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Kelowna to use ‘trenchless’ repair to fix deteriorated sewer pipe

File photo of cement sewer pipes. Bayne Stanley / The Canadian Press

There will always be a need for work crews to dig up streets and repair damaged water or sewer pipes.

However, those days may soon be drastically reduced.

On Thursday, the City of Kelowna announced that it’s using a form of repair that’s been around for 50 years but has grown in popularity over the past decade.

Called cured-in-place pipe (CIPP), it’s a form of “trenchless” repair that allows work crews to repair damaged pipes without having to dig up streets and inconvenience the public.

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The city says the process involves inserting a resin-soaked liner into the damaged pipe, and then expanding the liner with steam. That hardens the liner, which then becomes the new internal pipe.

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That process will be used to repair 2.7 kilometres of concrete sewer pipe along Hardy Street, Enterprise Way, Parkinson Way, Sutherland Avenue and Burtch Road.

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The city says video inspection of the concrete pipe showed deterioration. The repair project is estimated to cost $7 million.

Repair work is expected to take place between late April and June.

“Normally a sanitary sewer pipe repair of this scale would take the entire construction season and require excavation of the existing pipe and installation of a replacement, bringing invasive impacts for residents and commuters,” said Dylan Wilson, senior project manager.

“By using a trenchless technology, we are able to complete the repair with significantly fewer impacts on residents and at a much lower cost.”

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To insert the liner, the sewer flow will be intercepted and bypassed via two overland pipes. The city says the pipes will be monitored 24 hours a day.

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Wilson said, “repairing and maintaining our underground infrastructure is crucial for community health, to protect our environment and to safeguard surrounding infrastructure.”

More information about CIPP, including its history, is available online.

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