Tackling Des Moines Scott Street Siphon

Two city engineers contacted Hydro-Klean to request assistance with inspecting the integrity of a sewer line that passed under two rivers. To facilitate the video inspection, HK had to pump the line down as far as possible.

Hydro-Klean crews  installed two, eight-inch submersible pumps into areas that had been identified by the city and began the pumping. Once started, the pumping process  could not stop until it was complete. HK crews worked around the clock and through a holiday weekend to make sure that the pumps kept running at all times.

Video Cam Sees All
After several days of continuous pumping, the time came to attempt the video inspection. The inspection crew needed to video from one end of the line, south to a ninety-degree bend in the middle of the river at the dam where the line then turned east. The HK crew set the camera up with the Storm Tractor options, a fairly new addition to the HK fleet. They placed the camera in the line where it performed admirably.

To the surprise of the HK crew, the camera traveled over debris in the line and battled its way half way across the river. It moved through a nearly full, flowing pipe to the ninety-degree bend at the dam where it finally stopped. Along the way, it revealed a fairly large break in the line that  accounted for the large amount of water in the pipe.

Now came the challenge of getting the camera back to the video inspection unit. As the crew pulled the camera back, it tipped on its side. The crew briefly thought  that all was lost. However through raw determination and pure talent, they were able to retrieve the camera with minimal damage.

Looking Back
The HK team now moved to the other side of the river to restart the inspection process. This time they headed the camera in the opposite direction in an attempt to reach the other side of the ninety-degree bend . Success! The camera made it all the way to the ninety-degree bend and back with no difficulties.

Once the problem was located, the HK crew had to clean the line. This could  be done only by reducing the flow in the line, and the only way to do that was to lower the flow in the river! The city hired an extremely talented local contractor to provide this service. With huge equipment and sheer will power, the contractor's crew lowered the flow and redirected the remaining flow away from the line that needed clearing.

The New River Road
The next big challenge was the construction of a road in the middle of the river to give access to the powerful Hydro-Klean jet/vacuum machine that would clean the line. Again, the contractor's team came through. Using sand from the riverbed and 350 tons of three-inch limestone, they built an impressive road in the center of the river.

The HK crew drove the jet/vacuum unit over the bank and down the river road. They set up the machine at a manhole located in the middle of the river on the dam. Our crew had equipped the jet/vacuum with one-and-a-quarter-inch hose and ordered a special, high-flow nozzle for the job. With this equipment, the machine could deliver more than 100 gpm at 2500 psi to the line being cleared. This line was a forty-two-inch box line that ran to both banks of the river.

The cleaning phase of the project was another total success. The crew completely cleaned the pipe and vacuum-removed all the debris without a hitch. Once the pipe was obstacle-free, the contractor's crews were able to enter the storm sewer that ran parallel to the sanitary sewer and repair the hole.

Well Deserved Thanks
This job was completed with flying colors for many reasons, including careful planning and coordination by the city,  first-class expertise and commitment from the construction contractor, and a tremendous effort and “can do” attitude from the highly skilled HK crews.

This project perfectly demonstrates how, with strategic partnering, a nearly impossible task can be accomplished. Every HK person who played a part in this project deserves the company's highest commendation, from the people watching the pumps all night, to the video and cleaning crews and the administrative support staff.

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Hydro-Klean Jet/Vac in action Getting to the work