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.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that has been used in the blog.
Recent blog posts

Posted by on in Sprayroq

photodune-8688650-snowflakes-with-thank-you-s
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.

Hits: 35

photodune-7655825-leak-water-s

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.

Hits: 91

wwtp-news-roundup

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.

Hits: 165

sustainability
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.

Hits: 273

LiningReport
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.

Hits: 392

photodune-8752791-appointments-marked-on-calendar-s

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

Hits: 338

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]

Hits: 791

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.

Hits: 588

drinkingwater
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.

Hits: 1587

b2ap3_thumbnail_photodune-5215570-hand-using-soap-dispenser-s.jpg

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.

Hits: 748

photodune-3549764-young-designer-s
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.

Hits: 967

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.

Hits: 1193

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.

Hits: 932

dv7790052
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.

 

Hits: 1270

 

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.

Hits: 782

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.

Hits: 1348

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.

Hits: 2957

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.

Hits: 1445

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.

Hits: 1359

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.

Hits: 1576


photodune-3410796-best-practices-xs
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.

Hits: 1674

 

photodune-2528966-classroom-xs
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]

Hits: 1514

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.

Hits: 1394

Posted by on in Sprayroq

b2ap3_thumbnail_personoftheyear2013.png
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

 

 

 

 

Hits: 1597

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.

Hits: 2164

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

Hits: 2069

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.

Hits: 2501

Cedar-Hills-trench-collapse-ends-in--ultimate-kind-of-relief----OregonLive.com

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.

http://www.oregonlive.com/beaverton/index.ssf/2014/03/homeowner_co-worker_describe_c.html

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!

 

Hits: 1976

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.

Hits: 1949

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.

Hits: 2583

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.

chart-problems

Hits: 2922

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.”

http://www.e-tplastics.com/blog/how-construction-companies-are-using-social-media/
http://www.randallreilly.com/2013/11/22/whats-social-got-to-do-with-construction/
http://www.constructionbusinessowner.com/topics/marketing/construction-marketing/5-ways-use-social-media-your-construction-company

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.
http://trenchlessinternational.com/news/construction_industry_behind_with_social_media1/085120/

Hits: 2180

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.

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.

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.

Hits: 3792

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.  

 

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.

Hits: 4710

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.

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.

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.

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.  

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.

Hits: 7434

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.

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.

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.

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.

Hits: 61429

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.

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.

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.

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.

http://www.weftec.org/Program/page2.aspx?id=68#Collection_and_Distribution_Systems

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
Hits: 72263

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

Hits: 5956

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.

Hits: 8769

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.

Hits: 11536

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.

Hits: 11824

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.

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

Hits: 32026

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.

Posted by on in Sprayroq
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
Hits: 8470

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.

 

COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS

POLYMERIC COATING MATERIAL

QUALITIES

POLYUREA

POLYURETHANE

EPOXY

APPLICATION METHOD(S)

Spray

Spray

Spray applied, brushed, troweled or trailed on

BUILD CAPABILITY

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

STRENGTH, DURABILITY, CREEP FACTOR

Approximately 50% degradation 50 years post-application

Approximately 28-30% degradation 50 years post-application

Approximately 50% degradation 50 years post-application

TENSILE ELASTICITY

Flexible – 200-800% elongation

Rigid (Structural) to mildly elastomeric

0-200% elongation

Rigid & brittle –

0-6% elongation

FREEZE/THAW CYCLE DURABILITY

-40°F to 80°F; functional past 200°F

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

UP TO 400°F

CURE TIME

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

MOISTURE SENSITIVITY

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

WEAKNESSES

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

OUTSTANDING CHARACTERISTICS

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

GENERAL APPLICATIONS

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

IDEAL SOLUTION FOR

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.

Hits: 22015

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.

Hits: 23096

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.

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?

Posted by on in Sprayroq

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/

Hits: 9106

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

 

Hits: 24658

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.

Hits: 20592

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:

http://www.airbestpractices.com/industries/wastewater/focus-energy-water-and-wastewater-program

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.

www.focusonenergy.com 

http://watercenter.montana.edu/training/savingwater/mod2/downloads/pdf/SAIC_Energy_Best_Practice_Guidebook.pdf

Hits: 10638

Over the next few months, we'll be presenting 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 I: Polyureas

Generally, a polyurea is an amine—or ammonia—based polymer, whose resin is built primarily on a nitrogen/hydrogen chemistry, making it very corrosion resistant, especially in a high hydrogen sulfide environment. Polyureas are a very versatile product group, used in a multitude of corrosion protection applications, and are the quickest curing of all polymer films on the market today.

