CIPP vs. Sandy

Your run of the mill cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) project can run into a host of problems, including groundwater, rough terrain, tuberculation, root intrusion and maybe even critters that have made their home in the pipe that?s being rehabilitated. A pressure pipeline project might add even more complications. But sometimes amid the challenges of a seemingly everyday job, a situation arises where a hero emerges.

Of all the challenges a pipeline project might encounter, Mother Nature is by far the most unpredictable and unforgiving. In 2012, an 8,200-ft force main rehabilitation project for the Ocean County Utility Authority (OCUA) faced a number of challenges when it was interrupted by Hurricane Sandy on the East Coast. No one could have predicted a Category 3 hurricane would hit the project smack dab in the middle of installation.

The project consisted of two sanitary sewer force mains, one 8-in. diameter pipeline measuring roughly 4,100 ft in length and another 12-in. line also measuring approximately 4,100 lf running along Bay Avenue in Beach Haven, N.J.

The original host pipe was a Class 50 ductile iron pipe located in the vacation town ? a popular destination for area beach-goers ? along the Atlantic Ocean. The Insituform project consisted of nine separate installations along the parallel lines running along the thoroughfare from Norwood to West Osborn Avenue using Insituform?s proprietary InsituMain system ? a fiber-reinforced CIPP system for pressurized lines that provides added strength and a higher pressure rating.

Project Background
A project start date of Sept. 15, 2012 had been selected to coincide with the end of the peak tourism season. At the time, this timeline seemed the most logical and would accommodate the shore vacation season. No one had predicted a monumental storm, but Hurricane Sandy, a Category 3 hurricane, hit on Oct. 22, 2012.
According to the National Weather Service, a Category 3 hurricane is one that will cause ?devastating damage? and produce winds up to 129 mph. With news of the impending hurricane making its way toward the shores of Beach Haven, the Insituform crew, along with the rest of Beach Haven, had to be quickly evacuated. All work was abruptly halted, with equipment and materials packed up and moved to higher ground with only 24 hours? notice.

At that time, an Insituform employee, field superintendent Barry Paschall, stepped up to the challenge. As Hurricane Sandy approached the coastline, Paschall worked to secure all of the equipment and leave the roadway safe and open for emergency personnel.

?These actions alone helped us immeasurably,? said Beach Haven Chief of Police Kevin Kohler describing the situation. ?However, Barry did not stop there. As crews arrived to clean up, he was out there coordinating the clean-up of the roads and equipment in the area of the sewer project. He also worked [in Beach Haven] helping out wherever needed for the duration of his stay with us.?

When Paschall offered his services to the Beach Haven Police Department, he enthusiastically exclaimed, ?Let?s go, Chief!? He then worked with Beach Haven?s finest over a two-day period helping the police clean up debris and rescue those trapped by water.

At one point during the storm, the sky became clear and Barry asked an official if the storm had passed. Much to his chagrin, the clearing of the sky meant they were only through half of the devastation ? the clearing meant they were currently right in the middle of the eye of the storm.

At that time, the team got back to work keeping town residents safe. Paschall estimates they rescued 15 to 20 people over the two-day period he assisted the police crew.?

Kohler continued his praise of Paschall, ?Barry Paschall was an invaluable resource to us in a devastating storm. The majority of the citizens of Beach Haven will never know who it was that did so much for them, but I will never forget his service to our town. He is a true gentleman and an awesome worker.?

Paschall was more reserved in accepting praise for his achievements. ?I just wanted to help out in whatever way I could, but I hope I never have to do something like that again,? Paschall said. ?It was tough.?

In all, the devastation unleashed by Hurricane Sandy put the Insituform crew three weeks behind on the initial project. However, they were able to get right back to work and successfully complete the project. No bypass was required and the parallel lines allowed each one to be shut down separately. And while the project also experienced some of the regular challenges of a typical CIPP project, such as groundwater (each excavation pit required dewatering), these issues did not faze the crew.

After installation, the pipelines were pressure tested to 45 psi. This pressure test was sufficient for the pipe, which operates daily at 30 psi. The pipes were back in service by December and to the client?s specifications. ?
A Genuine Partnership
According to Bob Varkonyi, Insituform business development manager on the project, the client was very happy with how everyone responded to the situation. ?The Client was very pleased with the cooperation between town officials, the OCUA and the Insituform crew,? said Varkonyi. ?We were able to pull out as quickly as possible and get back to work with as little disruption as possible to the Beach Haven community. There was total cooperation by everyone.??

Next, Insituform will be working on 48-in. interceptor line for the OCUA. For this project, 8,000 ft of large-diameter CIPP will be installed just north of Beach Haven in Brick Township. Insituform also recently installed a smaller force main ? roughly 1,000 ft of 10-in. pipe ? for the OCUA as well.

So while Insituform has left its mark on the town beneath the city streets, one of its employees has left a mark on the hearts of its townspeople, as Paschall was awarded a challenge coin from the Fraternal Order of Police in recognition of his assistance. Kohler echoed Paschall?s contribution to the community by thanking Insituform. ?Thank you for allowing us to use Barry as we did,? Kohler said. ?He is a tremendous representative of your company and a very good man.?

Jayne Bringer is a senior marketing specialist with Aegion Corp.?

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