Sprayroq Blog

Sprayroq, manufacturer and developer of spray-applied polymers for structural rehabilitation, corrosion protection and asset life extension for wastewater, stormwater and industrial infrastructure.

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Polymeric Coatings Glossary

As with any industry specialty, the polymeric resin coatings field has its own language. We offer this glossary of terms to help you write and understand product and project specifications.

Abrading – The act of roughening a substrate’s surface to provide texture that the final lining material can key into to form a permanent bond

ASTM –The published standards of the American Society for Testing and Materials, located in West Conshohocken, PA. The acknowledged basis of all U.S. claims for performance and safety of industrial materials.

Bond – The ability of a coating or lining to permanently cling onto or key into the substrate; measured in pounds per square inch or PSI

Buckling – Failure of structural integrity under loads

Bugholes – Tiny voids in a concrete substrate that may have been created by the trapping of bugs in the wet mixture and the deterioration of the bodies after they died. Also, holes of similar size.

Compression – The ability of a coating or lining layer to shrink in width under weight or other pressure without losing structural integrity

Creep – A time-dependent deformation of a material while under an applied load that is below its yield strength. It is most often occurs at elevated temperature, but some materials creep at room temperature.

Creep or Stress Rupture – The sudden and complete failure of a material held under a definite constant load for a given period of time at a specific temperature.

Density – The relationship between the mass of a substance and how much space it takes up (volume)

Efflorescence – Powdery substance, usually white, that forms on the surface of concrete and other cementitious products as the result of excessive amounts of moisture in the masonry mixing with soluble compounds within the masonry or in surrounding soil. The powder is on the masonry surface is actually salt deposits that formed when the water dries out.

Flexural – The ability to twist and bend without losing structural integrity

High-Build – A thick application

High Voltage Spark Test – A critical test applied with high-voltage holiday (unacceptable discontinuities such as pinholes and voids) detection equipment to corrosion protection applications —coatings less than 250 mils—after the protective coating has set hard to the touch.

Hydraulic Load – The amount of liquid going into a system

Laitance – A weak layer of cement and aggregate fines on a concrete surface, usually caused by an overwet mixture, overworking the mixture, improper or excessive finishing, or combination thereof. This layer between a topical coating and the underlying substrate prevents a bond forming between the topical coating and substrate, eventually causing delamination and failure of the topical coating.

Material Safety Data Sheet – A document containing information on the potential hazards (health, fire, reactivity and environmental) and how to work safely with a chemical product; an essential starting point for the development of a complete health and safety program.

Modulus of Elasticity (also known as the elastic modulus, the tensile modulus, or Young's modulus) – A number that measures an object’s or substance's resistance to being deformed elastically (i.e., non-permanently) when a force is applied to it. The elastic modulus of an object is defined as the slope of its stress–strain curve in the elastic deformation region:

Monolithic – One continuous surface with no seams, breaks or voids

NACE - The published standards of National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE International), located in Houston, TX. . The acknowledged basis of all U.S. claims for performance and safety of anti-corrosion coatings and products.

Pinholes – Tiny holes or pockets in a substrate or surface

Plural component – A formula that contains the resin body and a curing agent that causes the mixture to harden at a determined rate under certain conditions

Porosity – The level of void space in any given material; i.e., the negative spaces in a lining layer surrounded by actual material

Pull-Off Test – A near-to-surface method to test the adhesive connection between a surface (substrate) and a lining or coating

Recoat Window – The period of time following the initial application of a layer of lining during which subsequent layers may be applied over the top and still adhere properly to the bottom coat without requiring additional surface prep

SSPC - The published standards of the Society of Protective Coatings, located in Pittsburgh, PA. The acknowledged basis of all U.S. claims for performance and safety of protective coating materials.

Soil Cover – The depth of soil over the top of the structure, expressed in inches or feet.

Soil Load – The number of pounds of pressure per cubic foot created by the soil and other overburden on any given structure.

Soil Modulus – Expressed in pounds per square inch or PSI

Substrate – The surface on which a lining is to be applied; the support for a coating

Tensile – The ability to stretch or elongate without breaking, and while maintaining specified strength

Topcoat, Topcoating – The application of a finishing layer over one or more initial layers of a spray- or trowel-applied lining; topcoat may or may not be the same material as sublayers

Traffic Load – Total vehicular traffic carried by a road during a specified time interval

Voids – Larger holes or pockets in a substrate or surface

Volatility – The tendency to ignite or explode under certain conditions

Water Table – The level below which the ground is saturated with water, expressed in inches or feet.

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In this second post in our Surface Technologies series, we’re taking a look at surface preparation for polymeric coatings.


When using polymeric coatings, you must consider how surface preparation differs between coating products and surfaces. For example, what differences are there between the surface preparation of concrete versus steel, and will there need to be any difference if you plan to use epoxies versus polyurethanes and polyureas?

Typically, with “high-build” or thick coatings, you need a rougher surface profile, because the heavier coating will need a stronger texture to key into and hold fast.
Coating selection usually helps drive the extent of surface prep needed. While surface condition also plays a part in that process, usually the type and condition of the surface influences to what extent the surface must be prepped.

For example, if you’re rehabilitating a previously painted surface, you will have to do a lot more prep—including complete removal of the paint layer and possible retexturing of the substrate—than you would have to do for a direct application of a protective or structural coating, which requires simple cleaning and debris removal.

Another consideration is what type of environment the coating be exposed to. This has a lot of bearing on specifically what do you want the coating to do.

Many mistakes are made in coating selection as pertains to this question. We have seen countless scenarios where an asset owner selects a coating based solely on price, without considering the limitations of the coating’s performance rating. They inevitably end up having a failure, because they expected the coating to perform at a level it could not achieve, because that performance level was beyond the bounds of its design.

Which leads to a couple other considerations:

  • Do you want a short-term or long-term solution?
  • Do you have a structural or corrosion issue?

If you want your coating to live up to your expectations, the answers to these questions are critical, and should drive your coating choice, which will in turn drive your surface preparation method.


  • Quick turnaround – Almost without exception, a fast return to service is a must for asset owners. After all, the reason an asset is in need of rehab in the first place is because it is heavily used. So you want to choose a product with a short setup or curing time.
  • Cost/Benefit Analysis of coating options – It’s very important when evaluating coating options to perform this function to determine return-on-investment (ROI), as funds for projects continue to dwindle. It’s imperative to choose a solution that, although it may not be the cheapest option, provides the best long-term value per dollar spent.
  • Confidence in contractors – If call-backs are not acceptable (and when are they?), the choice of a manufacturer-certified applicator is a must for asset owners. Nobody enjoys having to do a project twice or spend twice the amount of money to complete a project correctly. Choose trained and approved professionals you know will get it done right the first time.

If you keep these points in mind concerning surface preparation and related coating choice, you’re on your way to a successful rehabilitation project using polymeric coatings.


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How New Technologies Get Developed

This post is the first in our new Surface Technologies Series. We thought it might be helpful to explore the hows and whys of the development of new surface rehabilitation technologies.

There will always be new challenges for industry manufacturers to address. As manufacturers of surface lining technologies, we’re of course interested in ways to discover new challenges and to address them with new solutions. The best way for us to understand contractors’ needs is for contractors to provide thorough, detailed information about difficult situations you’ve encountered.

Our Sprayroq Certified Partner contractors (SCPs) are out there in the field every day, and they ask us about certain scenarios in which they might be able to apply Sprayroq products. If we’re not sure, we do an applicable pilot project.

For example, we don’t generally apply our urethane products in environments that get above 140° F, so to accommodate contractors who need a lining material that will perform adequately in such environments, we’re looking into epoxies that can handle 250°-300° F.

We’re always working with our chemists to develop new products. It’s always about knowing your market and being proactive about seeking input from those working in the trenches.

In the 1970s and ’80s, many large municipalities installed reinforced concrete pipe (RCP) to create their pressurized, closed sewer systems (force mains). Now, these pipes are beginning to fail because the dynamics of a pressurized system are stressing them beyond their capacity.

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This entire series is about managing expectations from both side of the supplier/contractor relationship. Perhaps nowhere does that relationship present the opportunity for things to go sideways so much as establishing what a materials or equipment vendor can expect from a contractor customer/partner on an ongoing basis. After all, providing ongoing technical support and training is a not insignificant part of the value a contractor looks for in a longterm supplier relationship. However, what contractors theoretically want and what they’re willing to accommodate in real life often don’t match.

Contractors have every right to expect whatever level of support they’ve been promised by their vendor, but the vendor has the right to expect cooperation from their customer in making it reasonably easy to deliver that support.

Be clear about your needs.

Contractors must clearly communicate their needs and not be shy about asking for that support. Vendors can’t read their minds. Another potential stumbling block is not providing the materials supplier with accurate physical specifications for the project at hand.

Do your homework.

It’s not uncommon for a contractor to pick up a bid packet without looking at the details or going out to inspect the project. This means they may not be looking at base materials of the infrastructure, diameters, etc. And when it comes to these specifications, guessing can be deadly to the outcome of the job.

In the case of surface lining such as we do with Sprayroq products, if they haven’t done thorough due diligence, contractors might go on site to start a job and be surprised at how much prep work there is to do. There may be a lot more infiltration into a project pipe than expected. A startling amount of debris may need to be cleared away before surface prep. Possibly, a great deal of grouting or resurfacing needs to happen before lining can take place.

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In this last installment of our six-part Contractor-Supplier series, we look at what kind of participation a contractor should expect to offer in marketing and promotional support of the relationship with their materials supplier.

Types of Support

Every manufacturer/supplier has its own way of contributing to the marketing and promotion of its products through distributors and contractor partners. Some work on a co-op basis, chipping in a certain percentage of each expenditure, provided the contractor has received authorization of the spend.

Others create pre-approved campaigns for which they supply digital branding elements, instructions and guidance in placing their messaging or producing materials, along with financial help in doing so. Still others have a list of individual types of promotion the contractors can apply at their discretion, with a limit set on how much help they’ll receive for each effort. And some don’t have a specific policy about helping contractors represent them in their designated territories.

Sprayroq falls into the latter category. We try to stay flexible to work with individual Certified Partners and the idiosyncrasies of their markets. Keeping our SCP program discriminating allows us to do so because the growth is controlled for what we can handle thoroughly.

Typical marketing budget allowances

Using Sprayroq as an example, there’s no hard number we place on what we consider an ideal marketing and promotional spend. We give our contractor partners ideas about how to approach their individual marketplaces. Ideally, we’d love to see a contractor do at least two “brown bag” informational sessions a month, 2-3 demonstrations a year, and to exhibit at one regional and two local trade shows annually. Out-of pocket costs for this type of program run between $12-15K per year, not including the cost of a person to perform all the related tasks. Travel and salary/benefits could range from $90-120K, depending on where they’re located.

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Last time, we took a look at what contractors should be able to expect from a supplier partner. In this third installment of our six-part Contractors & Suppliers series, we explore things from a vendor’s standpoint; particularly the importance of suppliers evaluating the financial viability and relationship fit of potential new contractor customers.

After all, smart business people understand that maintaining a continuous relationship with an existing client costs just 20% of what it does to get a first project from a new customer. That means suppliers should be looking at each project not on just a transactional, one-time basis, but also for its potential long-term viability.

Part of vetting that potential relationship includes asking not just what the numbers look like on the immediate project, but also how the process of working together will play out over the long run.

How should suppliers evaluate a potential contractor for a long-term business relationship?

To establish and maintain long-term customer relationships, suppliers ideally want to seek out businesses run by people who
• really understand the market they’re working in
• exhibit a track record of financial stability
• understand the need for investment in adequate technician training
• can prove longevity in the marketplace
• have a good reputation for a solid work ethic, quality work and integrity.

It’s easy to spot contractors who just don’t understand how business is conducted in their market. Often these misguided individuals believe that the product supplier, in hopes of getting its products specified for a job, is going to serve as their entire engineering, marketing and customer service departments. That is simply not going to happen.

Of course, any good supplier with confidence in his product will go the distance to explain and even demonstrate its effectiveness in the application being considered, and will work with the project engineer to make sure all critical specifications are met. Serious vendors will supply their potential customer with enough professionally produced marketing materials to help them make a good decision in getting their product specced, and will often accompany the contractor on a sales call to or a demonstration project for the end user.

But time is money, and the more of it the supplier must put in with these sales and marketing efforts, the less he has to invest in new product research and current product improvement. So contractors who expect the product supplier to handle the heavy lifting in end user communication and influence are over-stepping the bounds of reasonable expectations. Suppliers should make sure up front that they understand what potential contractor customers expect, and that their interests are not going to conflict.

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Last time, we looked at realistic contractor expectations for supplier training and support. This time, we explore the topics that would be relevant to an established, ongoing business relationship: namely, resources committed to marketing, ongoing costs and ensuring a return on the contractor’s initial upfront investment in becoming an installer of the vendor’s product.

What kind of marketing should a contractor expect to need to do, to establish and maintain an ongoing demand for the supplier’s product?

Contractors need to have the ability to sell and promote themselves and the product, whether that be through

  1. door-to-door/telephone cold calling
  2. in-person product demonstrations
  3. trade shows and exhibits

We’re dedicated to providing significant support to our Sprayroq Certified Partners, but they have to show initiative on their part. We ask right up front if the contractor has a website. It’s a red flag if they haven’t made that investment to market themselves. After all, the Internet is now the number one way everyone shops, from individual consumers to commercial customers. Contractors need to understand this and to be willing to make that investment, just as they used to commit to Yellow Pages ads.

They also need to be willing to reach out and ask for help when they need it. We’re a proactive business partner, but we can’t be expected to know when they need something without them telling us. That’s true no matter which product or service vendor they’re working with.

At what point could a contractor reasonably expect to see a return on their upfront investment in a vendor’s product, and what level of ROI should accrue?

It depends upon their activity. We have contractors with projects at hand who have exceeded their ROI. We’ve written our contracts to contain reasonable expectations for a certain level of volume. If our SCPs meet those, they’re looking at a 30-32 month return on investment. We had one contractor who paid for his rig in less than a year.

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In this second installment in our six-part Contractors & Suppliers series, we take a look at supplier training and support. When a contractor makes a commitment to become a distributor and installer/applicator of a given manufacturer’s product, he should be able to have the expectation of a reasonable level of support from that manufacturer. One channel of that support is training for the contractor’s crews who will be using the product.

One question contractors may have is about what kind of training is required for them and their technicians, and how it is delivered.

Because products evolve along with what becomes learned about better application methods, training is an ongoing process. In a truly professional approach, there’s no such thing as “one time and done.”

With our Sprayroq Certified Partner training, we put new technicians through about five days of training to understand the product and equipment, including:

  • the chemistry of the material
  • all steps in the critical surface preparation and application process
  • operation, breakdown and maintenance of the mixing and application equipment

This training is done in a booth, with the fine points of basic horizontal and vertical/overhead spraying covered thoroughly.

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Relationships between product or service vendors and their contractor partners have always been important. As those products and services become more sophisticated and the results of their decisions and performance have greater cost ramifications, the effectiveness of this relationship is more critical than ever—both to these team members and their customers.

With this in mind, we thought it would be interesting to explore the expectations of both supplier and contractor, whether inside an individual project or on an ongoing basis. After all, managing expectations is fully half of what sets the tone for such teamwork. How well that’s accomplished leaves a lasting impression when the job’s completed.

In this first of six posts on the topic, we’ll explore the steps contractors should take to analyze potential business partners for long-term relationships and in particular, financial viability.

How should contractors evaluate a potential supplier for a long-term business relationship?

When considering establishing a business relationship with a product or service supplier, contractors should analyze the need for that product or service in the marketplace. If not, there’s not a good chance for a long future for that supplier: 

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When you’re specifying a product for use in an upcoming project, you have to trust that the product’s manufacturer is making valid performance and warranty claims. We’ve talked before about how easy it is to make claims about a product, but how, in practice, it’s difficult to back up those claims. Anyone can set up their in-house “lab” to produce desired test results. But the only certain proof of performance in any product is third-party validation and independent testing. Data sheets need to be validated with real-world, rigorous, physical testing.

