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Tunnel Leak Seal Series - 3. Leak Seal Methods

Posted by Charlie "The Grout Geek" Lerman on Nov 1, 2023 10:00:00 AM


Tunnel-Leak-Seal-Series-3.-Leak-Seal-Methods-Body-Graphic-800x1200After identifying tunnel leaks, the next step is exploring sealing methods. While crack/joint injection and curtain grouting are common solutions, they are not one-size-fits-all. By understanding the range of options and their pros and cons, engineers, maintenance teams, and infrastructure managers can make informed decisions tailored to each leak's unique circumstances. 

Crack/Joint Injection and Curtain Grouting: A Brief Overview

Before diving into alternative methods, let's briefly touch upon the two most commonly used techniques for sealing tunnel leaks.

Crack/Joint Injection

Crack/joint injection involves injecting a sealing material, often a polyurethane grout, directly into the cracks or joints where water is leaking. This method is highly effective for sealing small, accessible leaks and is often used in concrete tunnels.

Curtain Grouting

Curtain grouting involves injecting grout in a curtain-like pattern behind the tunnel lining to create a waterproof barrier. This method is more suitable for larger leaks or when the exact location of the leak is unknown.

Alternative Methods

While crack/joint injection and curtain grouting are effective, they are not always the best fit for every situation. Here are some alternative methods worth considering:

Mechanical Seals

Mechanical seals use physical components like gaskets, O-rings, or metal clamps to seal off leaks. These are often used in utility tunnels where pipes or cables pass through the tunnel walls.

Cementitious Grouts

Cementitious grouts are water-based grouts that can be used in wet environments. They are often used in combination with other methods to provide a more robust sealing solution.

Epoxy Resins

Epoxy resins are synthetic materials that can adhere to a variety of surfaces. They are particularly useful for sealing leaks in metal tunnels or in areas where a strong bond is required.

Swellable Waterstops

These are hydrophilic materials that expand upon contact with water, effectively sealing off leaks. They are often used in construction joints and are particularly effective in concrete tunnels.

Factors Influencing Method Selection

Choosing the right sealing method involves considering several factors:

Material Compatibility

The material of the tunnel lining plays a significant role in method selection. For example, cementitious grouts work well with concrete surfaces, while epoxy resins are more suitable for metal surfaces.

Severity and Location of the Leak

The size and accessibility of the leak also influence the choice of method. Crack/joint injection is more suitable for small, accessible leaks, while curtain grouting or mechanical seals might be better for larger or less accessible leaks.

Environmental Considerations

The surrounding environment can also influence method selection. For example, in tunnels close to natural water bodies, it's crucial to choose environmentally friendly sealing materials.

Criteria for Selecting a Sealing Method

When choosing a sealing method, stakeholders should consider the following criteria:


The primary consideration should be the method's effectiveness in sealing the leak and preventing future leaks.


While it's tempting to opt for the cheapest solution, stakeholders should consider the long-term costs, including maintenance and the potential need for resealing.

Regulatory Compliance

Different jurisdictions have varying regulations concerning tunnel maintenance and repair. It's crucial to choose a method that complies with these regulations to avoid legal complications.

Long-Term Sustainability

The chosen method should offer a durable solution that stands the test of time, minimizing the need for frequent repairs.

Key Takeaways

Sealing methods for tunnel leaks go beyond just crack/joint injection and curtain grouting. Various factors, including material compatibility, leak severity, and environmental considerations, influence the choice of method. By understanding these factors and criteria, stakeholders can make informed decisions that not only address the immediate issue but also offer long-term benefits.

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Topics: All Posts, Seal Leaks, Crack Injection, Curtain Grouting, Municipal Resources

Grain Silo Maintenance Series - 1. Sealing Elevator Pit Leaks

Posted by Charlie "The Grout Geek" Lerman on Oct 23, 2023 10:00:00 AM

1. Banner - Grain Silo Maintenance Series - 1. Sealing Elevator Pit Leaks2. Body - Grain Silo Maintenance Series - 1. Sealing Elevator Pit LeaksGrain silos serve as the backbone of agricultural storage and supply chains. They hold not just grain but also the trust of farmers, suppliers, and consumers. One of the most critical yet often overlooked aspects of maintaining a grain silo is the integrity of its elevator pits. Leaks in these pits can lead to a cascade of problems, from grain contamination to equipment malfunction. Understanding the importance of sealing leaks in elevator pits, the risks of water ingress, and the role of polyurethane provides actionable knowledge for effective grain silo management. 

