean groundwater and wastewater, so all the water brought in through the sewer system must be processed.

This doesn’t sound so bad until you consider the cost of unnecessarily treating groundwater that has infiltrated the aging wastewater structure. First, pumping the water involves electrical costs. Then you have to factor in costs for the additional chemicals needed to treat the influx of water. Finally, all treatment facilities are permitted by regulators for maximum capacity. As more and more water leaks through the cracks and joints, water treatment plants begin to face capacity excess. This often results in monetary fines from regulatory agencies.

Corrosion damages structural integrity

Hydrogen sulfide in the wastewater system creates a highly corrosive environment. There is no way to avoid these gases in the wastewater system, which is why maintaining and protecting manholes and pump stations is vital. Over time, the hydrogen sulfide will begin to deteriorate the structure, leaving unprotected concrete surfaces exposed to the harmful gas.

If these damaged manholes or pump stations are not rehabilitated or replaced, the integrity of the structure will become affected. The worst-case scenario would result in a cave-in or sinkhole that jeopardizes the safety of anyone or anything in the vicinity of the structure.

Certified OBIC installers offer no-dig solutions

OBIC offers polyurea coatings that are spray applied and cure in minutes. With an experienced, OBIC certified installer on the job, your systems will be up and running at peak efficiency with minimal downtime. To learn more about OBIC products, or to find an installer near you, contact our team online or by calling 866-636-4854.