Madison Water Utility Article

October 31, 2013

Madison Water Utility Article Builds New Water Mains — Inside The Old Ones

Embracing new technology

Imagine Badger Rd. completely gutted – nothing but dirt and gravel, impassable for months. Same story for West Mifflin St. and Lake Mendota Drive. It’s what would have happened had Madison Water Utility chosen to dig up and replace the aging water mains that run beneath those streets.

“We’d be actually digging a trench the length of the project. So you’d have an open ditch,” describes Don Russell, a lead-worker with the utility.

Utility equipment operator Bob Kempfer estimates the work would have taken about three months on Badger Rd. alone. “They would have to tear it out curb-to-curb and reroute traffic.”

But it didn’t happen that way. Instead, Madison Water Utility is embracing a new technology called cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) rehabilitation, or simply pipe relining.

“You can essentially construct a new pipe inside of an existing deteriorated pipe,” explains design engineer Adam Wiederhoeft. “We can rehabilitate a main that maybe has characteristics like adequate size, but it maybe has a lot of breaks … We can reinvest in the deteriorated infrastructure and bring it new life at a lower cost.”

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