Only an objective opinion based on scientific method testing can truly back up supplier claims. For instance, we advertise 750 psi flexural modulus on our spray liner products, when in reality, it’s at least that high and usually higher. We know—because we’ve had our material tested against ASTM standards—that we’re telling the truth. This gives the end user/customer the knowledge that their specs are realistic and achievable.

What happens in a third-party testing lab?

There are many very specialized devices to test for a single characteristic, such as elongation, flexural modulus, etc. Methodologies vary from lab to lab, but each basically determines how the product will perform under a given set of circumstances.

Manufacturers should insist on using only ASTM-accredited labs when testing against industry standards. The American Society for Testing and Materials is an international standards organization that develops and publishes voluntary consensus technical standards for a wide range of materials, products, systems, and services.

The organization was established in response to too many failures and false product claims in every industry. It does not have a mandate to enforce compliance with its findings, but many—if not most—industries hold their members to compliance with these standards.

Along with setting the standards, ASTM establishes the procedures to make sure everyone is doing the same tests against those standards, so outcome data can be recognized as “apples-to-apples” comparisons.

Types of testing

You’re probably wondering: What type of internal testing should be done, when it comes to spray-applied liner products?

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Them’s Fundin’ Words: A P3 Glossary

Every good concept has its own particular vocabulary, and Public Private Partnerships are no different. If you’re going to get involved in a P3 arrangement, it’s good to know the vernacular, so in this last installment of our series, we provide a few terms and their definitions to keep you up to speed.

Centralized Units – The World Bank said in 2007 that governments tend to create Centralized P3 Units as a response to weaknesses in a central government’s ability to effectively manage P3 programs. Since different governments suffer from varying institutional failures in the P3 procurement process, these Centralized P3 units must address these differences by shaping their functions accordingly. The function, location (within government) and jurisdiction (i.e. who controls it) of dedicated P3 Units may differ amongst countries, but generally these include:

  • Policy guidance and advice on the content of national legislation.
  • Defining which sectors are eligible for P3s as well as which P3 methods and structures will work best.
  • Approving or rejecting proposed P3 projects. This gatekeeper role may happen at any stage of the process from initial planning stage to final approval stage.
  • Providing technical support to government organizations during project identification, evaluation, procurement or contract management phase.
  • Capacity building (training public sector officials involved in P3 programs or interested in the P3 process)
  • Promote P3s within the private sector i.e. P3 market development.

A 2013 review that targeted research based on the value of Centralized P3 Units in European-based P3s found little quantitative evidence of their value, which has had the effect that few, if any, American-based P3s use them.

Off-Balance Sheet - On P3 projects where the cost of using the service is intended to be borne exclusively by the end user, the P3 is deemed an “off-balance sheet” method of financing the delivery of new or refurbished public sector assets.

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In this fourth installment of our ongoing look at the public private partnership (P3) funding option for publicly owned infrastructure asset rehabilitation and replacement, we explore the influence of the trend in privatization of water and wastewater services, and the different types of P3 funding deals.

Privatization of water

A significant issue affecting the willingness to engage in P3 capital improvement funding is the growing trend toward water privatization, be it for potable or wastewater applications. As with other facets of P3, America can look across the oceans to take note of what has been learned by earlier practitioners.

After a wave of privatization of many water services—mostly in developing countries—during the 1990s, experience shows that global water corporations have not brought promised improvements in public water utilities. Instead of lower prices, large volumes of investment, and improvements in the connection of poor areas to clean water and modern sanitation standards, water tariffs have instead increased out of reach of poor households. Stung by their failure, water multinationals are withdrawing from developing countries, and theWorld Bank is now reluctant to provide support for their operations.

As a specific example, the privatization of the city of Paris water services proved tremendously unpopular. At the end of 2009, the French capitol did not renew its contract with two of its water corporations.After a year of being controlled by the public, projections are that the water tariff will be cut by 5 to 10 percent.

U.S. municipalities now considering P3 arrangements for water-related infrastructure are not unaware of this unconvincing track record. However, they are also aware that such funding structures depend on many factors, and all must be considered in any such decision. Some of these elements are more important than others.

For example, contract management is a crucial factor in shared service delivery, and services that are more difficult to monitor or fully capture in contractual language often remain under municipal control.

In a 2007 survey of U.S. city managers, the most challenging element of PFI deals was judged the operation and management of hospitals, and the least difficult was street and parking lot cleaning. The study revealed that communities often fail to sufficiently monitor collaborative agreements or other forms of service delivery:

“For instance, in 2002, only 47.3% of managers involved with private firms as delivery partners reported that they evaluate that service delivery. By 2007, that was down to 45.4%.” Therefore, performance monitoring should be a primary function of any future P3 arrangements that hope to succeed.

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The State of Modern P3 Funding

This month, we continue our P3 Primer on Public Private Partnerships. We left off last month with an overview of where P3 has been by tracing its history. You’ll recall that it had a stronger start in Europe, as their need for funding public infrastructure capital investment projects started earlier than America’s, since their systems are older.

We spend this post exploring the current state of P3 in America, and where it’s going.

P3s Today

“P3 is being used quite a bit, especially with water treatment facilities, because the capital investment required is so high,” reports David Fumi, Managing Director at Signet Capital, LLC. Signet does quite a bit of business in the public sector, and so has more experience with and expertise in P3-type funding structures than many U.S. banks.

In our country, P3 funding became more prevalent in the late 1990s or 2000s—depending on location—though such deals were happening on an extremely limited basis as early as the 1970s. It’s a more sophisticated funding structure, so you might assume P3 deals only happen in major urban areas. In actuality, there are many sophisticated small municipalities and relatively unsophisticated larger ones, but P3 does tend to happen more in larger cities, simply because they require bigger projects with bigger budgets.

Fumi says he’s definitely seeing a trend toward smaller municipalities considering P3 as a funding structure option, but it’s a slow, steady trend rather than something that’s rapidly climbing in popularity. “Smaller communities tend to try this structure a bit at a time, to test it out,” he explains.

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P3 History – Where It’s Been

The history of Public Private Partnerships as an option for public infrastructure funding in our country is not a long one. As mentioned in our last post, P3 really got its start in Europe as a response to globalization pressures. It wasn’t until very close to the turn of this century that American government administrators and public managers embraced the P3 option.

U.S. city managers’ motivations for exploring public-private service delivery vary. A 2007 survey revealed two primary reasons:

1. cost reduction (86.7%) and 2. external fiscal pressures, including tax restrictions (50.3%)

No other motivations expressed exceeded 16%.

By 2012, however, the same survey showed interest had shifted to:

  • the need for better processes (69%)
  • relationship building (77%)
  • better outcomes (81%)
  • leveraging resources (84%), and
  • belief that collaborative service delivery is “the right thing to do” (86%)

Among those surveyed, public services provided through private firm contracts peaked in 1977 at 18% and has declined since. The most common form of shared service delivery now involves contracts between governments—in arrangements such as Special Sewer Districts—growing from 17% in 2002 to 20% in 2007.

At the same time, approximately 22% of local governments surveyed said they’d brought at least one service they had previously provided through an alternative private arrangement back in-house, according to a 2014 article in the SAGE Journal State and Local Government Review, [http://slg.sagepub.com/content/45/4/240]

We’ll take a closer look at how P3 is being implementing in our country in our next post in this four-part series.

Why Development Is Slow

One factor that may be influencing the slower uptake of P3 projects is State Revolving Funds for overall water quality and potability. Congress established theClean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) to help support the mandates required by theirWater Quality Act of 1987. The CWSRF is a self-perpetuating loan assistance authority forUnited States water quality improvement projects, and replaced theClean Water Act Construction Grants program. It is administered by the federal Environmental Protection Agency andstate agencies. The CWSRF provides loans for construction of municipalwastewater facilities, as well as for implementation ofnonpoint source pollution control andestuary protection projects. Since its inception, cumulative CWSRF assistance has surpassed $65 billion, and is continuing to grow through interest earnings, principal repayments, and leveraging. http://www.epa.gov/cwsrf

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You may have heard the term “public private partnership” or its common acronym, “P3.” You may even have a bit of an idea what it’s about. But are you aware how these unique business venture structures can affect our industry?

Looking ahead to the massive, unavoidable infrastructure rehabilitation projects on the horizon for many cities, towns and villages dealing with assets at the end of their design life, funding will become the largest obstacle to getting this critical work done. P3 is one possible option that may be considered for many municipalities.

What is a P3?

A public private partnership, for our purposes, is a government service (though it can also be a private business venture), funded and operated through a partnership between a government or public sector authority and one or more private sector companies.

The private party actually provides the public service or project, and assumes substantial related financial, technical and operational risk. In some types of P3, the cost of using the service is borne exclusively by the users of the service and not by the taxpayer. In other types (particularly the private finance initiative), capital investment is made by the private party on the basis of a contract with government to provide agreed services, with the cost borne wholly or in part by the government. Government contributions to a P3 may also be “in-kind,” such as the transfer of existing assets.

In projects aimed at creating public goods such as infrastructure, the government may provide capital subsidy such as a one-time grant, making the deal more attractive to private investors. In others, the government may support the project with revenue subsidies like tax breaks, or by removing guaranteed annual revenues for a fixed period of time.

P3s embody a unique perspective on the collaborative and networking aspects of “public management.”

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As we settle into the short days and long nights of winter, we have more time to think; to look back over our accomplishments and disappointments of the year gone by, and to the promise of the New Year.

Here at Sprayroq, we look back with gratitude to the many customers who have shown confidence in our products and the services of ourselves and our Certified Sprayroq Partner applicators. You have rejoiced with us in our successes and worked through our challenges with us.

You have made everything possible for us, through the past and into the future, by placing your trust in our work to develop and apply solutions to your toughest protective coating needs. You’ve also pushed us, through your increasingly demanding projects, to work harder and with greater creativity and original thought to come up with better and more effective products and techniques.

We’ve had the honor of being your trusted technical advisors and product consultants in some innovative and exciting applications this past year. We constantly work to earn that trust, and appreciate your recognition that we only consider ourselves successful if first you are successful. We’re very proud of the rigor with which we formulate and test our products for optimal results, and it’s you who spur us on to greater achievement. Thank you.

Looking forward to the New Year, we see much to be excited about. We’ve been working on several long-term initiatives, some of which promise to come to fruition in 2016. Of course that will be good for Sprayroq, but again, only insofar as it’s first good for our family of customers and installation partners.

We all serve many functions in each of our businesses, but in the end, one thing’s for sure: Our industry may not be glamorous, but we all understand how critically important it is to the health and wellbeing of our great nation. We can all be proud every day that we’re a very real part of what makes America a country with one of the world’s highest standards of living.

At this time of year when we review how we spend the moments that make up our lives, we’re reminded of the truism that you are what you continually do. At Sprayroq, we seek to be a family of people whose lives reflect a commitment to ingenuity and excellence. The former keeps us interested and challenged, while the latter keeps us fulfilled and in business.

We wish these same blessings for you and yours, as you work alongside us for the betterment of American infrastructure and, consequently, of our quality of life. Happy holidays, and a prosperous and fulfilling New Year to you all.

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These days, it’s a rare municipality that isn’t suffering from an abundance of wastewater, stormwater and even potable water infrastructure that’s past its service life and in need of rehabilitation. Others may have a growing population that’s putting pressure on local government to develop new service systems. Some are dealing with both.

Regardless the infrastructure challenge, it all takes money. Lots and lots of money. This series will take an in-depth look at the growing use of Public Private Partnerships (P3) in funding the massive capital investment projects required to stay ahead of the infrastructure needs of growing communities with aging assets.

These blog posts are rather lengthy, but it’s a critically important issue to nearly every local government in our country. We at Sprayroq run into the funding issue on every project, and we believe everyone should at least be aware of this option and understand the way it works.

Credit Ratings and Their Importance

Municipalities are stewards of public funds raised through tax revenues, bond issuance and other financial instruments. Because of this, they are held to a strong standard of fiscal responsibility. How well they discharge this duty is manifested publicly in their credit ratings.

These ratings are determined, monitored and published by two companies, Moody’s or Standard & Poor’s. It is in the municipality’s best interest to maintain a high rating with municipality can faithfully repay and debts incurred, which in turn determine the interest rates the munis can get when they need to borrow to finance projects.

The highest rating is AAA, the level at which the US Federal government is rated. “This is the most solid rating,” says David Fumi of Signet Capital in Ohio, which is quite active in working with P3-funded projects. “It means creditors will get paid, no matter what, because the funds are secured by tax revenues, interest rates on reserves, and so they flock to AAA bond issues.

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It’s appropriate that, as the year grows old and the days grow short, we spend some of these twilight hours reviewing what we’ve accomplished since the beginning of 2015. Every company needs to take that time, to stop working in the business for the time it takes to work on the business…of being mindful of our achievements and our shortcomings, our hopes and our disappointments, our challenges and our blessings.

It’s startling to realize we are at exactly the halfway point of this decade, which started out in economic difficulty for many, but which now shows promise for increasing growth and prosperity. It’s certainly easier to look out from this vantage point than it was at the decade’s beginning, when the horizon looked frighteningly murky and insecure. We’re thankful for this improvement in our industry’s collective, more positive outlook.

No one enjoys the fear and stress of economic uncertainty, but is there anyone who can claim that the way it forced us to look at our operations, for waste and ways we could tighten up, was really a bad thing? We’re thankful for the opportunity to make ourselves more efficient and effective that, in turn, has made us more valuable to our customers.

We began the year hopeful that many of the irons we’d had in the fire for quite some time in the development of new business have come to fruition. Many of our efforts to gain visibility and credibility for our company and its products have paid off. We’re grateful and pleased to note that Sprayroq has been designated as a preferred vendor for PennDOT (Pennsylvania Dept. of Transportation), and are well on our way toward similar recognition in Ohio.

Sprayroq has always been fortunate to work in this industry that’s not only interesting—and, yes, we’d even say fun—but also one that reminds us daily how important our collective efforts are to maintaining the high standards of sanitation and health America enjoys. We are thankful for the continued opportunity to serve this great country in such a meaningful and fulfilling way. We’re proud of the vision and innovation we and so many of our partners and colleagues demonstrate constantly, in finding better ways to make that happen. We deeply appreciate the satisfaction that comes from knowing what we do really matters to more than just ourselves.

All this notwithstanding, we never lose sight of the fact that none of this would matter much to Sprayroq if it weren’t for you, our colleagues and customers. It’s your questions and ideas and requests that keep us pushing to identify and explore new technologies we can use to create more efficient, cost-effective products to get the job done. We are always aware that your belief in us gives us the ability to keep doing what we love, and for that we are most grateful of all.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, and may your blessings be many.

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We’ve looked at the differences in the way we treat several factors between storm and sanitary sewer rehabilitation in the first two posts of this series. Post #1 dealt with direct issues of the physical setting of the pipe in question:

  1. Abrasion
  2. Location
  3. Live loads
  4. Overburden

Post #2 discussed matters of flexibility, and how they affect the choice of one rehab method over another.

In this, the last post of the series, we check out some important considerations that didn’t really fit under either of those categories, but which are still important:

Increased impervious surface drainage area

A pipe installed 20 years ago on the edge of a city may now be part of a suburb that’s draining lots more paved area than it was designed to service. If you have such a pipe that you need more volume from, but its condition doesn’t warrant a replacement or you just don’t want to dig it up, one way to increase carrying capacity is to create less friction inside the pipe.

Our materials are very slick, providing low friction; so if you apply any Sprayroq product inside a pipe, it adds more capacity to convey water with less head loss due to friction. We’ve seen up to 20-30% capacity increases in pipes ranging from 70-120 inch diameter. For reference purposes, that’s effectively a one-size upgrade.

Our SG2 product is proving popular in the Midwest, where they’re currently doing in-depth pipe analysis. For example, the Ohio DOT is proactively evaluating its stormwater systems. In one location, it has a 123-inch CMP that’s structurally intact, but needs some help with wear along the bottom. Our SG2 spray-applied lining has been specified by the engineer, because the elastic nature of our liner follows the innate flexibility of the host pipe.