The Risks of Water Ingress

Grain Contamination

Water ingress in elevator pits poses a significant risk to the quality of stored grain. When water seeps into the silo, it creates a conducive environment for mold growth and bacterial contamination. These microorganisms can rapidly spoil large quantities of grain, leading to financial losses and potential reputational damage. Moreover, contaminated grain can pose health risks if it enters the food supply chain.

Fumigant Efficacy

Another less obvious but equally important concern is the impact of water ingress on fumigants used for pest control. A leaky elevator pit can dilute fumigants, reducing their concentration and effectiveness. This compromised state can lead to increased pest activity, further jeopardizing grain quality. Therefore, a well-sealed elevator pit is not just a structural requirement but also a critical factor in effective pest management.

Impact on Equipment and Operational Downtime

Equipment Malfunction

Water leaks don't just affect the grain; they also have a detrimental impact on the mechanical components housed in the elevator pits. These components, including conveyors and lifts, are essential for the efficient operation of the silo. Water can corrode metal parts, disrupt electrical systems, and cause premature wear and tear. The result is often equipment malfunction, which necessitates costly repairs or replacements.

Operational Downtime

The time required to address these malfunctions translates into operational downtime. For every hour the silo is non-operational, there's a cascading effect on the supply chain. During peak harvesting or shipping seasons, this downtime can be particularly costly. The financial implications extend beyond the immediate repair costs to include lost revenue and potential contract penalties.

Polyurethane as a Solution

Polyurethane Leak Seal Grout

Polyurethane stands as a highly effective material for sealing leaks in elevator pits. One of its primary advantages is its quick-setting nature. Unlike traditional materials like cement, polyurethane can set within minutes, drastically reducing the time required for repairs and, consequently, operational downtime.
Another advantage is its flexibility. Polyurethane can expand and contract with temperature fluctuations, maintaining a tight seal and offering long-lasting results. This characteristic makes it particularly useful in environments with extreme temperature variations.

Experienced Waterproofing Contractors

While polyurethane offers an effective sealing solution, proper application is critical to achieve optimal results. This is where the expertise of an experienced contractor comes into play. Look for a contractor who specializes in commercial waterproofing and has a proven track record with polyurethane grouts. They will have the right equipment, training, and techniques to thoroughly clean, prepare, and seal the problem areas. Rushing through the job or using improper methods can compromise the integrity of the seal.

A quality contractor will take the time to inspect, diagnose, and address the root causes of leaks before applying the sealant. They will also guarantee their work, which demonstrates confidence in their skills. While it may involve a slightly higher upfront cost, spending on an experienced contractor ultimately pays off through lasting results and minimized repeat repairs down the road. Their expertise in all aspects of the sealing process gives you the assurance of not just a quick patch-up solution but a robust, long-term fix to keep your elevator pits dry for years to come.

Proactive Maintenance is Key

Sealing leaks in elevator pits is not just a maintenance task; it's a critical operation that impacts grain quality, equipment functionality, and overall operational efficiency. Water ingress can lead to grain contamination, reduce the efficacy of fumigants, and cause equipment malfunction. These issues, in turn, contribute to operational downtime and financial losses.

Polyurethane offers a robust solution for sealing these leaks. Its quick-setting and flexible nature makes it an ideal choice for this application. The key takeaway is that proactive maintenance of elevator pits can prevent a multitude of problems. By understanding the risks and available solutions, silo owners and operators can make informed decisions that safeguard both their investment and the quality of the grain they store.

By addressing the issue of leaks in elevator pits, you're not just fixing a structural problem; you're enhancing the overall integrity and reliability of your grain silo. And in a business where margins can be thin, such proactive measures can make a significant difference to your bottom line.