Polyureas can withstand higher temperature applications than a standard polyurethane, which is generally functional up to about 140°F. Some polyureas are are formulated to retain their protective characteristics in environments exceeding 200°F, without melting off or cracking. This characteristic is more important in industrial settings than in wastewater management.

Polyurea must be spray applied because it begins to cure so quickly—within about three seconds—that a human can’t roll or trowel it onto a surface before it begins to cure. The open time on some polyureas can be slowed down through the use of additives to about one minute before it begins to cure. Applications can be made from a filmlike skim coat thickness to as thick as required for varying environments, uses and substrates. Polyureas exhibit no structural qualities of their own.

As with any polymeric application, surface preparation is the key to success. In general, polyureas must be applied in a very clean, very dry environment conducive to creating good adhesion between the polymer and substrate.

Polyurea has high elastomeric characteristics, beneficial in applications with potential structural movement. Also known as tensile or stretch capability, this allows some flexibility in movement without compromising the coating should the structure “give” a bit under a weight load. A good example would be geotech fabric application on a roadbed where there is a lot of vibration yet there is a need for strong moisture barrier requirements. Whereas certain polyurethanes will break at just four percent elongation, some polyureas can withstand 600+ percent elasticity before exhibiting tensile break or failure.

Hits: 102254

We all know that maintaining wastewater collection infrastructure – pump stations, force mains, and sewers – is an essential component of managing a treatment system and a critical step in preventing illegal wastewater releases or SSOs. Having an effective preventive maintenance program in place has proven itself as a method for significantly reducing frequency and volume of untreated sewage discharges while helping communities save money on emergency responses and plan for their future needs.

While cities, utility owners and operators are busy putting these plans in action, having some good tools at their disposal can be quite helpful in achieving program goals. The New England branch of the EPA has put together an easy to use, user-friendly series of articles at http://www.epa.gov/region1/sso/toolbox.html

The information they present is intended to assist asset owners on the following topics/areas:
  • Communicate with and educate citizens and local officials
  • Address financial and regulatory needs
  • Develop and conduct preventive maintenance programs
  • Better manage infrastructure assets
  • Use information systems, including GIS
  • Improve system capacity and address system overflows

Although certain approachs presented in the tool box may not directly apply to everyone's situation, the hope of the content providers is that it might provide new ideas, useful contacts or guidelines for developing a program to make collection systems operate more efficiently and effectively.

Hits: 20598

The RCAP (Rural Communities Assistance Partnership has just posted a great article to help small communities understand the history of trenchless, the pros and cons, the methods and what to do to make an educated decision about adopting it into an overall maintenance scheme.

The author makes a strong case for taking a proactive stance on dealing with aging infrastructure now and discusses in easy to understand terms how rehabilitation is being viewed and how the whole concept of trenchless technology has taken on a life of its own in the water/wastewater infrastructure maintenance market. Some nice links to additional resources are also included.

http://www.rcap.org/node/904

Hits: 14467

Good question. And that's leads to the discussion about the use of cementitious products for structural rehabilitation and if it is the best choice for giving aging infrastructure a new lease on life. The price point on concrete based repair is attractive but may not be the best solution for a true long-term structural repair.

Everybody knows that concrete is one of the world's strongest materials in compression.  However, compression is just a linear measure, a one-dimensional measurement, just like tensile strength. Compression is squeezing something together whereas tension is pulling something apart. Concrete is very good in compression but it isn't so good in tension.

When developing a design for structural rehabilitation, both measurements need to be incorporated or factored in.  This is why flexural modulus is incorporated in most designs.  Structures are under combinations of stress and flexural modulus more accurately reflects these forces.

Consider this: people talk about concrete underlayment and the strength it would add to a structure being repaired. Sounds good, but in theory it doesn't add anything if you're measuring in a true dimensional analysis like flexural modulus.  Which leads us back to the title of this post, "Why DO they put rebar in concrete?" The answer is simple; they put rebar in because of the strength of the concrete needed to handle the tensile properties working against it. Example, applying concrete for rehabilitation in a manhole or a wall for structural integrity is really a "rebuilding". You need to have some kind of wiring or support mechanism to compensate for the tensile forces that the concrete will be under when subjected to flexural stresses.