This leads to one more use for our Sprayroq SG products:

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Last month’s post covered typical storm sewer situations that call for a structural rehabilitation coating, such as our Spraywall product. Here, we’ll discuss the applications that call for a more flexible protective coating, which for us is usually either our Sprayshield Green 1 (SG1) flexible elastomeric polyurethane, or our Sprayshield Green 2 (SG2) semi-rigid polyurethane product.

Improper Installation – Storm sewer pipe installation can be more susceptible to poor workmanship than sanitary sewers, because these pipes tend to be located in areas with loose, fine soils as opposed to clays or other more structurally strong soils. This means that any joints or other openings (say from poorly installed seals) that might pass muster in sanitary system conditions provide an opportunity for these fine soils around the pipe to filter through, forming a void that eventually leads to catastrophic failure.

In proper installations, a certain grade or diameter of backfill material is used to provide this more stable foundation for flexible, corrugated steel. We’ll typically use our semi-rigid SG2 product for some structural closure of those voids plus needed surface protection. However, if there is significant joint separation, then we may opt for Spraywall, since neither SG product is considered a structural solution, even though they do provide some structural function.

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Drawing a contrast: Differences between storm sewers and sanitary sewer rehabilitation

We find that it’s often helpful to revisit appropriate applications for our different products, based on the questions we get over and over again. It seems like a good time, as the fall rains arrive, to turn our attention to the difference in how we handle rehabilitation of storm sewers, as opposed to our primary environment of sanitary sewers. Of course, the main differences come from the fact that the former is typically an open system rather than the closed system of sanitary sewers. Many parts of most storm sewers are uncovered, more like just the bottom half of a sanitary pipe.

What we need to concern ourselves with, in determining the proper rehabilitation technique, is the difference in how stormwater pipes typically fail from how that happens to sanitary sewer conveyance structures. This dictates the differences in repair and rehab approach.

Abrasion – The Number One cause of failure in storm sewer assets is abrasion. As it rushes across streets and yards, empty lots and construction sites, stormwater picks up sand, rocks and other debris. Also, open runs of pipe are susceptible to trash blowing directly into them, regardless the pipe material. This scratchy load quickly scours surfaces and wears out the invert or pipe bottom. This fact is just the opposite of sanitary sewers, which corrode from top down due to corrosive gases that collect inside a closed system.

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Okay, so you’re tackling the dreaded failing infrastructure bugaboo that’s bedeviling nearly every municipality in America.

You’ve gotten buy-in from all stakeholders on the idea that it needs to be addressed because it’s only ever going to get worse until you do something about the cracking, collapsing mainline pipes, leaking manholes, flooding lift stations and compromised laterals.

Due diligence is completed. You’ve done your wastewater collections system survey. You’ve finished the quick overview, gone in and done smoke or dye testing, visual or CCTV inspection of the worst, most obvious spots. Now it’s time to figure out how to move forward in the most efficient, cost-effective manner.

Every smart manager knows that the first thing that must be accomplished is the creation of an overall plan, complete with schedule and resource allocation. As the old saying goes, failing to plan is planning to fail; and nowhere is this so true as with a broad infrastructure overhaul. Your plan must take into account:

  • Scope of project
  • Known system issues
  • Available rehabilitation technologies
  • Development of future projects
  • Potential conflicts with peripheral infrastructure and affiliated department plans
  • Available data: previous studies, current system summary
  • Influences on prioritization
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Scheduling
  • Budgetary limitations and goals
  • Funding sources

Project scope will be determined by the extent of your system and the already-identified I/I issues. This generally will be where you identify all the hard statistics: number of affected customers, linear footage/mileage of affected pipeline and assets, and exactly what type of work will be required to rehabilitate to acceptable performance standards.

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Our last post was about the realities of warranty language, a really important point to protect your projects up front. But what about once the application’s in place and a failure occurs. What if you’re now faced with making a claim? What can invalidate a warranty?

In large part, as we explained about the language, the answer to this is in the eyes of the warranty beholder. But we have a three year warranty and if the application of one of our products fails, then we at Sprayroq are going to investigate it. In our contract and warranty language, we reserve the right to investigate the application and determine the cause of the failure.

All too often, people put warranties together just to disclaim themselves out of responsibility for a problem. That’s not our style. We’ve worked hard to formulate, test and reformulate our products to meet high but realistic performance standards, and take great pride in our track record of just such performance. If an application fails, we sincerely want to know why.

If the failure was not caused by an error during the application process and we actually have a problem with our product, we’re going to fix it and make things right with the end user. This is the end result of constantly subjecting our products to rigorous testing to ASTM standards by objective, third-party laboratories, and we think it’s worth the investment we make in our research and development process.

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Everyone wants a good warranty on products and services. That’s doubly true when those products or services are part of taxpayer funded capital improvements and infrastructure rehabilitation. After all, specifying such products puts you in a place of high responsibility, and those warranties keep you covered as a legal promise that they will perform as promised and as expected…right?

Well, not necessarily.

Consider any consultants you might have worked with: Have you ever asked how long they warrant the results of their work? You’ll generally find it’s for no more than a year. Yet those same consulting engineers expect to find a ten- to fifty-year warranty on the products they specify.

So, what about those lengthy warranties? Are they worth the paper they’re printed on? It’s advisable to have your legal department really read the fine print and take a critical view into it. Generally, municipalities skip this step and it could be at their own peril.

Many warranties depend on this lack of due diligence, allowing the manufacturers to get away with some extremely “loosey-goosey” language that will not hold up under scrutiny.

If the warranty sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Look for certain terms that should throw up red flags as “wiggle words” that allow a supplier to worm out of responsibility? If the language is too broad or vague, or if there are words that you sense are “hedging” or over-qualifying, you have nothing to hang a claim on.

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Innovative Stormwater Infrastructure Act of 2015

Several national trade and advocacy organizations have lent technical assistance to Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) and Representative Donna Edwards (D-MD), who re-introduced the Innovative Stormwater Infrastructure Act of 2015, S. 896/H.R. 1775. The legislation that would provide critical support to innovative stormwater strategies, improving our country’s ability to effectively manage polluted runoff and sewage overflows, while relieving pressure on aging infrastructure. Those working to appeal for broad Congressional support of the bill include:

  • • Water Environment Federation (WEF);
  • • National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA);
  • • Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC);
  • • American Rivers;
  • • American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA).

Various publications from these groups have showcased how communities across America are implementing innovative technology such as green infrastructure to better manage stormwater, save money, and more broadly improve quality of life.

The Act would achieve many important efforts in safeguarding our country’s water supplies, including:

  • • promoting the use of innovative stormwater infrastructure;
  • • providing implementation grants for community-based stormwater control projects;
  • • establishing up to five Centers of Excellence throughout the country to conduct research, develop recommendations, and provide training and technical assistance for implementing management practices for stormwater control and management.
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Water & Wastewater Utilities: Potential for Cyber Attacks

In keeping with last month’s theme of being prepared for emergencies, operators of water and wastewater processing facilities must keep in mind that Nature isn’t the only potential source of disasters. As we’ve seen all too often recently, humans can—and do now, on a regular basis—cause all kinds of mayhem. Most often, it’s not through anything more malignant than a missed deadline, a poor decision, or simple ignorance.

But more frequently, there is a disturbing trend toward intentional infliction of damage and disruption through terror attacks. Though the first thing to spring to mind when hearing that phrase, “terror attacks,” is something physical along the lines of a bombing or plane hijacking, lately the trend is in favor of cyber attacks.

Though these may be less deadly (but not necessarily) than direct physical violence, attacks on any organization’s digital network can have far more costly and long-ranging effects. In just the past couple weeks, networks from the Wall Street Journal to the New York Stock Exchange to the federal government’s internal human resources database itself have been unceremoniously hacked. In the past, hacking has been admitted by the Pentagon and major retail stores in America.

The bad news: No network is safe.

If these organizations can’t keep hackers out, it’s clear that everyone is vulnerable. You may think that no one would be interested in hacking water or wastewater plants, but you’d be wrong. All one need do is consider the kind of disruption that could occur if someone were able to breach operations of either of these types of networks, and it’s not hard to imagine the attraction to such an act by any number of ill-intentioned groups.

In fact, a recent article in Water Online says straight out that “cyberattacks pose a greater threat to water and wastewater utilities than most other industrial sectors.” The article is based on 159 reports issued last year by the Department of Homeland Security involving vulnerabilities in control systems components. The reports indicated that the “majority of vulnerabilities that were coordinated involved systems most commonly used in the Energy Sector, followed by Critical Manufacturing and Water and Wastewater.”

Another May 6 guest column in Water Online revealed the top six water infrastructure control system vulnerabilities, not making us feel any more secure.

The good news: Help is available.

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Wastewater Treatment Plants: Climate Change, Severe Weather & Emergencies

Climate change is no longer breaking news, but has now become common fodder for media stories. That alone should signal the need to take it seriously, especially on the part of those tasked with building and maintaining our nation’s critical infrastructure. Fortunately, the wastewater collection, management and treatment industry embraced this imperative years ago and saw the need to begin planning for the results of a warmer planet.

Despite an initial surge of resistance to the idea of global warming by parties with a vested interest in maintaining the status quo, the vast majority of serious climatologists now concur on the reality of our warming planet. And those whose job descriptions include long-range planning have stepped up to create and execute plans that address this very real, very important change.

Resilient Lands and Waters Initiative

In late April, Washington D.C. announced that The Department of the Interior (DOI), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recognized four collaborative landscape partnerships across the country as partners in a new Resilient Lands and Waters initiative

In this program, the federal agencies will focus efforts with these state and regional partners to conserve and restore important lands and waters, to make them more resilient to a changing climate.

Building on existing collaborations, these Resilient Lands and Waters partnerships – located in southwest Florida, Hawaii, Washington and the Great Lakes region – will help build resilience in regions particularly vulnerable to climate change and related challenges. They will also showcase the benefits of landscape-scale management approaches, while helping enhance the carbon storage capacity of these natural areas.

The selected lands and waters face a wide range of climate impacts and other ecological stressors related to climate change, including sea level rise, drought, wildfire, and invasive species. At each location, Federal agencies will work closely with state, tribal, and local partners to prepare for and prevent these and other threats, and ensure that long-term conservation efforts take climate change into account.
Additionally, the initiative will focus on conserving coastal wetlands and marine conservation areas, protecting drinking water for urban areas, and providing habitat for wildlife. These collaborative efforts will include the use of existing tools to benefit the entire landscape as well as the development of new tools.
Efforts in each region are relying on an approach that addresses the needs of the entire landscape. Over the program’s 18-month duration, federal, state, local, and tribal partners will work together in these landscapes to develop more explicit strategies and maps in their programs of work. Developing these strategies will benefit wildfire management, mitigation investments, restoration efforts, water and air quality, carbon storage, and the communities that depend upon natural systems for their own resilience.

Climate Change: Impacts and Responses

The New Jersey Climate Adaptation Alliance, based at Rutgers University’s Climate Institute, has produced an incisive video providing a comprehensive overview of the impacts of a changing climate on people, places and valuable assets.
Though the video focuses on the Garden State, much of the material covers concepts—including the siting and vulnerability of municipal wastewater treatment plants—applicable to nearly any of the United States. The concepts are addressed in an authoritative yet accessible approach that would benefit the comprehension of the average citizen and of plant and collections system managers across the board.

Water Tanks and Severe Weather

One of the most visible results of climate change is, of course, a seeming increase in severe weather events. Tornadoes now occur with regularity from the Rockies to the East Coast. The southern Pacific coast continues to experience extreme drought, many areas in Texas and the southern Great Plains are still reeling from extreme rainfall events, and it seems barely a week goes by that we’re not hearing of another earthquake.

Severe weather and other destructive natural phenomena do not discriminate, and can damage or destroy everything in an affected area, including water tanks. Necessary water supply for consumption, fire protection, and emergency needs, along with isolation and treatment of wastewater streams, are crucial to the everyday well-being of any populace, and even more so when a severe weather event occurs. Therefore, water tanks should be designed, constructed, maintained, and inspected to withstand severe weather.

Tanks that have experienced winter storms and freezing should obviously be inspected for damage, but seismic activity, high winds, lightning, droughts, and flooding also occur in the warmer months, and tanks are susceptible to damage from these stressors, as well. Here’s an informative article about what to look for during inspections to properly maintain the safety and sustainability of these critical parts of your plant’s operation.

Mobile EPA Website

Perhaps one of the most helpful things about being in the midst of a severe weather or other emergency is knowing you’re not alone. No one—especially managers of mission-critical public utility facilities—wants to feel like they’re out there swinging in the wind on their own when everything seems to be crashing down around them. Though it’s of primary importance to have, practice and execute an emergency operations plan, sometimes what really makes the difference is feeling the presence of a supportive ally in returning plant operations to normal as soon as possible.

Enter the newly launched, field-accessible mobile website of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This mobile-responsive site consolidates information and tools that water utility operators and their response partners may need during an emergency.

The Water Utility Response On-The-Go mobile website allows users to:

  • Identify and contact emergency response partners;
  • Monitor local and national severe weather;
  • Review and complete incident-specific checklists;
  • Populate, save and email both generic damage assessment forms and FEMA incident command system forms.

We hope these article links and website tool will help our municipal WWTP managers be better informed in their emergency planning, and to operate more effectively should such an emergency arise.

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Wastewater Industry Roundup: Infrastructure

It appears that lawmakers were busy through the long, cold winter, thinking of unfrozen times. Proposed – and in some cases, passed – legislation indicates that government officials are waking up to the need for wastewater systems upgrades across the country. This could mean a likelihood of new funding bills for said infrastructure work, and present opportunities not too far down the road for pipeline repair and rehabilitation contractors. Here, we offer a roundup of related news from around the industry:


Sanders stakes out infrastructure platform

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders recently threw his hat into the ring for the Democratic nomination for next year’s presidential run, but even before that, he began staking out his position as advocate for national infrastructure renewal. In January, Sanders introduced a $1 trillion, five-year infrastructure spending bill. As top Democrat on the Senate Budget Committee, he called on lawmakers to get serious about infrastructure issues, which have been put in the spotlight by several deadly failures in recent years, including the collapse of the Interstate 35 bridge in Minnesota’s Twin Cities. http://www.publicworks.com/doc/water-pipes-would-get-fixed-with-trillion-infrastructure-bill-0001 


New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico receive wastewater infrastructure renewal aid

Federal EPA recognizes failing infrastructure with funding for NY, NJ, PR
Significant funding has been allotted to New York, New Jersey and Puerto Rico through the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund, announced EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck in late March. Clean Water State Revolving Fund programs provide low-interest loans for water quality protection projects to make improvements to wastewater treatment systems, control pollution from rainwater runoff, and protect sensitive water bodies and estuaries. http://uimonline.com/index/webapp-stories-action/id.1392/title.epa-to-provide-new-york,-new-jersey,-puerto-rico-funds-for-clean-water-projects


Harrisburg, PA and Capital Region Water reach $82 million EPA agreement

Following years of inspections and investigations into the management of waste and stormwater discharged into the Susquehanna River and Paxton Creek, the City of Harrisburg and Capital Region Water reached a settlement agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that will take an aggressive approach to repairing the problems, according to the Pennsylvania Record. Under the agreement, Capital Region Water must take major steps to improve its operations, including upgrades at its water treatment plant, after it allegedly released eight million gallons of raw sewage into these waterways over six years. http://www.wateronline.com/doc/sewer-authority-reaches-million-deal-with-epa-0001

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Spray lining techniques are primarily employed in the rehabilitation of large-diameter pipes and other man-entry size assets in wastewater management, stormwater collection and potable water conveyance systems. However, we sometimes get questions about using Sprayroq spray-applied lining systems for small diameter (non-man-entry) pressure pipelines.

Often with these types of pipeline rehabilitation projects, the principal objective is to remove scale and corrosion, followed by application of a coating intended to inhibit further deterioration. This coating may also seal very minor leaks, but that is a secondary characteristic and not the main purpose of such linings. The most common materials used for this purpose are cement mortar or epoxy resin, which are applied using a robotic spraying machine that is winched through the pipe at a constant, predetermined rate.