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Topics: All Posts, Seal Leaks, Crack Injection, Curtain Grouting, Commercial Property Manager Resources

Municipal Solutions Series - 4. Ensuring Regulatory Compliance

Posted by Charlie "The Grout Geek" Lerman on Oct 13, 2023 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Ensuring Regulatory Compliance

Body - Ensuring Regulatory ComplianceThe Maze of Repair-Related Regulations

For municipal managers overseeing stormwater and wastewater systems, the regulatory landscape can often feel like a complex maze. When it comes to repairs on manholes and lift stations, the stakes are even higher. Regulatory compliance is not just a matter of adhering to best practices; it's a legal requirement that carries significant consequences for non-compliance. This blog post aims to guide you through the labyrinth of permits and compliance requirements, offering tips for staying ahead of regulatory changes and outlining the benefits of compliant repair practices.

Navigating Permits and Compliance During Repair Projects

Understanding the Regulatory Framework

Before embarking on any repair project, it's crucial to have a thorough understanding of the regulatory framework that governs stormwater and wastewater systems. This includes federal, state, and local regulations, as well as industry standards. Ignorance is not an excuse in the eyes of the law, and failure to comply can result in hefty fines, legal action, and damage to your municipality's reputation.

Obtaining Necessary Permits

Permit acquisition is often the first step in any repair project. Whether it's a minor leak seal or a major overhaul, permits are usually required to ensure that the work meets established safety and environmental standards. Make sure to apply for these permits well in advance of your planned repair dates, as the approval process can be time-consuming.

Compliance Checks and Balances

Once you've obtained the necessary permits, the next step is to ensure that the repair work itself adheres to all regulatory requirements. This often involves:

  • Pre-repair inspections to assess the scope and impact of the work.
  • Mid-repair checks to ensure that the work is proceeding as per the approved plans.
  • Post-repair audits to confirm that the repairs meet all compliance standards.


Maintaining detailed records is not just good practice; it's often a regulatory requirement. Documentation should include:

  • The initial assessment and scope of the repair.
  • All permits and approvals.
  • Details of the repair process, including materials used and personnel involved.
  • Final inspection reports and compliance certifications.

Tips for Staying Ahead of Regulatory Changes

Regular Training and Updates

Regulations are not static; they evolve over time. Regular training sessions can help your team stay updated on the latest changes and how they impact your operations.

Consult Regulatory Agencies

Don't hesitate to consult with regulatory agencies for guidance. They can provide valuable insights into compliance requirements and may even offer resources to help you meet them.

Leverage Technology

Modern technology can be a valuable ally in maintaining compliance. Software solutions are available that can track permit statuses, alert you to upcoming regulatory changes, and even automate some aspects of the compliance process.

Peer Networking

Networking with peers in other municipalities can provide additional perspectives on how to navigate the complex world of regulatory compliance. Industry conferences, webinars, and online forums are excellent platforms for such interactions.

The Benefits of Compliant Repair Practices

Adhering to regulatory compliance during repairs is not just a legal necessity; it offers several tangible benefits:

Risk Mitigation

Compliance reduces the risk of legal repercussions, including fines and lawsuits, that can be both financially and reputationally damaging.

Operational Efficiency

A well-planned, compliant repair process is often more efficient, minimizing downtime and ensuring that repairs are durable and effective.

Public Trust

Compliance with regulations not only protects the municipality from legal consequences but also builds public trust. When residents see that their local government is committed to following the law and protecting public safety, it enhances the municipality's credibility.

Environmental Stewardship

Many regulations are designed to protect the environment. By adhering to these rules, municipalities contribute to broader environmental conservation efforts, aligning with public sentiment and ethical responsibilities.

In summary, navigating the maze of repair-related regulations may be challenging, but the benefits of doing so are manifold. By understanding the regulatory landscape, obtaining necessary permits, and maintaining rigorous compliance checks, municipal managers can ensure that their repair projects are not only successful but also legally sound. Staying ahead of regulatory changes through training, consultation, and technology can further streamline this process, making compliance an integrated part of your operational strategy.