Concrete (without rebar) is a short term fix but probably isn't a good long-term true structural rehabilitation choice. Because of the elements it is exposed to, it will break down quickly over a 5 to 10 year period (without a corrosion barrier), only to present the same issues for the system again.  

Good question. And that's leads to the discussion about the use of cementitious products for structural rehabilitation and if it is the best choice for giving aging infrastructure a new lease on life. The price point on concrete based repair is attractive but may not be the best solution for a [CJ1] true long-term structural repair.

Everybody knows that concrete is one of the world's strongest materials in compression.  However, compression is just a linear measure, a one-dimensional measurement, just like tensile strength. Compression is squeezing something together whereas tension is pulling something apart. Concrete is very good in compression but it isn't so good in tension.

When developing a design for structural rehabilitation, both measurements need to be incorporated or factored in.  This is why flexural modulus is incorporated in most designs.  Structures are under combinations of stress and flexural modulus more accurately reflects these forces[CJ2] .

Consider this: people talk about concrete underlayment and the strength it would add to a structure being repaired. Sounds good, but in theory it doesn't add anything if you're measuring in a true dimensional analysis like flexural modulus.  Which leads us back to the title of this post, "Why DO they put rebar in concrete?" The answer is simple; they put rebar in because of the strength of the concrete needed to handle the tensile properties working against it. Example, applying concrete for rehabilitation in a manhole or a wall for structural integrity is really a "rebuilding". You need to have some kind of wiring or support mechanism to compensate for the tensile forces that the concrete will be under when subjected to flexural stresses. [CJ3] 

Concrete (without rebar) [CJ4] is a short term fix but probably isn't a good long-term true structural rehabilitation choice. Because of the elements it is exposed to, it will break down quickly over a 5 to 10 year period (without a corrosion barrier)[CJ5] , only to present the same issues for the system again.  


 [CJ1]Inserted “a”.

 [CJ2]Reworded this sentence to include flexural modulus.

 [CJ3]Reworded this sentence.

 [CJ4]Added “without rebar”

 [CJ5]Added “without a corrosion barrier”

Hits: 26112

When dealing with an infrastructure repair requiring a true structural rehabilitation method, there are several criteria that asset owners should be on the lookout for.

Let's first consider the word "structural" and the rehabilitation arena. There are two categories of structural rehabilitation: 1. partially deteriorated, is defined as the host structure being able to carry all live and dead loads with the only force to be designed for being hydrostatic pressure (water table) 2. full deteriorated which is categorized by the structure being unable to carry live, dead and hydrostatic loads. Over 95% of structural rehabilitation design assumptions are partially deteriorated.

Structural capabilities will be determined by not only the product’s inherent properties but also by the design parameters and application as noted above. Structural products must be able to withstand various forces: hydrostatic load, corrosive elements and the environmental to which they will be exposed during their normal life cycle.

Standards like ASTM D2990, or DMA (Dynamic Mechanical Analysis), among others, can be extremely helpful during the due diligence phase in determining what methods or materials are most appropriate and truly meet the definition of long term structural strength for each project's unique requirements. DMA explores the effect of Creep on many structural rehabilitation materials.

Note: Other common terms related to structural rehabilitation and product properties include: flexural modulus (both long and short term), compressive strength and tensile strength. It is advisable to be aware of and understand the distinct difference between these product capability measurements as they will determine a product's long term suitability.

Hits: 12992

An interesting study by McGraw Hill regarding the increased use of asset management practices for dealing with water/wastewater infrastructure is available online.

The study was initiated by CH2M Hill to learn how utilities are utilizing asset management practices and was conducted by McGraw-Hill Construction in conjunction with leading industry associations (AWWA, WEF, APWA, NAWC and NACWA). The report provides a portrait of asset management adoption in the USA and Canada based on 14 specific asset management practices along with a wealth of other insightful information.

Adopting an asset management approach appears to offer utilities a method to make better decisions about budgets and infrastructure investment and running organization more efficiently & effectively.The report is quite comprehensive and offers not only facts and figures but case studies and methods/considerations for implementation.