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As we look out our window onto mounds of snow, it’s hard to wrap our brains around the fact that in three short months, the official Atlantic Hurricane Season will be upon us. Of course, our nation’s eastern and southern shore communities are the most vulnerable to such severe storm-related damage to their wastewater management collection and treatment systems, but Pacific coast communities are not immune to tropical and other coastal storms. Being prepared for the kinds of impacts they might see from such storms is a wise and prudent move on the part of these communities, and that includes those responsible for sanitary and storm sewer management.



Hurricane Sandy was the largest storm to hit the northeast U.S. in recorded history, killing 159, knocking out power to millions, and causing $70 billion in damage in eight states. Sandy also put the vulnerability of critical infrastructure in stark relief by:

• paralyzing subways, trains, road and air traffic
• flooding hospitals
• crippling electrical substations
• shutting down power and water to tens of millions of people.

But one of the larger infrastructure failures is less appreciated: sewage overflow.

Six months after Sandy, data from the eight hardest hit states showed that 11 billion gallons of untreated or partially treated sewage flowed into rivers, bays, canals, and—in some cases—city streets, largely as a result of record storm-surge flooding that swamped the region’s major sewage treatment facilities.

To put that in perspective, 11 billion gallons is equal to New York’s Central Park stacked 41 feet high with sewage, or more than 50 times the volume of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The vast majority of that sewage flowed into the waters of New York City and northern New Jersey in the days and weeks during and after the storm.


Review and Report

The non-profit research institute, Climate Central, has produced an informative report on this incident in their April, 2013 publication, Sewer Overflows From Hurricane Sandy

Following a clear introduction to the event, this report reviews the risks posed by storm surge, rising seas and more frequent heavy downpours indicated by trends in climate change. It then explains the types of related sewage overflows before moving on to the results of the group’s Sandy study.

These are detailed in an overview followed by a table of state-by-state overflows, a description of their study methods, data collection techniques, and treatment of that data.

The report’s conclusion summarizes the total impacts, costs and mitigation of the storm damage, and rounds out with:

• a thorough References and Notes section
• a truly helpful Glossary, and
• an Appendix of Locations for which no data was available.

Municipal planners, plant managers and public works authorities will find this useful as the basis for creating emergency operations plans to deal with extreme weather-caused overflows.


A Wider View

Of course, there are more types of situations that can cause emergencies for treatment plants, and the federal EPA has a publication addressing this reality. Their Emergency Planning for Municipal Wastewater Treatment Facilities, EPA Publication # 430974013, is a 78-page report designed to assist those responsible for developing comprehensive emergency operating procedures and systems for wastewater treatment facilities. This intended audience includes:

• consulting engineers
• regulatory agencies
• municipal managers and their staffs

Regulatory agencies and EPA staff can use this report in evaluating the emergency operation programs of O&M manuals. Municipal department heads and staff can use it in developing plans suited to the peculiarities of their local plants. Treatment plant staffs may also use it to explain to local governing bodies the need for additional funds to remedy difficulties at their plants.

Our only reservation about this document is that it was prepared in February of 1974 – a full 40+ years ago. Needless to say, times have changed and there are many more types of potential emergency situations now. For instance:

• though flooding is addressed, full-on tropical storm conditions are not
• there is no mention at all of terrorism
• potential conditions brought on by climate change, which more than a few areas are already experiencing, are also absent.

We hope the EPA has planned an update of this important document very soon.

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Our last post covered the troubling but important topic of infrastructure failure, a growing problem across our nation. This time, we hope to offer some relief in the form of listing sources for funding the rehabilitation of aging assets and the construction of new ones to replace outdated technology to match modern challenges.

As late as October of last year, the EPA was announcing new initiatives in funding for infrastructure rehabilitation and construction. We share here a few resources for locating such funding for our customers responsible for stormwater and sanitary sewer infrastructure.

Green Infrastructure
Lack of funding is consistently cited as a barrier to implementation of green infrastructure. Read More: http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/greeninfrastructure/gi_funding.cfm
One advantage of green infrastructure projects, however, is that they generate so many benefits that they can compete for a variety of diverse funding sources.

Nonpoint Source-Related Opportunities
Information resources and centers, state revolving funds (CWSRF), CWA Section 319, and miscellaneous guides & reports are available here: http://water.epa.gov/polwaste/nps/funding.cfm

Small Community Resources
The National Small Flows Clearinghouse (NSFC) http://www.nesc.wvu.edu/sitemap.cfm is a nonprofit agency that helps small communities and individuals solve their wastewater problems to protect public health and the environment. Since small townships may not have the personnel to spend time wading through government forms, and may not have the experience or expertise to write successful grant applications, technical assistance is available from agencies such as the Rural Community Assistance Program. Additionally, F. X. Browne, Inc. can provide technical assistance to your community in finding funding sources, writing grant applications, and implementing the project once funding is granted. Contact F. X. Browne, Inc. at (800) 220-2022, or e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

This resource comes from what for some may seem an unlikely ally, the Natural Resources Defense Council. But for small communities struggling with newer stormwater runoff issues, the NRDC Guide Stormwater Strategies: Community Responses to Runoff Pollution can be a real tool for gaining support for, funding and establishing a stormwater program. Chapter Four is here: http://www.nrdc.org/water/pollution/storm/chap4.asp, directly addressing this issue.

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When most people hear “the aging of America,” they think first of our nation’s baby boomers, now entering senior citizenship. But in our industry, that term almost inevitably applies to our country’s stormwater and wastewater management and potable water infrastructure. Most of these assets were first constructed at least 60 years ago, and usually with a design life of 50 years. It doesn’t take a math whiz to realize what that means. But while the average American maybe vaguely aware of this reality, those who work in our field deal with the result of increasing infrastructure failures on a daily basis.

Even the federal government is recognizing that the state of our country’s basic infrastructure assets could rapidly come to represent a threat to our quality of life and even our nation’s security. It’s certain to be a major topic of conversation on an ongoing basis until we collectively get a handle on how to approach this increasing problem. This post will provide a brief overview of some of the ways various municipalities are viewing and dealing with this issue.

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It’s no secret that America and many other developed countries have fallen in love with “flushable wipes” hygiene products. The problem is, these products are flushable only in the most literal of terms: once they get into the wastewater collection system, they don’t break down or disperse, and this is causing huge processing nightmares for many utilities around the world.

Fritz Egger of JWC Environmental wrote an excellent overview of this growing problem in a June, 2014 issue of Water Online, “WWEMA Window: ‘Nondispersibles' Turning Sewers Into Nightmares Nationwide.” [http://www.wateronline.com/doc/wwema-window-flushables-turning-sewers-into-nightmares-nationwide-0001] The guest column reveals the significant numbers involved in wastewater treatment response to nondispersables, and outlines several efforts instituted to date for dealing with this growing problem.

Essentially, it’s a three-pronged effort consisting of

  • Aggressive public education campaigns
  • Urges for manufacturers to reformulate the product using more dispersable substrates
  • Re-tooling facilities with grinders and other equipment to remove or break up the clog balls formed by wipes

If your interest is more than passing, you might also want to have a listen to a more recent podcast from October, 2014. 'Flushable' Mess: How To Clean Up The Nondispersible Wipes Issue, [http://www.wateronline.com/doc/flushable-mess-how-to-clean-up-the-nondispersible-wipes-issue-0001] also from JWC Environmental, examines potential proactive solutions for a growing problem that many utilities report is their Number One processing issue.

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Though the majority of our customers operate in the wastewater/stormwater management sphere, we do work with a few potable water utilities. And this is their season of discontent, at least as far as the potential for frozen pipe bursts is concerned.

Fortunately, it’s a problem that can be anticipated and--especially with today’s ability to quickly get the message out via social media channels, eNewsletters, traditional newsletters and the local media—effectively heading off serious issues.

That’s the gist of an article in a recent edition of Water Online by reporter Sara Jerome. Talking To Customers About Frozen Pipes [http://www.wateronline.com/doc/talking-to-customers-about-frozen-pipes-0001] is a cross between a case study and a best practices primer for developing and implementing a protocol for reaching out to water customers about preventing frozen pipes.

We’re hoping it will be a helpful tool in formulating or tweaking your own consumer outreach about this seasonal bugaboo.

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Posted by on in Sprayroq

It begins with Thanksgiving, but it doesn’t end there. Because ours is an industry that works somewhat seasonally, we do have a bit more time between the bookends of Thanksgiving and Christmas—the traditional holiday season—to really look back over our year and take stock of all we have to be grateful for.

Of course, it’s all about our certified installer partners and the engineers and municipalities you serve: You’re the reason we exist and are able to do what we love all year long. We get to stimulate our brains with new product engineering challenges, doing battle with all the issues you bring to us for help. That’s what we love, what we live for. You give us a reason to come to work. There’s always that excitement about how we’re going to be able to help you spec a solution. We sincerely enjoy helping you rise to the level of your challenges, proving yourselves to your clients while we prove ourselves to you.

And sometimes, when the going gets tough, we’re thankful even for the situations that don’t turn out perfectly. It keeps us humble but motivated to do better next time, to go back over ground we’ve covered before to find a fresh angle on your perplexing questions.

And of course, we’re grateful to you for your patience and understanding. It helps to remember we’re all only human—trying our best to overcome sometimes daunting odds—and we’re all in it together. You consistently help us feel that, and we appreciate the trust and confidence you put in our team. There’s nothing quite so satisfying as driving home at the end of the day knowing that we’ve helped you get the job done.

Sure, we sell products, but we’re well aware that ours is a service business as much as anything. It’s all about supporting you and getting you where you need to be. We take that job seriously, because we know what you’ve got riding on the outcome.

At this thankful time of year, please know that we are grateful for your business, for the expertise of our team and the support of our certified installers, beyond the capability of words to express. It is truly a joy and a pleasure to serve you, and we look forward to being your partner in success again in the New Year.

If only for a moment, stop and take a few deep breaths. Look around you, and remember why you got into this business. Rededicate yourself to finding the joy in what you do, and know that we appreciate you. Happy holidays to you and yours.

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These days, operators and managers of water treatment plants are losing sleep, because they may be losing water.

According to a report by CNN, leaking pipes cause 7 billion gallons of wasted water daily. Billion, with a “b.” That’s a LOT of wasted water, especially in a time when some states with large populations are suffering their worst droughts in history. It’s no longer a waste that can be ignored.

Many of the leaks take place underground and out of sight, hidden until they cause a water main break or other significant problem. But that doesn’t have to be the outcome.

Using integrated automation and SCADA systems, municipalities can more quickly and efficiently discover, identify and pinpoint leaks—saving a precious natural resource as well as minimizing lost revenue. This proactivity also enables municipalities to

  • avoid the significant time and expense often associated with a more catastrophic event
  • minimize disruption to business and residential customers
  • and reduce potential public health and safety concerns about contamination.

Learn more about this solution to an increasingly important problem by reading the full report.

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There’s no shortage of industry news for our friends in the wastewater treatment facility segment. Some is simply informative, while at least one story is downright scary. Let’s get that one out of the way first:

Deadly Sludge Flood Accident in Texas

Two workers—Carlos Ramos, 34, and John Barrow, 40—were killed by a flood of sludge at an El Paso, Texas, treatment plant on October 22. While just the thought is chilling,
this unfortunate accident will be certain to have ramifications for the industry. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is currently investigating the death of the two Cubic Water LLC employees after an incident at the Roberto R. Bustamante Wastewater Treatment Plant. Learn more…

Four Signs Your Plant Needs An Upgrade

Water Online has a good summary roundup http://www.wateronline.com/doc/signs-you-are-ready-to-upgrade-your-wastewater-treatment-plant-0001 of the four general indicators of need for a treatment plant upgrade. It’s a meaty overview of issues many in the industry are facing with the aging of their facilities, containing useful information to help you get your hands around understanding your challenges and formulating possible next steps.

New Jersey Gets $74M For Water Infrastructure Projects

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $74 million to the state of New Jersey to help finance improvements to water projects essential to protecting public health and the environment. The funds will primarily be used to upgrade sewage treatment plants and drinking water systems throughout the state. This funding, awarded annually, is in addition to the $229 million the Garden State received recently for Hurricane Sandy resiliency projects. Get more information http://water.epa.gov/grants_funding/cwsrf/cwsrf_index.cfm on the Clean Water State Revolving Fund program.

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A Consultant’s Corner guest column in a recent issue of Water Online argues for the proactive connection of sustainability and asset management programs in the water industry. CH2M HILL’s John Fortin, Priscilla Bloomfield, and Lindsay Ritter make a solid case for “taking a triple bottom line (TBL) approach and integrating asset management with sustainability” as a robust and effective use of best management processes for optimal performance.

While some utilities are doing this very well, the authors point out that in many North American utilities, sustainability and asset management are in disparate parts of the utility. They may also be led by separate directors, causing the functions to compete for resources (especially funding).

By integrating the two frameworks, the commentators suggest, utilities can achieve a full range of benefits by recognizing how the lifecycle of its assets — from planning, design, construction, operation, maintenance, repair replacement, and disposal — impact the ecosystem and natural resources, as well as levels of service and the risks and costs associated with operating and maintaining their physical assets.

Read more of the full-length commentary http://www.wateronline.com/doc/consultant-s-corner-sustainability-and-asset-management-how-the-two-are-connected-0001 for a complete examination of this recommendation.

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A few years ago, our own Jerry Gordon and Chip Johnson participated with industry colleagues in the Water Research Foundation’s study of modern spray-on structural linings, co-sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The purpose of this project was to objectively examine the structural qualities of spray-on linings. Although the history and structural properties of cement mortar lining was also discussed, the focus was largely on more advanced polymeric linings: epoxy, polyurethane, and polyurea, and what structural benefits might be obtained from using these linings.

The result was an exhaustive report, entitled Global Review of Spray-On Structural Lining Technologies, published by the WRF in 2010. For those just getting familiar with these technologies, this report is a fantastic primer to prepare you for the many and varied considerations you need to be aware of in making informed decisions when choosing an appropriate lining for your particular application.

We provide this link to the report: http://www.waterrf.org/PublicReportLibrary/4095.pdf, which you can download in PDF form or read right on the Web for your convenience.

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The Utility Management Conference www.wef.org/UtilityManagement2015 will be held February 17–20, 2015 in Austin, Texas.

The ICS Cyber Security Conference http://www.waterworld.com/events/2014/10/ics-cyber-security-conference.html will grace Atlanta, GA from October 20-23, 2014

Visit Washington, DC October 28-30, 2014 for the North American Strategic Infrastructure Leadership Forum
http://www.waterworld.com/events/2014/10/north-american-strategic infrastructure-leadership-forum.html

You can find the Produced Water Reuse Initiative http://www.waterworld.com/events/2014/10/produced-water-reuse-initiative-2014.html In Denver, CO October 29-30, 2014.

The International Water, Wastewater and Environmental Monitoring (WWEM) Conference http://www.waterworld.com/events/2014/11/international-water-wastewater-and-environmental monitoring-wwem-conference.html is coming up next month in Telford, England, from November 5-6, 2014.

WEF also presents some no-cost webcasts:

The Water Environment Federation is looking for abstracts for presentations at their 2015 events:

• WEF-EESS Asia-Pacific Wastewater Treatment and Reuse Conference www.apwwtrc2015.com  To be held June 28–July 1, 2015 in Singapore Abstract Submittal Deadline: Oct. 31

• WEFTEC www.weftec.org/Program/page.aspx?id=65  To be held Sept. 26–30, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois Abstract Submittal Deadline: Dec. 1

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photodune-4428437-modern-digital-background-xsMost of those responsible for maintaining gravity flow sewer lines or potable water systems are familiar with methods of testing pipeline integrity, such as the use of electrical current flow as prescribed in ASTM Standard F2550-13. This technique is popular because it’s a non-destructive method, doesn’t require much if any digging, and can detect leaks that may not be apparent from inside the pipe during a standard inline camera inspection.