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Topics: All Posts, Seal Leaks, Crack Injection, Curtain Grouting, Municipal Resources

Municipal Solutions Series - 3. Preventing Expensive Emergency Repairs

Posted by Charlie "The Grout Geek" Lerman on Oct 12, 2023 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Preventing Expensive Emergency Repairs

Body - Preventing Expensive Emergency RepairsThe High Stakes of Unpredictability

Extreme weather events are becoming increasingly unpredictable, posing significant risks to municipal stormwater and wastewater systems. For municipal managers in charge of these systems, the unpredictability translates into a heightened risk of expensive emergency repairs, especially concerning manholes and lift stations. This blog post aims to shed light on how preventative maintenance, particularly with the use of polyurethane grout, can save municipalities from the financial burden of emergency repairs.

The Cost of Negligence: Emergency Repairs

When a stormwater or wastewater system fails, especially during an extreme weather event, the immediate need for repair can be both urgent and costly. Emergency leak seal repairs on manholes and lift stations can cost up to three times the price of preventative maintenance. These emergency situations often require immediate action, specialized labor, and sometimes even system shutdowns, all of which contribute to inflated costs.

The Power of Prevention: Polyurethane Grout

One of the most effective ways to prevent the need for such expensive emergency repairs is using polyurethane grout in preventative maintenance. Polyurethane grout offers a cost-effective, durable solution for sealing leaks and stabilizing structures. It provides a long-lasting seal that can withstand the pressures and conditions often exacerbated by extreme weather events.

Why Polyurethane Grout?

  • Durability: Polyurethane grout is highly resistant to wear and tear, making it a long-lasting solution.
  • Flexibility: Unlike traditional materials, polyurethane grout can expand and contract, making it ideal for fluctuating weather conditions.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: While the upfront cost may be a consideration, the long-term savings in avoided emergency repairs make it a wise investment.

Implementing a Preventative Maintenance Plan

Preventative maintenance is not just about fixing problems as they arise; it's about anticipating issues and addressing them before they escalate into emergencies. Here's how to implement a preventative maintenance plan effectively:

Conduct Regular Inspections

Regular inspections of manholes and lift stations are crucial. Utilize modern technologies like CCTV cameras and sensor systems to monitor the condition of these structures continually.

Prioritize Areas for Maintenance

Not all areas will require immediate attention. Use the data collected during inspections to prioritize areas that are most at risk.

Schedule Preventative Maintenance

Once you've identified the priority areas, schedule preventative maintenance activities. This is where polyurethane grout comes into play. Use it to seal minor leaks and reinforce structures that show signs of wear and tear.

Train Your Team

Ensure that your maintenance team is well-trained in using polyurethane grout and other preventative maintenance technologies. Their skill level can significantly impact the effectiveness of your maintenance activities.

Monitor and Adjust

After implementing your preventative maintenance plan, continue to monitor its effectiveness. Adjust as necessary, and don't hesitate to update your plan to accommodate new technologies or methods.

The Financial Logic: Cost-Benefit Analysis

When weighing the costs and benefits of a preventative maintenance plan, the numbers speak for themselves. The initial investment in polyurethane grout and other preventative measures pales in comparison to the potential costs of emergency repairs. Factor in the additional benefits of avoiding system downtime, and the case for preventative maintenance becomes even more compelling.

The Long-Term Benefits of Preventative Maintenance

Preventative maintenance, especially when utilizing polyurethane grout, offers municipalities a viable path to avoid the financial and operational pitfalls associated with emergency repairs. It's not just about cost-saving; it's about operational efficiency, system reliability, and ultimately, public safety. By adopting a proactive approach to maintenance, municipal managers can effectively mitigate the risks posed by the increasing unpredictability of extreme weather events. In doing so, they not only protect their communities but also ensure the longevity and reliability of critical infrastructure.

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Topics: All Posts, Seal Leaks, Crack Injection, Curtain Grouting, Municipal Resources

Municipal Solutions Series - 2. Eco-Friendly Wastewater Management

Posted by Charlie "The Grout Geek" Lerman on Oct 11, 2023 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Eco-Friendly Wastewater Management

Body - Eco-Friendly Wastewater ManagementThe Environmental Stakes of Wastewater Management

Wastewater management is not just a logistical challenge; it's an environmental imperative. The stakes are high, and the consequences of mismanagement can be devastating. From contaminating water bodies to harming aquatic life, the environmental impact of poorly managed wastewater systems is far-reaching. As stewards of public infrastructure, municipal managers have a responsibility to not only ensure the effective treatment of wastewater but also to minimize its environmental footprint.

