Sanitary Sewer Repair

Recently, a medium-sized mid-western city hired Hydro-Klean to perform video inspection services on a section of brick sanitary sewer that runs along a major thoroughfare near the downtown area. The project's purpose was to evaluate the condition of the sewer for possible future lining.

Gaping Voids
What was supposed to be a routine video inspection turned out to be a discovery of scary proportions. Deep below the historic avenue, in a sixty-inch- diameter section of sewer pipe, HK’s video inspection crew discovered two large voids. These voids existed between the street itself and the sanitary sewer.

The voids measured approximately eight-feet wide, ten-feet tall and twelve-feet long. The dangers that this posed to the general public walking or driving along the street required immediate attention. The possibility of the street collapsing over the void was imminent and as a result, HK notified the city immediately.

Averting Street Collapse
Upon review of Hydro-Klean’s video inspection recording of the sewer voids, city officials quickly requested emergency bids from several local contractors to repair the brick sewer. The city estimated that one lane of the street would be closed for up to two weeks. Since it was a direct route to the downtown area, the traffic backups would be unsettling. However, the work needed to be done to eliminate the possibility of a street cave-in.

One Brick at a Time
After reviewing the emergency bids, city officials chose a contractor to make the needed repairs. However due to the potential for dangerous sewer gases or lack of oxygen inside the pipe, contractor needed trained, confined-space-entry personnel with proper equipment. They hired Hydro-Klean as a sub-contractor. Hydro-Klean’s responsibilities included not only performing confined-space-entry procedures, but also laying new brick and concrete to restore the sewer pipe’s structure.

HK's Expert Crew
Hydro-Klean assembled a crew based on previous, personal work experience laying brick. One employee, a senior service technician, had been a bricklayer before joining HK. His experience made the choice of project crew leader an easy one. Two other experienced employees assisted with the bricklaying and necessary safety measures that accompanied this project.

The HK crew had to use a supplied-air system. This system sent a continuous flow of breathing air to the HK crew members in the sewer through an arrangement of hoses and personal, full-face respirator masks. From the beginning, the Hydro-Klean crew mixed cement, assembled brick upon brick and securely reconstructed and repaired the sewer line.

While the HK crew worked inside the sewer, the contractor worked above them. Their work team filled the void by pouring concrete between the street and the newly rebuilt section of sanitary sewer pipe.

Fantastic Efficiency
Though everyone anticipated that the work would take up to two weeks to complete, we actually finished in only four days. HK fixed the sanitary sewer; filled the void under the street and opened the street for traffic. Once again, we saw that with collaboration, teamwork and knowledgeable personnel, HK can accomplish anything.

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Sanitary sewer void from video inspection. Void following repair. Hydro-Klean repairing void.