There are other methods such as deflection and smoke testing, low-pressure air and vacuum testing, and these all have their places. But with so many different types and sizes of pipe, and such a large range of conditions in which testing must be performed, there’s always room for another option.

We thought we’d bring to your attention one more, namely acoustic-based leak detection. This method has the advantages of being completely non-invasive and non-destructive, not requiring special ports or the closure of service take-offs. Pipes are accessed through valves or fire hydrants on the line, and acoustic signals are induced by flowing water from the hydrants or physically tapping on a pipeline appurtenance such as a valve. Since it doesn’t entail physical entry of the pipeline, it carries zero potential for introducing foreign organisms, disturbing pipe sediment or causing the loss of pipeline components.

We provide this link to more information, in case it seems like an option that might work for you. [http://bit.ly/pipetest]

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photodune-6923024-disgusted-woman-bad-smell-xs 1
Water Online recently ran a great piece http://www.wateronline.com/doc/how-to-avoid- sewer-stench-and-corrosion-0001 on the growing problem of hydrogen sulfide as a culprit in causing unpleasant odors seeping from sewer grates and manholes. It also does a really good job of giving an overview of how this nasty gas is created, and what we as wastewater collection professionals can do about it.

We’re particularly interested in the angle of how H2S not only smells bad, but does some very bad things to the structure of pipelines and related conveyance system assets. Not a small amount of the work our Certified Sprayroq Applicator partners do is rehabilitation of such assets that have been badly corroded by prolonged exposure to this destructive, dangerous gas.

We do take issue with the idea that protective coatings have a limited role to play in protection of new installations, rather than just being well-suited for easily viewed areas and repairs on existing infrastructure. The article says basically that for everything else, monolithic plastic liners are the way to go.

The fact is, our third-party testing reveals that our protective coatings have a 50-year service life expectancy, like much of the infrastructure itself. So while we applaud an otherwise excellent article, we encourage you to explore for yourself the proven performance characteristics of spray-applied liners and coatings to help mitigate and even prevent H2S corrosion in your collection and treatment systems.

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Companies that manufacture, sell or distribute water treatment or distribution products in North America are required to ensure that their products comply with NSF/ANSI Standard 61 http://www.nsf.org/services/by-industry/water-wastewater/municipal-water-treatment/nsf-ansi-standard-61/ by most government agencies that regulate drinking water supplies.

NSF/ANSI 61 was developed by a team of scientists, industry experts and key industry stakeholders to set criteria for the health effects of many water system components including:

• Protective barrier materials (cements, paints, coatings, linings)

• Joining and sealing materials (gaskets, adhesives, lubricants)

• Mechanical devices (water meters, valves, filters)

• Pipes and related products (pipe, hose, fittings)

• Plumbing devices (faucets, drinking fountains)

• Process media (filter media, ion exchange resins)

• Non-metallic potable water materials that come into contact with drinking water, drinking water treatment chemicals, or both.

The Standard identifies and evaluates contaminants or impurities that may be imparted indirectly to drinking water. Point-of-use (say, the tap itself) and point-of-entry (source) drinking water treatment devices are not covered by this Standard. The standard determines what contaminants may migrate or leach from a product into drinking water, and at what concentration to remain below maximum allowable levels to be considered safe.

NSF/ANSI Standard 61 certification ensures that these products meet regulatory safety requirements for the U.S. and Canada, and of many other countries, as well.

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Since one of the main things our products do is repair and protect sanitary system pipelines from chemical-induced deterioration and abrasion, we tend to stay on top of news about such things found in the liquid waste stream. But here’s one that bears watching by our friends in wastewater treatment facilities...and, in a way, by everyone.

Though it’s been reported already that triclosan, an ingredient in anti-bacterial soap, shows a tendency to gum up natural waterways, here’s a new one: Seems it also is wreaking havoc on the necessary bacterial activity in aerobic digesters found in wastewater treatment plants.

Environmentalists are already up in arms about triclosan as it pertains to drinking water. Now they’re hoping this latest finding will bolster their case to get the EPA to rule against the use of the component in the manufacture of soaps. From a recent report in Science News, it appears that triclosan “may also encourage the growth of microbes that are immune to drugs, increasing the chances that drug-resistant microbes will spread in the environment via fertilizers.”

Worth worrying about, or just another distraction keeping authorities from the real problems? Check out the story [http://www.wateronline.com/doc/antibacterial-agent-found-in-soap-interfering-with-wastewater-treatment-0001] and decide for yourself.

We’d love to hear your thoughts.

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As DOT and municipal stormwater management infrastructure ages, more and more cities, states and counties find themselves in the position of needing to include repair, rehabilitation or replacement of these assets into their project planning each year. If you haven’t had the experience yet, it can be daunting to even know where to start. So why not use an existing plan that’s already working as a template for creating your own?

Here we share one such plan [http://www.dot.nd.gov/divisions/environmental/storm-water/training/InfrastructureMasterPlanning.pdf] from the city of Grand Forks, North Dakota. It encompasses their 2012 plan for potable water, wastewater, stormwater and transportation assets, including possible scenarios.

This helpful document includes:

$1·         Clear diagrams detailing the master planning study approach

$1·         Elements of asset management

$1·         The city’s asset management framework based on the EPA’s suggested 10-step process

$1·         Principles of utility management

$1·         Regulation considerations for MS4

$1·         Public policy considerations

$1·         Revenue gap analysis

$1·         Breakdown of stormwater assets, revenues, major challenges

$1·         Stormwater collection capital projections

$1·         Outline of environmental regulation challenges

$1·         Approach and assumption overview

$1·         Gap closure “toolbox”

$1·         Funding overviews

$1·         Sample data collection pages

It’s a comprehensive document that would surely be of assistance to any municipality looking at a similar task ahead.

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Metrics of Successful Mentoring Page 02
There’s nothing new under the sun, it’s said, and that’s certainly true when it comes to the “elder statesmen” of any industry grousing about the incompetence or inexperience of the greenhorns. We’ve all heard it, and we’ve all done it — that’s human nature. But when the air clears and any teasing has died down, it’s up to us—those tested through sheer experience—to ensure the continuity of our field by doing all we can to pass our hard-won knowledge on to the next generation.

It’s kind of ironic, really, that an industry such as ours—so profoundly dependent on the solutions promised by new technology—must acknowledge that the best way to pass on this know-how is still through personal, one-on-one mentoring relationships. It’s true, one-on-one mentoring helps industry newbies in many tangible and intangible ways in the development of their skill sets, thought disciplines and career development:

  1. Facilitates opportunities and connections
  2. Promotes mentee in and out of work situations
  3. Helps mentee understand promotion requirements and fiscal realities
  4. Helps navigate the system
  5. Models and instructs on ethical behavior

The great news is that we, as mentors, can leverage the power of modern communication technology in the course of our mentoring. Text messaging, Skype sessions, phone conversations can stand in for much of the face-to-face mentoring used to require. But don’t forget the power and efficiency inherent in being there to interpret the hidden meaning of facial expressions and body language.

If you’re really concerned about the state of our field, mentoring is something you can do that can make a real difference. Mentoring in our field fits perfectly with the emphasis on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) disciplines in today’s public and post-secondary school curricula. Best of all, you can control how much of your time and energy it takes up, while choosing the best of what to pass along. If you’re interested in mentoring but don’t really know how to get started, contact any of our many professional associations to let them know you’re open to the possibility. Someone there likely knows someone who needs the knowledge you have to offer.

You may be surprised at how mentoring brings back your love of the game, so to speak. Nothing to remind you of how much you’ve accomplished than trying to pass along what you’ve learned. And who knows? Maybe you’ll discover a truly talented individual you can see as a big part of your company’s future when it’s time for succession planning.

To make it easier to set up a mentoring program—as formal or informal as you wish— we’re sharing here a guide to The Metrics of Mentoring, a resource from the Medical University of South Carolina. It’s intended for the academic community, but the majority of the main points could transfer across any field of study or endeavor.

Next time you’re tempted to complain about the lack of professionalism in younger people in our industry, instead ask yourself what you’re doing personally to build a stronger future for all of us.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_2013-relining-guide.pngThe recent failure of some major highway bridges, which resulted in death, extreme damage and municipal emergencies, remind us that our nation’s aging infrastructure looms as a real threat on everyone’s horizon, from city managers and utility departments to Joe Citizen.

Since our business entails working closely with such municipal professionals in both sanitary and stormwater management systems, we’re intimately familiar with the failing infrastructure bogeyman who haunts many of our dreams. But we’re not worried, because we know the caliber of talented individuals who really care about keeping their hometown’s sewer systems effective, efficient and safe.

We believe in the demonstrated capacity of humans to rise to the challenges that have always arisen to threaten our quality of life, and choose to focus on that. We believe in being a part of the solution.

In that vein, we remind you of the excellent overview of rehabilitation techniques available in last year’s Pipe Relining supplement [http://trenchlessonline.com/pdfs/2013-pipe-relining-guide.pdf] from our friends over at Trenchless Technologies.

This excellent reference covers many facets of this ever-evolving technology, from choosing the right relining method to case studies of several different types of relining projects, from sanitary sewers to drinking water mains. It should whet your appetite for their upcoming 2014 supplement, and we recommend taking notice of the great strides the technology makes even from one year to the next.

We often work in conjunction with relining contractors on larger projects, and we’re convinced that this particular approach to pipe rehab is one of the most effective tools in our collective belt to ensure a strong, safe future for America’s water systems.

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A recent editor’s letter in Water Online magazine discussed three technologies to watch that could set the wastewater management industry on its ear in terms of causing major market shifts in favor of emerging concepts. On a wider business basis, this type of new offering is called a “disruptive technology,” because it seriously impacts the status quo, which has usually been in place for some time.

We felt each of these was worth sharing with our friends in the wastewater treatment field, specifically those responsible for keeping treatment facilities up to date. We’re just summarizing here, so if you want more details, you’ll probably want to visit the original article.

Capacitive De-ionization or CDI uses an electrically-charged process to draw dissolved ions (salt) out of water, recovering 80-90 percent of treated water, compared to the 50-70 percent typically recovered from standard reverse osmosis treatment.

UV-LED light systems for water disinfection are not powered by a filament but generate ultraviolet light through the movement of electrons in a semiconductor material. This eliminates the danger of mercury contamination should the diode break, unlike filament-based bulbs. Aside from being safer, this technology also has a smaller physical footprint and is less energy-intensive.

Ceramic Membranes are certain up-and-comers, since they are more robust in standing up to harsh chemicals and temperatures than polymeric membranes, while delivering better performance. They can also be cleaned with aggressive chemicals, making cleaning easier and allowing ceramics to be more adaptable in industrial wastewater reuse.

All these technologies are already becoming cheaper to manufacture and use, making them poised for serious inroads into these markets.


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9-57Our main business comes from contractors serving customers looking for structural rehabilitation and repair of concrete and corrugated metal pipe, reinforced concrete box culverts and similar sanitary and storm water conveyance structures. But as we mature as a company, we can’t help but notice that we might not get called on as early as we do for many of these types of projects if contractors were instead invited to install spray-applied protective linings on new asset installations.

Such prophylactic use of our proven technologies could go a long way toward extending the design life of new structures.

As many critical water conveyance systems reach the end of their service lives, we’re seeing structures that are simply beyond repair and requiring replacement. Of course, when these systems first went into use, there was no lining technology, and the original builders didn’t really even know how long their structures would last. But now we’re all getting an idea of what we can expect from the materials we use and encounter every day. And now that we are, the next logical question to ask is how protective linings we know perform admirably in rehab applications would help extend service life by preventing exposure to the types of corrosive and abrasive stressors from the very beginning.

Of course, every application is different, and every environment has its own unique atmosphere and stress characteristics. We can’t make guarantees on applications no one’s ever tried before, but logical extension of the proven performance of spray-applied protective linings from rehab to preventive use opens a world of possibilities for far-reaching asset performance extension.

Give us a call to discuss your upcoming new asset installations. We’d love to help you pioneer what we’re certain is the next evolution in protective linings. Who knows? We might just make some history together.

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It’s no secret that wastewater treatment plants are trying to squeeze what life is left out of admittedly failing systems. Ultimately, their next step will have to be complete replacement of drastically aging infrastructure. What’s up for grabs is how they will approach that replacement.

Used to be, the only option was a time-consuming design-bid-build process, and no one much questioned this method. But these days, since passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, municipalities are under pressure to allocate and spend these funds for the quickest possible results. As part of the requirements of receiving such funding, governments must be able to point to responsive job creation for local economies and timely renewal of critical infrastructure that were the impetus for the Act’s creation.

The traditional design-bid-build approach involves two contracts — one with an engineering firm to design the project, and one with a construction company to build it out. Design-build entails only one contract, between the facility owner and the design-builder, and skips the time-consuming bid process. In addition to quicker project completion, the design-build approach also lets contracts be awarded on overall “best value.”

It’s big news in water and wastewater circles, as evidenced by recent articles in Civil + Structural Engineer ( http://www.cenews.com/article/7558/design-build-for-water-and-wastewater) and Water Online ( http://www.wateronline.com/doc/is-design-build-the-future-for-the-water-sector-0001). A case study ( http://www.westyost.com/project/construction-management-designbuild-wastewater-treatment-plant) of the construction management performed for one such design-build project by California engineering firm West Yost details some of the time- and cost-saving measures and considerations.

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Developing a confined space safety program that is instructive and effective begins with regulations, but grows past them—especially those specifically written for a particular construction scenario, like excavations.

Unlike excavation and fall scenarios, in which hazards are usually clearly visible, atmospheric issues associated with confined spaces may not provide sensory warnings. Typically workers can’t see, hear, or — in many cases — even smell gases or fumes that may be present. They may not realize they’re in trouble until it’s too late for them to recover and self-rescue. Fellow employees who see a victim collapse may rush to rescue, only to become victims themselves. The most distinctive and tragic statistic concerning confined spaces is that two out of three victims typically are would-be rescuers.

Working safely under such conditions is a life-or-death challenge that requires three steps: education, evaluation, and elimination. Read the entire, enlightening article from Underground Construction.

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Our friends at the National Association of Sewer Service Companies (NASSCO) report several important efforts recently tackled that are of interest to those of us in the trenchless repair and rehabilitation business:

  • NASSCO has succeeded in heading off a proposed ban on acrylamide grout, working with the EPA while ICGA prepared an in-depth safety program for the use of grouts.

  • NASSCO’s Health and Safety Committee testified at congressional hearings on proposed changes to OSHA confined-space entry regulations regarding collection systems. Proposed reclassification of routine maintenance/rehabilitation work as “new construction,” which would have cost the industry around $7.5 million annually through additional jobsite requirements, was successfully avoided. OSHA will classify rehabilitation work as maintenance.
  • NASSCO has worked with the styrene industry through its CIPP Committee to have the government review the science behind the 2011 findings by the National Toxicology Program of the Department of Health and Human Services that list styrene as a potential human carcinogen. This classification affects requirements for the use of resins in cured-in-place pipe (CIPP). Congress ultimately authorized a study by the National Academy of Science to perform the review.

It’s good to have the strength of such a dedicated professional trade organization going to bat for the interests of all of us.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_GRIT-WIP-1.jpgThe term “disruptive technologies” sounds misleadingly negative, as in something that prevents activity from moving forward. Actually, they’re called this because what they disrupt is the status quo, with something new and excitingly promising. They generally develop under the radar, but once they catch on, they catch fire quickly, displacing old technologies and causing major market shifts.

Our customers in the wastewater treatment business will likely sit up and take notice of two of these disruptive technologies recently profiled in Water Online Magazine:

BlueTech Research, which track water industry innovations, reports that studies show that ceramic membranes achieve better performance in terms of flux stability and treated water quality than polymeric membranes. The firm notes that ceramic membranes exhibit “particular advantages in harsh industrial environments such as oil and gas,” with the ability to handle aggressive chemicals and temperatures that would degrade their polymeric counterparts. Their robustness allows ceramic membranes to be cleaned with similarly aggressive chemicals, potentially reducing maintenance costs.