Eco-Friendly Technologies and Practices

Fortunately, advances in technology and best practices offer a path to more sustainable wastewater management. Here are some of the leading eco-friendly technologies and practices that can make a significant difference:

Membrane Bioreactors (MBRs)

MBRs combine conventional activated sludge treatment with membrane filtration. This technology offers higher-quality effluent and reduces the need for chemical use in wastewater treatment.

Anaerobic Digestion

Anaerobic digestion breaks down organic matter in the absence of oxygen, producing biogas that can be used for energy. This process reduces the volume of sludge and its associated disposal costs.


Using plants to remove or neutralize pollutants in water is an eco-friendly and cost-effective method. Wetlands, for example, can be engineered to treat wastewater naturally.

Energy-Efficient Pumps

Switching to energy-efficient pumps can significantly reduce the energy consumption of wastewater treatment plants, thereby lowering their carbon footprint.

Real-Time Monitoring Systems

Advanced sensors and control systems can optimize the treatment process, reducing the need for chemicals and energy.

Steps for Implementing a Green Wastewater Management Strategy

Implementing an eco-friendly wastewater management strategy requires a comprehensive approach. Here are some steps to guide municipal managers:

Conduct an Environmental Audit

The first step is to assess the current environmental impact of your wastewater treatment facilities. This audit will identify areas for improvement and help prioritize actions.

Set Clear Objectives

Define what you aim to achieve with your green wastewater management strategy. Whether it's reducing energy consumption by a certain percentage or lowering chemical use, clear objectives will guide your efforts.

Choose Appropriate Technologies

Based on your audit and objectives, select the technologies that best fit your needs. Consider factors like cost, scalability, and ease of integration with existing systems.

Train Staff

Successful implementation requires a well-trained staff. Make sure your team understands the new technologies and practices, and how they contribute to environmental sustainability.

Monitor and Adjust

Once implemented, continuously monitor the performance of your new systems. Use real-time data to make necessary adjustments and optimize efficiency.

Engage the Community

Transparency is key. Keep the community informed about your efforts to make wastewater management more eco-friendly. Public support can be a significant asset in securing future investments in green technologies.

The Importance of Using NSF-Approved Products in Repairs

When it comes to repairs involving contact with drinking water, it's crucial to determine if your project requires products that meet NSF/ANSI 61-5 standards. The National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) develops public health standards and certification programs that protect the world's food, water, consumer products, and environment. NSF ensures that adequate testing is conducted for all products used in or around drinking water from source to tap.

Each product must undergo rigorous testing to receive NSF approval. The manufacturer's plant and quality assurance practices must also pass a thorough inspection. This rigorous certification process is invaluable to all parties involved, ensuring that products meet the highest standards for safety and quality.

Moreover, compliance with NSF standards ensures that you are also in compliance with the Safe Water Drinking Act (SDWA). The SDWA gives the EPA the authority to impose criminal and civil penalties on industries that are not in compliance. In 2014, enforcement efforts netted $163 million in penalties and fines, 155 combined years of incarceration for sentenced defendants, and $16 million in court-ordered project clean-ups.

For municipal managers, using NSF-approved products in repairs is not just a best practice; it's a legal necessity. It ensures that you are not the source or cause of drinking water contamination, either in the short or long term.

The Long-Term Benefits of Eco-Friendly Practices

Adopting eco-friendly practices in wastewater management is not just good for the environment; it's also good for the community and the municipal budget. Reduced energy consumption lowers operational costs, while cleaner effluent means healthier ecosystems and, potentially, fewer regulatory hurdles. Moreover, sustainable practices can enhance a municipality's reputation, making it more attractive for both residents and businesses.

In the long run, the benefits far outweigh the initial costs and challenges of transitioning to a green wastewater management strategy. It's an investment in the future—a future where both people and the planet can thrive. Municipal managers have the opportunity, and indeed the responsibility, to lead the way in adopting sustainable, eco-friendly practices. By doing so, they safeguard not just their immediate community, but also contribute to global environmental conservation efforts.