To see the full report:

http://www.ch2m.com/corporate/markets/water/assets/Water-Infrastructure-Asset-Management-SMR-2013.pdf

Hits: 60948

This is a question that comes up a lot when dealing with aging infrastructure. When mapping out a plan of action for the revitalization, rehabilitation or replacement of underground infrastructure, making the right call at the beginning of the project can save precious budget dollars and headaches later on.

We all know our buried infrastructure around the world is in a state of disrepair at some level. It is just the nature of these structures and the role we ask them to perform. So, a good rule of thumb for determining if a structure is in need of a structural rehab is this: if the structure has allowed ground water or the hydrostatic pressure (that is in all direct-bury situations) has permitted water to enter the structure, the structure should be considered compromised and therefore classified as requiring a structural repair/rehabilitation.

Because of the various extraneous forces at work on the structure, most notably corrosion, especially in wastewater systems, any infiltration no matter how small should not be discounted. Incipient cracking, failed joints, missing substrate, hydrogen sulfide pitting must be included also. Maintaining a "zero tolerance" policy to any infiltration will help provide the best possible outcome when developing ”structural design" rehabilitation so that no matter what rehabilitation method is selected, the rehabilitation will bring the structure back to a fully functional if not better than new state.

Hits: 47041

AdNominations for outstanding trenchless industry people, projects and new technologies have now opened – don’t miss the opportunity to nominate thought-leaders in our industry.

Nominations for the 2013 ASTT awards, to be hosted at No-Dig Down Under 2013, will close 31 July 2013.

The Awards recognise the best in Trenchless Technology in Australasia and provide a fantastic opportunity to promote your company and the great work that you do.

Categories include:

  • Person of the Year
  • Young Person of the Year
  • Project of the Year – New installation
  • Project of the Year – Rehabilitation
  • New Technology – Machine, Tool, Material, System or Technique
Hits: 16411

Posted by on in Sprayroq

There are lots of polymer products on the market today and each has its strengths and weaknesses and applications for which it is best suited. The most commonly found are those that fall into a class of semi-rigid or elastomeric.

Sprayroq, like its competitors offers two products in this category: SprayShield Green I, an elastomeric product with a 115% elongation and SprayShield Green II, which has a 43% elongation rate. These are both excellent protective coating products, well suited to new structures and those that do not require structural rehabilitation.

SprayWall, touting a less than 4% elongation is a rigid material, a solid solution, designed to offer a true structural repair/rehabilitation. SprayWall is spray-applied just like our other polyurethane products but has special qualities and properties that put it in a class by itself. This isn't your regular member of the spray-applied polymer family and when being considered by engineers as a solution, shouldn't be classified or lumped in with the rest of the pool. SprayWall meets a variety of ASTM Standards for structural products which can be verified by 3rd party independent testing. More information about this unique polymer and 3rd party Test results can be found at:

http://sprayroq.com/products/structural-spraywall

Hits: 12674

Posted by on in Sprayroq

There's a lot of good information to be found through the use of standards for developing project criteria and what methods or products will best suit your needs.

If your project is calling for a structural solution, these qualities are well outlined in many ASTM standards such as 1216, which we rely on quite often for circular structures. It is well defined in the standard what the parameters need to be and what the asset owner should be looking for. With any product under consideration, the product should meet the proper standard and this must be verified by a 3rd party independent testing facility.

Never rely solely on company statements or datasheets, ask for proof of 3rd party testing and what those results are to verify that the claims made by any manufacturer are valid. This is especially important when several similar products from different sources are being considered.

Hits: 62534

When comparing solutions for aging infrastructure issues, it is wise to run the numbers and examine long term benefits and savings against short-term savings.

Case in point: For a manhole rehabilitation project in which the engineer's estimate was in the $100K range, bids were presented by a Sprayroq Certified Partner for the use of a spray-applied structural polymer and from a competitor offering a cementitious repair method. The Sprayroq bid came in at $100,000 in comparison to the $60,000 cementitious solution so the $40,000 savings was of course very attractive and appealing. Most cement producers will state that the typical lifespan for their product under average conditions is 10 years. Compared to a 50-year design life offered by the spray-applied polymer from Sprayroq, we decided to draw up an analysis comparing the two products and their return on investment.