Another such innovation is UV-LED, now in early-stage development. They’re intended to ultimately replace current UV fluorescent bulbs that disinfect water and wastewater, since these tubes typically contain mercury and are susceptible to breakage. UV-LED generates UV light in a less energy-intensive way, with light-emitting diodes (LEDs) no powered by a filament but the movement of electrons in a semiconductor material. Their smaller size and greater effectiveness allows UV-LED units to be configured and used in more types of applications than current technology. Experts estimate it could be 5 to 15 years before the new UV-LEDs pass the tipping point of production when their higher costs is offset by demand, making them ultimately cheaper to produce than traditional bulbs.

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Posted by on in Trenchless Technology & Trends

One of the best characteristics of Sprayroq products is their versatility. Our protective and structural spray-applied liners, originally formulated for use in the punishing environments inside sanitary sewer systems, are proving equally effective in repairing and rehabilitating potable water and stormwater conveyances and storage, as well as transportation system structures.

Retaining walls, box culverts, underpasses, sluiceways, canals…pretty much any concrete structure, and the corrugated metal pipes that often run through them, are everywhere under, along, around and over our streets and highways. While not subject to the corrosive environment inside sanitary sewers, DOT structures are exposed to similar seismic stresses, as well as to the exterior ravages of intense sun, wind, rain, sleet, hail, snow, chemical icy road treatment and freeze-thaw cycles.

Our Spraywall and Sprayshield plural-component coating products provide both corrosion protection and structural rehabilitation that benefit both types of structures, proven by our Certified Sprayroq Partners in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia and other areas. As municipal utility and public works departments successfully employ our synthetic engineered linings, their DOT counterparts are taking notice and envisioning ways our products could serve their infrastructure needs.

So if you’ve already witnessed the reliable effectiveness of Sprayroq in your sanitary sewer applications, be sure to share those successes with your peers in the local Department of Transportation. They’ll thank you, and so will we.

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Though many of you are old pros at stormwater and wastewater system management, not everyone has had experience in every facet of this multi-disciplinary industry. There are always new pros on their way up the ladder, and best practices are always evolving. So we thought it might be valuable to refresh everyone on some solid resources available for those learning and practicing infrastructure asset management.

We work closely with asset managers in implementing their planned maintenance and unplanned repairs, so we know just how important it is to understand industry best practices in running an efficient, effective asset management program.

As the practice of asset management has grown in recent years, an extensive body of resources has become available to help develop our knowledge and practices. This includes software and guidebooks for utilities, as well as resources to help local officials understand and support asset management efforts.

You can locate these resources, which have been vetted by the federal Environmental Protection Agency, at their website. [http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/sustain/am_resources.cfm] They include:
• A Best Practices Guide for Asset Managers
• Guide for Building an Asset Management Team
• A Handbook for Managing Assets of Small Public Water Systems
• Check-Up Program for Small Systems Software

You can also find resources for Asset Management Partners, including:
• The WERF Sustainable Infrastructure Management Program
• Asset Management Guides and Train-the-Trainer Toolkit
• Video for Public Officials and Water Managers
• “Liquid Assets” public media outreach initiative

There are also
• Advanced Asset Management Workshop materials including exercises, drawings, spreadsheet tool and training slides, along with other useful information, all downloadable as PDF files.
• Web-Based Training programs
• Webinar Training modules

There’s something here for all asset management professionals, from entry to advanced levels, so why re-invent the wheel? Even if you need to customize the materials for your own specific use, at least you won’t be starting from scratch.

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At Sprayroq, we’ve always believed that the better educated our potential and existing customers are, the more likely they’ll be to appreciate the products we offer. In that spirit, we’ve identified a an upcoming opportunity to gain some knowledge on infrastructure technologies that may be helpful in staying current on available options for your design/build/repair/maintain efforts. We always welcome your input about other training, education and professional development events we may not be aware of, so we can share them here, as well.

WEF Seminar:

May 12–13, 2014

Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG) Management Workshop

NJWEA Annual Conference

Bally’s • Atlantic City, New Jersey

Through years of interaction with regulators, utility representatives and consultants, WEF has developed a comprehensive Fats, Oils, and Grease Management Training Workshop. Newly updated workshop has been redesigned, using

  • the knowledge of experts already involved in the management of fats, oils, and grease
  • input from new developments such as research and implementation feedback

This program presents background information and implementation details for a variety of control options for fats, oils, and grease (FOG). Its purpose is to present a spectrum of options that can be used as a basis for utilities to design and implement their own site-specific FOG management programs for preventing or eliminating the entry of FOG into the collection system.

Learn more [http://www.wef.org/Conferences/page_seminars_details.aspx?id=12884904127]

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Posted by on in Government / Regulations

b2ap3_thumbnail_water_week_logo_large.pngThis month, for the first time, a broad array of municipal, state and regional water sector groups from across the country joined forces for Water Week 2014. This event is a celebration of the innovative transformation occurring within the drinking water and wastewater sectors as we adapt to the challenges of the 21st Century.

Through a series of events that took place April 7-11, Water Week 2014 brought hundreds of water and wastewater professionals to Washington, D.C. to meet with members of Congress and federal regulators. They discussed key legislative, regulatory and legal water developments, and applauded champions for progress in addressing our nation’s water challenges.

The Fed has created an official website for the event (waterweek.us), providing press materials to help local municipalities participate in raising public awareness of these increasingly important issues.

What are YOUR plans for participating in this important event that helps raise the visibility of our industry and the important issues for which we work all year long? It’s a great marketing opportunity for you to reach out to your own local and regional municipalities as a partner in their public outreach efforts.

What? They’re not planning any? Well, it’s a bit late to make anything happen this year, but jump on this fantastic opportunity for you to inform them and to become a go-to partner in these efforts next year. Be imaginative: What could you do to help them get the word out about things such as:

• Awareness and visibility of the importance of proper wastewater management
• Sanitary sewer user best practices
• The importance and challenges of maintaining healthy public wastewater systems

Could you offer to set up a demonstration booth or even a real, on-site demonstration of structural rehabilitation while explaining its importance? Don’t underestimate the attractiveness of the “ick factor” to school-age kids. Sure, they’ll think it’s gross – and they’ll be talking about it for weeks! Maybe providing an explanatory brochure – featuring your staff and equipment, of course – for them to distribute to the public is more your speed.

Give some thought to ways you could leverage this high-visibility event to both solidify your standing with your customers while helping them to improve their own visibility and public standing.

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Congratulations to all our Nominees and Award Recipients at this year's Annual Sprayroq Certified Partner's Meeting. Held at the beautiful Royal Pacific Resort in Universal Studios, Florida, this year's conference was well attended and highlighted by the annual awards banquet.

2013 Volume Leaders:

1st Place: Fuquay Inc.

2nd Place: QPS, Inc.

3rd Place: Conco Spray Solutions

2013 Projects of the Year:

QPS, Inc. for the Miller/Coors 2013 Plant Rehabilitation

Subsurface, Inc. for the North Dakota DOT 90" Corrugated Metal Pipe Rehabilitation

2013 The Roq Award:

QPS, Inc.

2013 Person of the Year:

Bob Salvano





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Coming up soon from April 13-17 in Orlando is NASTT’s No-Dig Show, “The Magic of Trenchless.” We always look forward to the opportunity to meet longtime, new and prospective customers such industry shows provide. But this year the No-Dig Show really has some interesting technical sessions we’re pleased to see on tap.

As you’re aware, Sprayroq has advocated since its founding for the sound practice of research and testing for actual product performance. We’re very proud of the fact that our products are tested and certified by qualified, objective third parties to perform as designed.

It’s in everyone’s best interests – from manufacturer to distributor to installer to end user – to prove to ourselves that things work the way they’re supposed to. And aside from controlled, empirical lab environment testing, data gathered from real-world product applications reveal so much for us to consider. Several of this year’s tech sessions at No-Dig promise to share findings of actual application results in many different areas.

We’re looking forward to Grant Whittle’s presentation, Product Qualification for Drinking Water and Wastewater Utility, a current practice review of product qualification practices for condition assessment and renewal technologies pertaining to drinking and wastewater pipelines. After all, it’s in current assessment practices where the rubber hits the road when it comes to analyzing a product’s proven performance in critical infrastructure rehabilitation.

No-Dig will offer many such sessions that promise to help us all improve our effectiveness in maintaining society’s health and standard of living through smart application of state-of-the-art technology. We hope that between sessions, you’ll stop by Booth #1019 to let us know some of your latest challenges, and how we might be able to help you meet them with success.

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According to WEF’s StormwateReport, the Federation’s Stormwater Testing and Evaluation for Products and Practices (STEPP) Task Force released a white paper recommending a national testing and evaluation program for stormwater products and practices. The goal of a national program would be to meet the growing need for affordable and effective stormwater management infrastructure and to overcome sector hurdles that restrain innovation in stormwater product and practice technology development.

Sprayroq has consistently devoted a not-insignificant amount of resources in rigorously testing our own products through credible third parties, and advocating for just this type of far-reaching program. The Environmental Testing and Verification program, established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 18 years ago, was the only such national program and even that is now defunct, leaving a leadership void in this area. Thirteen U.S. states have either developed, are engaged in, are currently developing, or recognize other state- or regional-level testing and evaluation programs for stormwater products.

Considering there are approximately 7,500 MS4s across the country, the effort to sell products at a national level is significantly hampered by this piecemeal approach to approval at the local level. The end result is a barrier to the growth of innovative and high-performing technology in the stormwater sector.

The paper, “Investigation into the Feasibility of a National Testing and Evaluation Program for Stormwater Products and Practices,” discusses challenges and possible solutions. Challenges mentioned include

  • consistency in protocols
  • programmatic variability
  • lab versus field testing
  • sustainable funding
  • product and practice categorization
  • the need for leadership.

The white paper reflects concerns of manufacturers, municipalities, consulting engineers, government, non-governmental organizations, and WEF. Get the white paper

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While President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2015 budget for the Environmental Protection Agency came in more than $300 million under last year’s appropriation, the EPA says the shrinking budget does not reflect a shrinking dedication to high water quality for all Americans.

“This budget is key to a new era of partnerships for the U.S. environmental protection enterprise, where EPA will work hand in hand—with our sister federal agencies, states, tribes, localities, agricultural and manufacturing sectors, small businesses, industry, and other stakeholders—to improve the health of families and protect the environment, one community at a time, all across the country,” says EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.

“Our request focuses our resources on the things that really matter to the people of this country. We will seek to make a visible difference—whether it is protecting our precious waters and leaving our children a legacy so they can safely drink water from their small community water systems and fish and swim in their local rivers; reducing air pollution along roadways and neighborhoods; or cleaning up communities to maximize environmental and economic benefits.”

We at Sprayroq are committed to helping our municipal and contractor clients meet or exceed EPA performance requirements in their efforts to remediate aging wastewater systems or in building new ones. We take a strong consultative approach to helping you choose the right solutions for surface protection and structural rehabilitation, and are proud to offer products that employ environmentally friendly materials to make it that much easier to meet EPA regulations. Please don’t hesitate to contact us when considering your next project, so we can help you do it right the first time.

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We like to keep it light here on the blog, but sometimes we find it necessary to get a little heavy, and today’s one of those times. We’re sharing here an article from The Oregonian newspaper that covers last week’s utility trench collapse in Beaverton, Oregon, where workers replacing a sewer line were in the trench when two feet of dirt came down on them.


Now, we all know there will be finger pointing and investigations, but the important thing is that the outcome is one that doesn’t include tragedy. These types of events are the ones we end up being thankful for, as reminders of the critical importance of sound site safety practices and attention to detail, without having to pay the highest price for such reinforcement of what we all know but sometimes fail to heed.

Here at Sprayroq, we deeply appreciate all our customers, and share this in the spirit of making sure you all stay safe out there!


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It’s no secret that nature throws all kinds of challenges in the way of those responsible for maintaining wastewater conveyance systems, but this winter has dealt extremely heavy, relentless blows to structural assets exposed to the brutally cold temperatures and mountains of snow that we continue to experience.

Still, much as it seems to, winter can’t last forever. Soon, even the most northern climes will begin to experience the halting freeze/thaw cycles of approaching spring. And that means the time for vigilance is fast approaching.

Exposed surfaces of manholes, lift stations, culverts and other conveyance structures will soon be emerging from beneath receding small glaciers of snow and ice that have covered them all winter. This is an ideal time to start watching for signs of surface and structural damage caused by

  • the inevitable movement resulting from frost heaves
  • spalling and flaking of concrete surfaces from exposure to road salt
  • chips and cracks in concrete that has received repeated battering from the tires, chains and plows of heavy equipment grinding cinders and sand into them from road treatment

When you discover the inevitable damage, remember that qualified Sprayroq experts are waiting on this end of the phone to consult with you on efficient, cost-effective surface and structural repair coatings designed for the specific applications you need.

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Water Utility Infrastructure Management magazine reports that in this era of increased concern about limited water supplies, energy consumption, water quality and climate change, the pressure on water utilities to deliver greater efficiency and operational effectiveness is greater than ever for this energy-intensive industry.

According to the U.S. EPA, water utilities across North America are saving substantial amounts of water through efficiency programs. These savings often translate into capital and operating savings, which allow systems to defer or avoid significant expenditures for water supply facilities and wastewater facilities.

Water conservation and leakage

Water conservation is crucial in this effort. Over the past several years, many studies have been undertaken to estimate water loss. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, national drinking water/wastewater systems received a “D” grade. Non-revenue water levels average just over 20 percent in the United States.

Detecting and repairing leaks is one of water utilities’ main efforts in water conservation. Some factors contributing to water leakage include

  • deteriorating infrastructure
  • fluctuating water temperatures
  • soil movement
  • vibrations
  • water pressure changes

Due to their low replacement rate, broken and leaking pipes currently account for an annual loss of 1.7 trillion gallons of water (worth $2.6 billion). In drinking water systems, not only do leaks account for lost water, they can also allow contaminants into the system that may endanger public health. In wastewater systems, estimates are that up to 10 billion gallons of raw sewage are released into our waterways every year due to blocked or broken sewer pipes. Early detection and repair of leaks saves water and energy and reduces repair costs. Finding and stopping leaks quickly reduces

  • repair costs
  • chemical use
  • energy consumption
  • associated greenhouse gas emissions
  • potential public health risk from pathogens entering the systems

We at Sprayroq believe in taking a proactive stance in helping our customers identify appropriate mitigation solutions once they have discovered significant sources of leakage in their systems. If this describes you, give us a call today to enlist our help in turning your water losses into cost savings.

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There are many reasons our products and the professional crews that apply them are called for in pipeline rehabilitation. Sometimes it’s difficult, though, to determine what those reasons are. We offer the following chart to help you diagnose your pipe or infrastructure structure failure issues, which is the first step to being able to make a good choice of repair technique.


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Most industries are slow to change, and ours is no exception. Even though you can’t read a business article these days without encountering praise from all corners for the impact and effectiveness of social media, a study conducted by infolink.com.au has found that a third of businesses in the building and construction industry are still not using blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and the like.

We realized last year that we were missing the boat and got on board with this blog and our own social media streams. But we did need help getting there, and we’re not alone.

The survey of more than 1,126 businesses revealed that 36% of firms are not sure how to use social media to engage their markets. Because of this uncertainty, the survey revealed, 72% of businesses know having a strategy for social media is important, but they are unsure how to create this strategy to engage their followers.

With the survey revealing that 40% of companies see tangible results from using social media properly, it provides a pertinent reminder that industries – such as the trenchless sector – need to keep up with digital trends if we’re going to stay relevant to our clients.

We recommend doing a little bit of homework at a time about it, biting off just as much as you can digest in one sitting. This will keep it from becoming overwhelming. Here are a few places to get you started, but there are many, many more available just by doing a search using a string such as “how to use social media for business.”


Don’t read these sources looking for absolute, industry-specific references, because these are only related. Instead, read the examples and imagine how you could apply the same strategies to your business. Though they’re not necessarily exactly what you’d do, it doesn’t take a big reach to envision how you can use similar tactics. Often, all you need is a few good ideas to get you started.