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Topics: All Posts, Seal Leaks, Crack Injection, Curtain Grouting, Municipal Resources

Municipal Solutions Series - 1. Is Your System Under an EPA Mandate?

Posted by Charlie "The Grout Geek" Lerman on Oct 10, 2023 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Is Your System Under an EPA Mandate

Body - Is Your System Under an EPA MandateThe Critical Role of Wastewater Management in Public Health

Wastewater management stands as a cornerstone of public health. It's not just about pipes and pumps; it's about protecting communities from diseases and environmental hazards. When wastewater systems fail, the consequences are immediate and severe. One of the most alarming issues is Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSOs), which can lead to backups into people's homes, including toilets and basements. These incidents are not just unpleasant; they are unhealthy and can result in significant costs for the city, as municipalities often bear the financial burden of repairs.

The Consequences of System Failures: SSOs and Backups

When SSOs occur, untreated sewage can overflow into rivers, contaminating water sources and posing a severe environmental risk. The immediate impact on residents is equally concerning. Imagine the horror of sewage backing up into your home. It's not just a foul-smelling inconvenience; it's a health hazard that exposes residents to harmful bacteria and other pathogens.

The EPA Steps In: What Happens When You're Sued

If your municipality's wastewater system is causing pollution due to SSOs or other failures, you can expect intervention from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA has the authority to sue municipalities for failing to manage wastewater effectively, and they often win these cases. Once that happens, the EPA will mandate a repair deadline. While this may sound daunting, it's worth noting that the EPA also provides funding assistance to help municipalities comply with these mandates.

A Cost-Efficient Approach to Mitigating Infiltration in Sanitary/Stormwater Systems

So, how can municipal managers effectively address these challenges without breaking the bank? One promising solution lies in the use of flexible polyurethane grout for targeted leak repairs. This approach promises a robust return on investment and can be broken down into three key steps:

Assessment: Inspect Lift Stations and Manholes

The first step in any repair process is a thorough assessment. Municipal managers must inspect lift stations and manholes to identify the system's weak points. Modern technologies, such as remote sensors and CCTV cameras, can assist in this process, providing real-time data on system integrity.

Identification: Locate and Prioritize Significant Leaks

Once the assessment phase is complete, the next step is to identify and prioritize leaks that require immediate attention. Not all leaks are created equal. Some may be minor and pose less immediate risk, while others could be catastrophic if not addressed promptly. Prioritizing these leaks ensures that the most critical issues are resolved first, thereby reducing the risk of SSOs and backups.

Targeted Repair: Utilize Flexible Polyurethane Grout

After identifying the most significant leaks, the final step is the repair process. Here, flexible polyurethane grout comes into play. Unlike traditional repair methods that often require extensive excavation and are labor-intensive, polyurethane grout offers a more efficient solution. It provides a precise, point repair approach that seals leaks effectively, ensuring a longer-lasting fix.

The Strategic Importance of Flexible Polyurethane Grout

For municipal managers overseeing stormwater and wastewater systems, embracing flexible polyurethane grout for leak repair is a strategic move. It's not just about ensuring infrastructure longevity; it's about safeguarding public health and achieving economic efficiency.

When you consider the potential costs of EPA intervention, including legal fees and mandated repairs, the return on investment for proactive maintenance becomes abundantly clear. Add to this the public health risks and environmental damage that come with system failures, and the case for a proactive, efficient approach to wastewater management is compelling.

The Time for Action is Now

If your municipality is under an EPA mandate, or if you're looking to avoid one, now is the time to act. Proactive management of wastewater systems is not just a regulatory requirement; it's a public health imperative. By adopting a cost-efficient approach that utilizes modern technologies like flexible polyurethane grout, municipalities can not only comply with regulations but also protect their communities and the environment.

Remember, wastewater management is not just an engineering challenge; it's a community responsibility. By taking timely, effective actions, municipal managers can fulfill this responsibility and ensure the well-being of their residents for years to come.