When factoring in inflation, rebidding and increased labor costs every ten years, compared to a one-time installation over the 50 year design life, it demonstrated that the Sprayroq polymer solution delivered a 580% percent return on investment over the use of cement over the same 50 year design period even though it started out $40,000 less. The total cost of ownership during the 50 year time frame for the cement was approximately $650,000 vs. $100,000 for the spray-applied polymer.

There are significant economic facts that must be taken in account when considering any rehabilitation solution. Doing the math and computing the true cost of ownership may reveal that your best decision may not be "low bid" and that a little more at the start can save you lots in the long run for your rate payers.

Hits: 16097

Posted by on in Trenchless Technology & Trends

Thanks for Sharon Bueno, editor at Trenchless Technology for tweeting about this great site. Check out this short, excellent presentation filled with powerful facts/figures about our aging water infrastructure.

http://waterisyourbusiness.org/

Water is Your Business is an awareness campaign by the National Association of Water Companies and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that is seeking to engage businesses, water infrastructure stakeholders and community leaders on the value of sustainable water provision, the benefits of investing in water infrastructure for the whole community, and potential solutions in delivering sustainable water systems.

In addition to the wonderful presentation, the site also boasts some other interesting resource materials related to infrastructure maintenance, operations, rehabilitation and planning for sustainability.

Hits: 27104

NACWA (National Association of Clean Water Agencies) and WERF Water Environment Research Foundation, along with WEF (Water Environment Federation) collaborated and have released a pioneering document  that defines the evolving environmental, economic, and social roles that clean water utilities are now playing in their communities.

Download Document

This "Blueprint" is focused on sustainability, minimizing waste, effectively using resources, protecting consumers, the community and environment. As wastewater agencies face their ever-evolving challenges, the "blueprint" is meant to assist in finding new opportunities to deal with those challenges.

More information about this collaboration can be found at: http://wef.org

Hits: 22645

They sound like they are but this is a common misconception in the world of rehabilitation and corrosion protection. For many years, people have tried to use the phrase coatings and linings interchangeably. It's just a force of habit that needs to be broken as there is a distinct difference between the two.

We like to use the analogy at our engineering brown bag lunch presentations that there are two sandboxes in which we play. One is the coating (corrosion) sandbox and the other is the lining (structural) sandbox.

We tend to equate a lining application to a structural application, that being when a structure is compromised with infiltration, deteriorated from H2S or collapsing from hydrostatic load. It is going to need additional structural materials to reinforce or rebuild it. In this instance, a lining of 250 mils or greater is typically recommended to bring the asset back into a structural condition.

A coatings application is essentially a corrosion barrier. In this instance, we specify an application between 100 to 150 mils of polymer product which will be resistant to the corrosive forces that you'll typically find in waste water systems and other industrial applications. The material isn't as thick but is designed to provide the protection that's required to sustain or to extend the useful life of a particular asset.

Coating OR lining, it all boils down to the host structure and its substrate condition.

Hits: 14615

WEFTEC - The Water Environmental Federation has recently published a great little video presentation about the importance of water and wastewater professionals. This is a feel good video and well worth the 3 minute watch.

So, next time you're having a bad day at work or want to explain to someone who poses the question, “what is it you do, exactly?”, play this video. It's a nice reminder of what we in this industry contribute everyday, why it matters and how it is more important than we often realize. Enjoy!

Hits: 13963

If you have been considering the development of a green infrastructure program but not sure what the best way to get started might be for your organization and community, the EPA has just provided some interesting information about 5 main types of incentive programs that may help you.

Each of these methods has its strengths and weaknesses but incentive programs in general are a good way to kick start the implementation and installation of "green" infrastructure on private property.

Examples of how each of these 5 methods methods (Development Incentives, Grants, Rebate and Installation Financing, Awards and Recognition and Stormwater Fee Discounts) have been utilized by different communities around the country is detailed in an excellent article as part of the Water Environment Federation's new Stormwater Report website. http://stormwater.wef.org/2013/01/five-types-of-green-infrastructure-incentive-programs/

Hits: 12159

Posted by on in Sprayroq

Coming soon on this site will be a series of useful posts about our products, industry happenings, rehabilitation methods, technical information and other items to help you maintain and protect our vital infrastructure and systems.

Hits: 13233

Site Design by Creative Raven