Another resource is available through Trenchless International, which has released a social media white paper titled How To Use Social Media to Market Your Trenchless Business. Even if you’re not solely doing trenchless work, much of the advice will likely apply to you. More info is available here.

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At this time of year, it’s natural that our thoughts turn to the impact of extreme weather conditions on infrastructure. Winter brings with it frigid temperatures, blowing snow and ice, cold rain, and bright sunshine. Then there’s the extreme heat and dryness of summer that ultimately wreak havoc on any surface left unprotected. Because so many water conveyance system components are exposed to the elements year-round, you can bet this consideration takes high priority in our Sprayroq protective coating formulations.

If you’ve wondered why we’ve expanded our line recently to include epoxies as well as polymer-based resins in our formulas, it’s because we recognize the need for our customers to have options. We realized the need to provide choices for site-specific applications that take into account all possible challenges to the coating’s physical integrity and durability. Weather is just one of those challenge factors.

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In a continuation of our Resin Technology Series, today we’re reviewing the performance requirements of protective coatings, to give you something of a benchmark to measure against when choosing a protective coating and what type you need for a specific application. Because most of our customers are involved in some aspect of water management – whether wastewater, stormwater or potable water – we’ll concentrate on applications germane to those industries.

First, a working definition: A protective coating’s effectiveness depends on selecting coating material that correctly matches the functional surface for adherence properties. Selection is based on intended service exposure type and the results of accelerated performance testing of commercially available products. Typically, structural assets in this industry are primarily concrete, brick and other masonry, along with iron, steel and similar metals. Masonry is typically exposed to mechanical and chemical corrosion/pitting and leaching, impacts, and fractures caused by stress or movement. Metals are exposed to these, as well as rust/oxidation.

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Did You Know?

The Federal Register reports the EPA has proposed a regulation requiring electronic reporting for current paper-based NPDES reports. It’s believed this action will save time and resources for permittees, states, tribes, territories and EPA, while improving compliance and protection of the Nation's waters.

The proposed Clean Water Act regulation would require permittees and regulators to use existing, available information technology to electronically report information and data related to the NPDES permit program in lieu of filing written reports. The proposal would also allow better allocation and use of limited program resources and enhance transparency and public accountability by providing regulatory agencies and the public with more timely, complete, accurate, and nationally-consistent sets of data about the NPDES program and potential sources of water pollution.

More information, including a history of the proposed rule is available here.

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According to the revised second edition of The Repair of Concrete Structures, a book by R. Allen, et al, (2005, Taylor & Francis e-Library):  
“Recent years have seen increased emphasis on the repair and refurbishment of all types of structures, in preference to demolition and rebuilding. Furthermore, faults are now becoming evident in some structures erected during the period of peak activity in the construction industry…Concrete structures are no exception. As a result, new materials and methods of concrete repair have been developed.”  

This type of product development comprises one of our largest business segments, and continues to be a major portion of our R&D efforts today. While specializing in the formulation of reactive polymer resin-based, spray-applied coatings for structural rehabilitation, we have recently expanded our attention to include the development of high performance epoxy resin-based coatings for specific applications within our industry niche of stormwater and wastewater management.  


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It’s been a while since our last series, an extensive comparative analysis of the different resin technologies used in our product formulations. As you read through our current series on the development of resin-based coating and lining system technology, we thought it might be helpful to refresh your memory on the very basic differences of the different types and a few related terms you’ll see fairly often. 

Epoxy — Polymers containing numerous carbon and oxygen linkages. Their structure provides chemical and temperature resistance, weatherability and other high performance properties. Initially only available in solvent formulations, with water-based versions currently being developed. Tends toward structural rigidity with higher attendant brittleness.  

High-Solids Formulations — Coatings created of solid materials dissolved in solvents, where the ratio of solid-to-solvent content is very high (usually 80% or higher)  

Polymerization — Chemical reaction in which two or more small molecules (monomers) combine to form large molecules (polymers, macromolecules) that contain repeating structural units of the original molecules and reflect the percentage composition of the original molecules.

Polyurea — A resin resulting from a chemical reaction between an isocyanate and an amine; in coating terms, generally a reaction between an MDI or HDI pre-polymer with amine-terminated resins. Uses pigment dispersions in polyols as colorants. Generally used as an industrial coating in severe environments with good chemical resistance to hydrocarbons and hydrogen sulfide gas and immersed sewage applications.  

Polyurethane — Polymers made from isocyanates, organic compounds that contain nitrogen; also contain carbon and oxygen groups. Requires use of a catalyst to complete the reaction in a timely manner. Often used as protective coatings; initially developed as solvent-borne formulations, but water dispersions are now available. Exhibit good longevity and are relatively inexpensive.

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Posted by on in Sprayroq

Coatings and Linings in the 21st Century
Regardless the industry, two considerations have dominated coatings formulation and process technology over the past decade:

1. Sustainability – ever-lower limits on VOCs and HAPS and growing demand by consumers for ‘green’ products

2. Cost effectiveness – a recessive economy demands that customers squeeze every last bit of performance from their investments at the very least cost.

On a related note, wildly fluctuating energy costs and rising raw material prices have driven formulators to discover multi-functional ingredients with environmentally friendly profiles. They’ve also sought minimal environmental impact development and application processes, while continuing to improve performance and efficiency.  

Advanced Formulation
High-solids, solvent-based, and UV-cured coatings have taken center stage in many applications. These coatings meet regulatory and consumer requirements and can be applied over a broader temperature and humidity range.

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In the previous installment in this series, we explored at the challenges faced by all coatings manufacturers servicing stakeholders in water and wastewater management, whose interest is maintaining and protecting their conveyance and treatment system structural assets. In this segment, we’ll survey the general history of performance coatings in the wastewater industry, highlighting some of the major developments that have brought our field into the modern era.

For years, the industry has sought protective coatings and linings able to withstand the highly corrosive environment of sanitary and stormwater conveyance systems and treatment facilities. Other industries—food processors, rendering plants, energy producers, manufacturers in many fields—have need of similar-performing coatings and linings, which must meet three basic requirements:

  • High performance and long service life
  • Environmental and safety regulation compliance
  • Project economics

Ideally, the coating/lining system will strike a balance between these requirements, and that’s the challenge engineers face when designing their products.

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As we’ve learned in our previous posts comparing the different types of resin-based coatings, their formulation is generally based on one of the following types of chemistry: Organic, Inorganic, Polymer or Co-polymer.

Chemical basis is chosen according to the function each specific coating is expected to perform. Though each type has a main job to do, it will often have additional properties, as well. For example, while there are films engineered specifically for surface protection, all coatings provide some level of protection as long as they remain intact. The specific chemical basis of each type determines which of its properties are most significant and perform best.  

However, each kind of chemistry brings with it particular limitations that can affect the final performance of the applied surface film. For instance, a certain formulation may be ideal for optimizing the primary purpose of the coating; say, moisture inhibition. But that coating must also be made quick and easy to apply, and as fast-curing as possible, to allow the treated surface to be returned to service as soon and with as little disruption as possible. These modifications to the formula may dilute the main purpose of the coating, so must be made judiciously.

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The United States Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation Technical Service Center issued its updated Guide to Protective Coatings: Inspection and Maintenance back in 2002. You may be surprised to learn that a dozen years ago, they were already grappling with some of the same issues we still find challenging today. Here’s an excerpt from the introduction:

“In recent years, coating technology has changed dramatically. The driving force behind the change has been regulation affecting the environment and personnel health and safety. For example, regulations related to dust particles from abrasive blasting, volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions, and hazardous materials such as lead, chromate, and other heavy metals have changed.

“Before the late 1980s, coating materials were more tolerant of less-than-optimum surface preparation conditions because paint formulation contained high VOCs to allow the material to wet or penetrate steel surfaces. The most successful were red lead primers and vinyl resins; however, regulations have discouraged the use of these materials.

“Paint manufacturers reformulated their coatings to comply with new regulations. This has led to the development of a wide variety of high-tech coating materials that are much more sensitive to surface preparation and environmental application practices.

“The Federal Highway Administration has estimated that up to 80 percent of all premature coating failures on bridge structures are partially or completely caused by deficient surface preparation or application practices. Several organizations such as the American Society for Testing and Materials, NACE International, and the Society for Protective Coatings have issued consensus standards to minimize surface preparation and application inadequacies.”  

Sound familiar?  

Now, though they’re specifically discussing paint coatings here, they include resin-based formulas that make the concepts and their application the same as they are in the protective and structural rehabilitation coatings we deal with in the wastewater and stormwater management industries.  

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Stop by and see us in Booth #17, Nov 12-13 at the Trenchless Technology Roadshow in Massachusetts http://trenchlessroadshows.com/ . We'll be showcasing our solutions for structural rehabilitation, corrosion protection and infiltration control in applications such as storm water culverts, lift stations, WWTP, secondary containment, manholes and more. Look forward to seeing you there.

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The last day of WEFTEC 2013 saw technical teams either celebrating or licking their wounds after the previous day’s annual Operations Challenge, which saw the Virginia Water Environment Association’s Terminal Velocity, last year’s Division 1 winning team, take its fourth consecutive title.  

Attendees were still talking about Tuesday’s field tours of Chicago’s Stickney Water Reclamation Plant, behind the scenes at the John G. Shedd Aquarium, and the Brookfield Zoo’s Seven Seas Water Treatment Facility.  

The afternoon session, “Wipe Out: Reducing the Burden of Wipes in the Pipes, ” saw utility representatives, consultants, and manufacturers delve into the disposable wipes side of the equation on the other side of the FOG nightmare resulting from the 15-ton “fatberg” that recently clogged a London pipeline, raising public awareness about the ramifications of allowing fats, oils, and grease and disposable wipes into sewer systems.  

Flushables, dispersibles, and nonflushables were covered from a variety of perspectives. Presentation topics included the new Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry guidelines; research and testing done by utilities; the cost of clogs; and insights from both equipment and wipes manufacturers. Attendees also heard how the different organizations have been working together, and what the next steps will be on a national level. The session concluded with a panel discussion.

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As WEFTEC moved into its second day and the exhibit floor hummed with activity, Water Environment Federation president, Cordell Samuels launched the Opening General Session. He spoke on the many paths to the water sector, the many ways to serve it, and even more individual reasons for choosing to become a water professional. He was followed by keynote speaker Kevin Carroll, whose “Red Rubber Ball” books have inspired professionals in many fields to leverage the power of play, sport and fun in helping maintain a healthy life/work balance and a sense of meaning and importance in one’s chosen vocation.  

Technical Session 428, “Super Storm Sandy: Destruction and Recovery,” gave a behind-the-scenes look at pre-storm preparations, restoration of operations, and new protective measures being put in place in anticipation of future storms. Attendees got an overview of emergency response and restoration efforts and were brought up to date on ongoing mitigation and proactive measures, such as building flood walls and installing watertight doors.  

Specific case studies were presented to illustrate the extent of facility damage and required restoration, including emergency biosolids management at the Passaic Valley Sewerage commission in Newark, N.J., the fifth largest water resource recovery facility in the United States; recovery efforts in Rockaway, N.Y., where many mechanical and electrical systems were submerged; and recovery efforts in Battery Park, N.J., where the plant’s shutdown after being flooded caused backup onto local streets and into homes.

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WEFTEC 2013 is now in the history books, having made its mark on more than 22,500 water professionals and nearly a thousand exhibitors. The 86th Annual Water Environment Federation Technical Exhibition and Conference was held October 7-9 in Chicago, prefaced by two days of professional development sessions on collecting, treating, and reusing water — and even harvesting it! The WEFTEC Daily reports that weekend workshop participants tackled such hands-on problems as meeting stringent nutrient limits, achieving energy-neutral wastewater management, and helping utilities become more resilient.  

Illinois governor Pat Quinn opened the WEFTEC Global Center to kick off the convention. Lifelong environmentalist Quinn is known as the state’s “greenest governor.” Among other innovative programs, he launched the billion-dollar Illinois Clean Water Initiative, set to create almost 30,000 jobs while ensuring community access to clean water through modern infrastructure.

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In considering all the important reasons you might choose to have a polyurethane lining applied to your water conveyance system structures, whether installed during new construction or as a rehabilitation technique, it’s easy to overlook that there may be other benefits beyond the obvious structural reinforcement qualities.  

Have you considered that a poly lining can positively impact ease of maintenance on these surfaces? Whether you’re thinking of pipelines that actually carry the flows or those on structures surrounding the channel itself, these linings adhere to the substrate both through chemical curing and also by mechanically keying in to pores and scratches in the surface.  

This has the result of sealing the surface by filling those tiny voids that might otherwise provide hospitable environments to encourage the growth of algae in active channels or mold and mildew on moist surrounding areas. Typically, this sealing denies such breeding grounds and keeps slime from building up on treated surfaces. Ultimately, then, poly linings make it easier for maintenance teams to keep a structure’s surfaces clean, since slime and grime have no way to embed themselves into the surface. This, in turn, makes them easier to maintain over time.

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Posted by on in Trenchless Technology & Trends

A few tidbits about what’s happening around the globe in trenchless technology and rehabilitation:  

Faced with a 50+-year-old sewer system beneath a city sinking in most of its areas, BOGOTA, COLOMBIA is holding its first No-Dig conference on October 22 ahead of the city’s plan to rehab its failing infrastructure. Sponsored by the Colombian Institute for Subterranean Infrastructure Technologies & Techniques, the event will introduce the advantages of trenchless technology to decision makers on the project. With a population approaching 7 million in the country’s capitol, the safety and traffic issues entailed in a traditional dig-and-replace project are simply too significant, so it’ll likely be trenchless to the rescue in this operation.

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Abrasion resistance is a critical factor in determining the life of assets in any water conveyance system. Though water appears smooth, one need only look at the magnificent natural wonder that is America’s Grand Canyon to see the ultimate example of long-term wear on surfaces subject to flowing water, no matter how calm it may appear.

When surfaces are subject to high flows, such as those brought on by flooding, they are vulnerable to even more wear, as the high velocity of the water itself is destructive enough (as employed to productive use in high-pressure waterjet cleaning and cutting technologies), without even considering the potential damage multiplier of solid debris being carried along in flood currents. In some applications, abrasion may also come from exposure to corrosive chemicals in the water or even the air of a given system’s environment.

Regardless the material used to manufacture water conveyance assets, they’re all subject to the deteriorative effects of abrasion. Not only can long-term abrasion cause cracks and resultant seepage in water conveyance pipes, it can also alter the carefully engineered flow characteristics of the pipes themselves by wearing away the surface to ultimately increase pipe diameter. Abrasion can also weaken load-bearing structures to the point where they become inadequate to their designed task and even dangerous.

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When designing new or replacement culverts or sewer pipes, engineers must plan for the proper flow of the water stream, including regular flows, storm and drought conditions. Something non-engineers may never consider in evaluating this throughput is the roughness of the pipe through which the water flows. It may not seem significant, but in fact this factor is very important to how much friction flows will encounter on their travels through a conveyance system. Smoother pipes equal less friction, resulting in faster throughput, and vice versa.

Selection of the correct value for this coefficient of friction is critical in ensuring that specified pipes will accommodate necessary flows. Estimating for an excessive value results in uneconomical oversizing of pipe, whereas a too-low value can result in hydraulically inadequate pipe. Industry studies have determined proper values for this roughness coefficient of commercially available pipe, providing extensive data on currently accepted values for designers.

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Posted by on in Trenchless Technology & Trends

Be sure and stop by Booth #1843 at WEFTEC 2013 to learn about the latest in our spray-applied polymer technology for structural rehabilitation, corrosion protection and I & I remediation.

This year's show is promising to be one of the best yet with plenty to see and learn. WEF has developed focus areas to help participants target their critical subjects for learning. There are numerous topics available.


This is a link to what is available for the subject of Collection and Distribution Systems.  Here's some highlights:

Collection and Distribution Systems Image

Wastewater utilities are facing many common challenges, including aging infrastructure, increasingly stringent regulatory requirements, inflow/infiltration reduction, rising costs, rate structures, effective collection system management, and an ever-changing workforce.

