January 28, 2022

Emergency Repairs for Cracked Pipes

Much of America's water pipeline infrastructure is corroded and failing, requiring emergency repair. HJ3's carbon fiber repairs them quickly, for less.

Protecting America's Water Infrastructure with Carbon Fiber Pipe Repair

With the arrival of warm weather, water usage surges across the nation, but this season also ushers in dynamic soil shifts and freeze-thaw cycles, creating challenges for underground pipes. Milwaukee, WI's Department of Public Works has been grappling with the corrosive and cracking effects of these weather-related issues, which have forced closures in local water treatment plants and a substantial repair bill of nearly $2 million.

Recent Pipe Emergency and Costly Repairs

In the past month, a significant 72-inch diameter PCCP (Pre-Stressed Concrete Cylinder Pipe) began leaking water between Milwaukee's Texas Ave and Howard Ave treatment plants. The leak forced the shutdown of the Texas Avenue plant, and the Howard treatment plant also ceased operations as it relies on the water supplied by the Texas Ave pumping station. The leak was attributed to two 5/8-inch cracks, which have been promptly fixed. However, a more comprehensive examination of the pipe uncovered multiple areas with similar corrosion concerns along the 250-foot pipeline. Consequently, the city has made the strategic decision to utilize a carbon fiber lining to repair the entire 250-foot corroded pipe. This carbon fiber solution offers superior corrosion resistance and long-term durability, ensuring a more permanent fix compared to other repair methods.

The Burden of Leaking Pipes on America's Infrastructure

It's a well-documented fact that leaking pipes result in the loss of about 7 billion gallons of drinking water each day in the United States. As our nation's infrastructure ages, pipes deteriorate, becoming increasingly unreliable. Although routine maintenance and replacement of pipes are anticipated and budgeted for, emergency repairs can be significantly more expensive, costing up to 300% extra. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gave America's drinking water infrastructure a disappointing "D" grade on the 2013 Report Card, noting that "much of our drinking water infrastructure is nearing the end of its useful life." Emergency PCCP (Pre-Stressed Concrete Cylinder Pipe) repairs are now a common issue nationwide.

Innovative Carbon Fiber Solutions for Pipe Repairs

In Florida, a county's water and sewer system faced an emergency repair situation when a large-diameter PCCP pipe began corroding and leaking. Several sections of pipeline, including three 54-inch diameter sections and four 48-inch diameter sections, had previously undergone repairs with a composite product that eventually delaminated, allowing moisture to infiltrate the concrete and damage the prestressing steel wires inside. Severe corrosion compromised the pipe's strength, preventing it from maintaining its designed operating pressure of 150 psi.

HJ3's carbon fiber pipe repair system was the chosen solution to restore the pipe to its original design strength and to prevent further corrosion. The corroded pipe sections were meticulously prepared, eliminating all loose concrete, dust, and coatings. Subsequently, the pipelines were primed, and CarbonSeal™ carbon fiber was saturated and applied to the interior of the pipe, ensuring joint coverage.

Savings, Sustainability, and Superior Results

The CarbonSeal™ system expertly repaired the damaged pipe within just a few days, circumventing costly downtime expenses. The pipeline was restored to its intended operating pressure, and the carbon fiber repair obviated the need for further maintenance. The county saved over $1,000,000 compared to replacement costs and made a significant environmental impact. The repair initiative prevented 5 tons of concrete waste and 1 ton of steel waste from ending up in landfills. Additionally, it saved 12 tons of CO2 emissions, 50,000 kWh of energy, and 60,000 gallons of water.

Explore Carbon Fiber Solutions for PCCP Repair

If you're grappling with corroded PCCP in need of repair and wish to discover more about HJ3's carbon fiber systems, reach out to our project managers today at info@hj3.com.

A cracked pipe floods Milwaukee's streets

Corroded PCCP pipes leak trillions of gallons of water every year

Corroded pipeline interior
Corrosion at failure point of previous repair attempt
An installer applies CarbonSeal to the pipe's interior


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