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Topics: All Posts, Seal Leaks, Crack Injection, Curtain Grouting, Municipal Resources

Polyurethane Grout for Leak Repair: Economic Implications for Municipalities

Posted by Charlie "The Grout Geek" Lerman on Sep 12, 2023 1:30:00 PM

Banner - Polyurethane Grout for Leak Repair Economic Implications for Munic

Body - Polyurethane Grout for Leak Repair Economic Implications for MunicipInflow and Infiltration (I&I)

Inflow and infiltration (I&I) refer to the entry of groundwater and rainfall-derived water into wastewater and stormwater collection systems through defects such as cracked pipes, deteriorated manholes, faulty connections, and other openings. This excess water can overload the capacity of wastewater treatment plants and collection systems.

Inflow refers to water that enters the sewer system from direct connections such as roof drains, yard and area drains, foundation drains, surface runoff, or street wash waters. Infiltration refers to groundwater that enters the sewer system from the surrounding soil through defective pipes, pipe joints, connections, or manhole walls. Infiltration is the focus of polyurethane grouting.

Managing I&I is important for preventing sewer overflows, reducing treatment costs, and minimizing energy consumption.

Understanding the Risks: What are Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSOs)?

Sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) are a prevalent concern, posing significant public health threats. EPA data indicates an alarming 23,000 to 75,000 SSO incidents annually in the U.S. These overflows, laden with raw sewage, are carriers of bacteria, viruses, and other harmful entities, potentially leading to conditions ranging from mild stomach discomforts to severe diseases like cholera and hepatitis.

The Financial Implications and Opportunities

Tackling these issues often requires a significant financial commitment. The EPA's Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) has allocated hundreds of billions of dollars for diverse water infrastructure projects. Established in 1987, this initiative offers states the autonomy to address their unique water quality challenges.

A Cost-Efficient Approach to Mitigating Infiltration in Sanitary/Stormwater Systems

Here's an efficient plan employing flexible polyurethane grout that promises a robust return on investment:

  1. Assessment: Start with inspecting lift stations and manholes.
  2. Identification: Locate and prioritize significant leaks.
  3. Targeted Repair: Utilize flexible polyurethane grout for precise point repairs.

A single crew can often mitigate leaks in two standard 8' deep manholes a day. This swift mitigation can lead to substantial savings. For instance, addressing leaks in just a single day can easily amount to around $30,000 in annual savings, based on local water treatment costs. In mere months, the cost of the repair is already recouped.

For municipal managers overseeing stormwater and wastewater systems, embracing flexible polyurethane grout for leak repair is a strategic move. It's not just about ensuring infrastructure longevity, but also safeguarding public health and achieving economic efficiency.

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Topics: All Posts, Seal Leaks, Crack Injection, Curtain Grouting, Municipal Resources

Waterproofing in a Dry Environment

Posted by Charlie "The Grout Geek" Lerman on Jul 27, 2023 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Waterproofing in a Dry Environment

Body - Waterproofing in a Dry EnvironmentIf you're a leak seal contractor, you may be familiar with this situation: A property owner with leaking concrete calls you up and says, "Hey, everything is dry right now, so I want to get someone out here to go ahead and waterproof the structure."  Attempting a waterproofing job when the structure is completely dry is not recommended.

Let me give you an analogy. Let's say I hired you to paint a basement. And when you arrive, it's pitch black in that basement. No lights are available and you can't see anything. Can you still paint that basement? The answer is "yes", but when we turn the lights on, will I be happy with the job you've done? There's no way. It would be a terrible paint job.

Similarly, if someone is asking you to waterproof while it's dry, you are basically attempting to seal leaks while blind. You need to waterproof while water is present - not just to activate the grout, but to see where the grout needs to be. Let the leaks lead you to correct grout placement. You won't know for sure if the water is not present. If you attempt a leak seal job in a completely dry environment and then return when the water is present, you'll most likely find leaking cracks that you missed.

Moral of the story? Grout when it's wet.