  • Learn about the planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance, and performance evaluation of wastewater collection systems and drinking water distribution systems.
  • Ask the experts how they have dealt with ragging and wipe manufacturers.
  • Learn more about the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago’s Tunnel and Reservoir Plan — Thornton Reservoir Project
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No matter if you're a municipality, a treatment plant, a manufacturer or a refinery, the insights posted in a great article published in the September issue of BIC Magazine by Scott Osborne will be of interest.

Osborne delivers an interesting way to look at maintenance, budgeting and how with good planning, you can make the most of the money available. Here's a small snippet:

In world-class organizations, the maintenance program can be broken down into three benchmarked categories: base work (where the right work is done at the right time); nonvalue-added work (involving too much, too soon); and deviation work (where too little is done, too late). The ideal amount of time that should be spent on each should be 80 percent, 15 percent and 5 percent, respectively. In reality, however, those ideals are rarely reached by maintenance departments and a 20 percent/20 percent/60 percent breakdown is a better reflection of the truth.

Considering an average of 40 percent to 50 percent of a capital intensive industry’s operating budget is consumed by maintenance expenditure, striking the right balance of what work gets done and when is vital for maintenance departments to reach a stage of continually reducing costs and improving reliability.

He reviews each of the most common pitfalls and offers some quick tips on how these can be avoided.

Read the full article

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Compressive strength measures a material’s ability to stand up under compressive or crushing forces that squeeze it laterally. In construction applications, assessments of this property are critically important with building supplies, which need to be sturdy enough to withstand all the varied weights and load stresses to which they will be subjected during and after construction.

Concrete, stone, and similar materials can be tested for compressive strength. Cracking, bending and pitting are signs of fatigue, and will appear at and around the failure point when the material breaks down. Finding a material’s compressive strength is important, since such building materials can be subjected to tremendous squeezing forces where the weight of structures creates intense lateral pressure, especially during earthquakes and heavy storms.

Here's an interesting little clip demonstrating the testing of an egg's compressive strength as an example

The compressive strength rating of a given material is a major factor in an engineer’s decision on the best choice of structural building materials, in addition to other factors such as corrosion resistance and flexibility.

When deciding on a structural or protective coating for these materials, one must consider that the coating’s compressive strength should match or exceed that of the material itself. Otherwise, at the first heavy load stress, the coating will fail and become incapable of doing its primary job, and you’ll be faced with a new rehab project.

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Flexural modulus is an engineering term referring to the measure of how a material will deform or bend when weight or force is applied. In mechanical terms, the flexural modulus of a material is the ratio of force to strain in the substance’s flexural deformation. In layman’s terms, this ratio describes the tendency of that material to bend or resist bending when placed under stress. This property is important when an engineer or designer must select appropriate materials to make or choose parts that must support loads without flexing.

Of course, flexural modulus is important to us at Sprayroq when we’re helping customers specify coatings for a rehab project. Of course, this concept is most important and relevant in specifying a structural coating, since we know they’ll take the most punishment in load bearing. But even protective surface coatings are required to withstand occasional bumps, scrapes and the subtle but constant and inevitable expansion and contraction of the surface material they’ll cover.

This is one area where Sprayroq coatings lead the pack among their peers. All our spray-applied coatings are highly engineered to contain exactly the right amount of binder, filler and catalyst not only to do the structural or protective work they’re meant for, but also to perform reliably under all conditions to which they’ll be subjected over their service life.

When specifying materials for your next coating job, remember that the material you choose must not only do its primary job, but must hold up under the stretching and compressive rigors of whatever environment it must live in. Ask if your preferred choice is engineered for flexural modulus as well as structural and protective properties.

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No-Dig Down Under will take place in sunny Sydney, Australia, from 1−4 September 2013. The Australasian Society will welcome the ISTT to the Sydney Convention Centre for the Trenchless Technology event of the year.

The conference program will feature acclaimed international experts on rehabilitation and installation, Super Panels that will tackle contemporary trenchless issues, speakers who have worked on recent large No-Dig projects the world over, and streamed technical sessions.

The impressively sized exhibition will showcase all the latest and best trenchless products and services on the market.

Be sure and stop by Sprayroq's booth (#83-84) located next to the Gourmet Coffee Stand and meet our local Sprayroq Certified Installer, Construct Environmental as well as members of the Sprayroq team to learn more about what's happening in trenchless projects and opportunities Down Under.

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Tensile modulus, also called the modulus of elasticity, is a measure a material’s stiffness. In other words, it’s a physics definition of the ratio of applied pressure to the change in shape of an elastic (flexible) body. For most materials, the tensile modulus remains constant over a range of stress levels.

Also referred to as Young’s modulus, this ratio enables the calculation of the change in dimension of a piece of isotropic (direction-independent) elastic material under tensile (stretching) or compressive (compacting) loads. So, it predicts how much a material sample will extend under tension or shorten under compression.

Tensile strength, on the other hand, is a measure of the ultimate capacity of a material to resist a load capable of stretching it out, regardless of deflection, without failing. So this measurement is critical to determine overall constant loads a given structure will safely bear while continuing to fulfill its structural function.

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2010-08-02fca_Page_01As we conduct research on the internet, sometimes we're fortunate enough to stumble upon great documents that offer incredible wisdom. Even though some we find are several years old, the information contained within is still viable and can be of great benefit in gaining additional perspectives on common issues. Once such example is a publication created through the joint efforts of the APWA, ASCE, NACWA and the WEF entitled “Core Attributes of Effectively Managed Wastewater Collection Systems".

It is beautifully presented, graphically interesting and the information is broken down into easy to understand sections that will be of interest to newcomers to the industry and experts alike.

Read/Download the Report

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There a lot of confusing and complex terminology utilized in the trenchless technology industry. To help clarify and make some of these terms more understandable, why they are important and how they impact your infrastructure rehabilitation and maintenance projects, over the next few months, we'll be publishing a series of posts here on the most common, yet frequently misunderstood terms that relate to polymers for applications in water, wastewater and stormwater system environments.

Tensile Strength – What is it, really?

Back in March, we did a post on why rebar is used in concrete, and mentioned the term “tensile strength.” Since so many water management assets are made of concrete, it’s an important concept that bears a bit deeper exploration.

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It isn't suprising  that the $450 billion water market has seen rapid innovations with global water consumption doubling every 20 years,

An increasing number of agencies are turning to water reuse, desalinating water, and implementing new technology that makes the resource more economical. There's also discussion about merging manufactures with service providers. And the trend to be more resourceful is growing around the world.

Citi Investment Research & Analysis has culled issued a report on 10 trends to look for in the water market, and the companies levered to the trends.

Read More Here: http://www.businessinsider.com/10-fascinating-trends-in-water-companies-poised-to-gain2011-5?op=1
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Welcome back to our final part in a series of posts about polymers and the characteristics of the various formulas and types that are utilized for protective coatings/linings, corrosion barriers and for structural renewal. We hope these will be helpful in developing a better understanding of the subtle yet very important differences in these products and their applications in infrastructure protection, rehabillitation and asset life extension.











Spray applied, brushed, troweled or trailed on


typically 6 - 250 mls. in single pass dependening on application equipment; Virtually unlimited in layers

typically 6 - 250 mls. in single pass dependening on application equipment; Virtually unlimited in layers

8 ml. wet and dry film thickness in one pass; Virtually unlimited in layers


Approximately 50% degradation 50 years post-application

Approximately 28-30% degradation 50 years post-application

Approximately 50% degradation 50 years post-application


Flexible – 200-800% elongation

Rigid (Structural) to mildly elastomeric

0-200% elongation

Rigid & brittle –

0-6% elongation


-40°F to 80°F; functional past 200°F

-40°F to 80°F; functional to approx. 140°F

UP TO 400°F


Spot Cure: 3 seconds

Full Cure: from 30 Minutes

Spot Cure: 8-12 seconds

Full Cure: 30-60 Minutes

5 hours in 50% relative humidity


lack of reactivity to water makesthis one of the go-to choices for applications in wastewater management environments

Highly reactive to water (hydrophobic) – Reaction is instant & aggressive

Less hydrophobic than polyurethane; reaction not immediately apparent


may require primer coat to deter pinholes and delamination, depending on substrate; film thickness must be built up more slowly; requires experienced applicators for best results

Not as versatile in coloration; operating temperature resistance a bit lower; More affected by dampness and temperature of environment during application

May easily form excessive pinholes due to outgassing if substrate is not properly prepared


Excellent corrosion resistance; functions well in high hydrogen sulfide environment; cures well in high humidity and/or extreme low temperature applications

Excellent corrosion resistance; If blended properly under correct formulation, can create structural rehabilitation

Excellent resistance to corrosion, adhesion, toughness, wear resistance, and chemicals


Very versatile product, used in a multitude of corrosion protection applications

Structural rehabilitation or substrate strengthening; anywhere requiring fast return to service in wet or submerged environments

Pump house & control room walls & floors; tanks, digesters, containment vessels, screening chambers, sumps, trenches, manholes, lift stations


Environments subject to ongoing vibration: machinery, maritime ships, food rendering plants; blast mitigation on vulnerable facilities

Structural rehabilitation through semi-rigid rehabilitation; areas of high seismic activity

Steam or hot liquid environments that exceed the boiling point of water

The above chart is a general comparative analysis of the three main types of polymeric coatings. There are possible variations due to different formulations of the materials, varying substrates, preparation methods and application environments. All descriptions assume a properly cleaned and prepared substrate surface, and are for general comparisons only. A qualified design engineer should be consulted regarding specific environments and applications.

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Welcome back to our third in a series of posts about polymers and the characteristics of the various formulas and types that are utilized for protective coatings/linings, corrosion barriers and for structural renewal. We hope these will be helpful in developing a better understanding of the subtle yet very important differences in these products and their applications in infrastructure protection, rehabillitation and asset life extension.

Polymers Part III: Epoxy Coatings

As with polyurethanes and polyureas, epoxies are two-component systems using a resin and a hardener. In the water and wastewater management industries, epoxy coatings are primarily used for corrosion protection, since the hardened shell is impervious and non-reactive to most chemicals. Though, like other polymers, epoxy stands up well to a very acid environment, it’s particularly effective in areas where it will receive high exposure to alkaline products.

Epoxy is generally either sprayed, brushed or troweled onto the surface needing protection. The most common types of epoxies are Bisphenol A or F, and Novolac. Where polyureas and polyurethanes have a spot cure time measured in seconds, epoxy  takes anywhere from 2 to 24 hours to fully cure.

Depending on the particular product, most epoxies are not what’s considered “high build.” A single layer application can’t go over 100 mils or a tenth of an inch, due to the slower cure rates and a tendency to form pinholes on improperly prepared substrates. Thicker coatings must be applied in layers. However, there are some new, high-build epoxies that have exhibited some success with single applications of greater thickness.

Corrosion millage thickness starts at 125 mils, if issues such as delamination caused by outgassing through pinholes are to be avoided, so this type of application will likely require more than one layer.

Epoxy forms a brittle, rigid surface that allows for very little tensile elongation, so it’s not a good candidate for areas of high vibration, or where there’s a high likelihood of any appreciable movement in the substrate. Its raw components and application labor are more expensive, so this is not typically a budget solution. However, it is nearly unsurpassed at what it does best: corrosion protection.

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It is in every living creature’s best interest for manufacturers to develop products that use primarily natural materials, in support of the pre-use domestic economy that produces these materials, the avoidance of service life emission of toxic gases, as well as post-service ability to be environmentally re-used or recycled. Here at SprayRoq, we take our environmental manufacturing responsibilities seriously, and continually work to use the highest level of bio-based or “green” materials in our raw components as possible.

We also have another incentive to do so:

Federal agencies are required to give preference to items with the highest percentage of bio-based content in purchases exceeding $10,000 per fiscal year, according to the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act (FSRIA) of 2002. Bio-based products are commercial or industrial goods composed in significant part of biological products, forestry materials, or renewable domestic agricultural materials. The USDA maintains a catalog of Bio-Based products on its website, providing an easy-to-access list of products that municipal agencies can use to specify what’s known as “Bio-Preferred” products. Of course, we would LOVE to have our products listed in that catalog.

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When you think of polymeric spray-applied coatings, of course your mind immediate goes to structural asset repair and rehabilitation. But have you ever given any thought to the adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?

More and more pipe manufacturers are providing protective coatings on the inside of their pipes -- whether concrete, cast iron, steel or other material -- to satisfy marketplace demand to extend the life of those assets as they go into service. So why not consider having such protective coatings applied to the remainder of your new wastewater management asset's infrastructure as you initially install it?

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Sprayroq will be exhibiting at this year's WEF Collections Conference in Sacramento, June 10 - 11, 2013. Stop by and say hello to Rocky Capehart at our booth #507

Key components of the conference include an interactive workshop, technical sessions, facility tours, and exhibits. Combined with networking opportunities, this conference is sure to offer a complete package to professionals at all levels within the collection systems industry. 

For more info visit http://www.wef.org/CollectionSystems/

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Water for Jobs in a special campaign outreach effort to send a clear message that investment in America's water infrastructure creates jobs and should be a priority. This platform allows for those interested in supporting this message to utilize social media to help raise awareness. http://www.waterforjobs.org/take-action-now

The campaign's website reports that "Adequate investment in water infrastructure ensures safe and reliable water and wastewater systems to attract and retain industry, business, and qualified workers, which are essential to economic vitality and growth. As the gap between needs and investment grows, the impacts on jobs, lost business sales and GDP worsens...Spending on water infrastructure drives research and innovation leading to new technologies that can be used in the United States and around the world. America has fallen significantly behind many of the developed nations of the world on infrastructure –we now rank 25th."

It is believed that $1 billion in water infrastructure investment can support 28,500 jobs and creates $82.4 million in local and state tax revenue. There is lots of interesting information on the site and ideas for helping spread the word that will not only economically assist the infrastructure industry but also the communities we serve on numerous levels.

More information about the campaign, how to take action and get involved can be found at http://www.waterforjobs.org


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Welcome back to our second in a series of posts about polymers and the characteristics of the various formulas and types that are utilized for protective coatings/linings, corrosion barriers and for structural renewal. We hope these will be helpful in developing a better understanding of the subtle yet very important differences in these products and their applications in infrastructure protection, rehabillitation and asset life extension.

Polymers Part II: Polyurethanes

Polyurethanes begin with an oxygen/hydrogen chemistry, their polyol resins either natural or petroleum-based. Their corrosion resistance rivals that of a polyurea or epoxy. They’re not as versatile in terms of coloration, and their operating temperature resistance is a bit lower than polyureas. The open time is eight to twelve seconds, making polyurethane a very quick-curing product that must be spray applied.

Polyurethanes are a less expensive material to produce than polyureas. They are universal in their approach to corrosion protection, with a high build capability and a quick re-coat time. Polyurethane has the ability—if blended properly under the right formulation—to create a structural rehabilitation, not just a corrosion barrier film. This makes polyurethane applications best suited for rigid or semi-rigid structural rehabilitation or strengthening of a substrate.

Though this rigidity causes the sacrifice of some amount of elasticity, polyurethanes still exhibit high tensile performance, up to 200 percent. They also withstand freeze/thaw cycles from -40°F to 80°F without failing. As with any resin-based product, polyurethane must be kept warm and a mixing pump recirculating it to keep it viscous enough to ensure a proper mixture during application.

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As costs of energy are constantly on the rise, water and wastewater systems and facilities operators are always looking for ways to save energy (= money). The Focus on Energy Water and Wastewater Program can help system operators explore and learn about best practices and methods for reducing energy use without compromising quality. Historically, energy improvements are extremely attractive and agencies typically experience shorter paybacks on these project than other industries due to longer hours of operation. Wisconsin has adopted many energy savings programs and has shared highlights of their programs and practices here:


The post offers highlights from a manager's guide for energy management and features steps to begin, identifying opportunities, quantifying savings and costs. A full copy of the 2006 guidebook is also available. Although the guide is old, the majority of the principles and suggestions offered are still viable and being used by many facilities today.



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