Saturday, May 2, 2009

In-Situ Lining

Originally uploaded by Noladishu
As many of you may have seen, Oak Street is under renovation. They're making good progress.

As I was walking down the street, I saw an interesting piece of equipment and I figure I'd explain to y'all.

The man is standing on a feed unit for an In-Situ Liner. A plastic "balloon" is dragged through the line being repaired and then "inflated."
Here you can see the "balloon" being fed into the unit. A Vynil-ester is usually used to set the balloon [PDF]. The repaired lines can usually withstand a few pounds of pressure (PSIG).

It's an expensive to set up initially, but you can coat an immense area with minimal excavation. If you do a large enough area, the per-unit costs are quite reasonable (say, a few miles of pipe). In-Situ Linin was used extensively in the Mid-City repairs that lasted forever and ended just before Katrina. Think of it like arthroscopic surgery for a sewerage system.

Just a little peak into how the massive infrastructure that supports society is maintained and repaired...

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