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Topics: All Posts, Seal Leaks, Crack Injection, Curtain Grouting

The Five Rules of Leak Seal Grouting

Posted by Charlie "The Grout Geek" Lerman on Jul 20, 2023 10:00:00 AM

Banner - The Five Rules of Leak Seal Grouting

Body - The Five Rules of Leak Seal GroutingPolyurethane grouting is a complex process that involves numerous specifications and guidelines. However, amidst the vast amount of information, there are five fundamental rules that lie at the core of all successful polyurethane grouting projects. We will explore these rules, highlighting their significance in achieving desired outcomes.

Rule #1: Don’t Eat the Grout

On a serious note, this rule serves as a safety reminder to avoid accidents or potential health risks associated with ingesting grout materials. It may seem obvious, but it is crucial to emphasize that grout should never be ingested.

Rule #2: Protect Your Eyes

Ensuring eye protection is essential when working with polyurethane grout. Always wear appropriate safety gear and keep an eyewash nearby. This precautionary measure prevents grout particles or splashed drops from coming into contact with your eyes, safeguarding your vision and preventing injuries.

Rule #3: Avoid Premature Water Addition

One must refrain from adding water to the grout before pumping it. While experienced professionals might occasionally deviate from this rule, it generally stands as a reliable guideline, especially for those new to the field. By adhering to this rule, the grout maintains its intended consistency and properties, leading to optimal results.

Rule #4: Get the Grout in Right Location

Precise grout placement plays a crucial role in achieving successful outcomes. It is essential to accurately direct the grout to the desired location whether performing crack injections or high-flow grouting. High-flow grouting, especially, demands effective retention of the grout in place.

Rule #5: Allow Sufficient Set Time

The final rule stresses the importance of providing ample time for the grout to set. Once the grout reaches its intended location, it is crucial to avoid disturbances and allow the curing process to occur effectively. This rule is particularly significant in high-flow scenarios, where maintaining the grout in place poses a significant challenge.

As long as these rules are upheld, exploration and experimentation in grouting methods can be undertaken. This approach acknowledges the uniqueness of each job site and encourages problem-solving while adhering to the core principles of grouting.

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Topics: All Posts, Seal Leaks, Crack Injection, Curtain Grouting

Stage Grouting: A Methodical Approach to Curtain Grouting

Posted by Charlie "The Grout Geek" Lerman on Jun 22, 2023 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Stage Grouting

Body - Stage GroutingIn the realm of grouting, patience and a methodical approach are key to achieving optimal results. This is particularly true when it comes to the concept of stage grouting, a technique that ensures effective curtain grouting with polyurethane.

The Concept of Stage Grouting

Stage grouting is not about pumping a predetermined amount of grout into a hole. Such an approach would result in the grout pushing away from the wall, which is not the desired outcome. The goal is to keep the grout close to the wall, as the purpose of this process is waterproofing, not soil modification or permeation grouting.

The Methodology of Stage Grouting

The stage grouting process begins with a cup test to determine when the grout starts to react and turn into foam. Typically 45 seconds to a minute is a good time but adjust as necessary for field conditions. At this point, it is recommended to pump a small amount of grout, perhaps a third or even a quarter of the planned total, into the hole. After that initial amount begins to react, another burst of grout is pumped in, and the process is repeated. The aim here is to slowly build a foam mass on the backside of the wall. This foam mass, once formed, will hold the new grout against the wall, allowing it to travel vertically or horizontally. This is the desired outcome, as it facilitates communication between the ports or holes drilled into the wall.

The Importance of Stage Grouting

Stage grouting is a crucial technique in curtain grouting. Many issues arise when too much material is used without significant impact. Stage grouting allows for careful monitoring and slow, methodical application, ensuring that the grout is effectively used and serves its purpose. If, after several stages of grouting, no progress is observed, it may be necessary to move to another area. This could indicate an anomaly or unidentified voids. The key takeaway here is that the right answer is never to pump more grout when in doubt. The process should be slow, methodical, and thoughtful to ensure impact.

With technical expertise and reliability, the methodical approach of stage grouting emphasizes the importance of patience and careful monitoring in achieving optimal results. Remember, when it comes to grouting, the goal is not to use more material, but to use the material more effectively. Go slow, be methodical, think about it, and make sure you're having an impact.

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Topics: Seal Leaks, Curtain Grouting