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Los Angeles' Integrated Approach to Sewer Renewal: The Answer to an Aging Infrastructure

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The City of Los Angeles (City) has embarked on an aggressive sewer renewal program. The renewal program is part of the City's program to reduce Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSOs) and to upgrade the aging sewer system. The City operates and maintains more than 6,500 miles of sewers ranging in size from 6-inch to 150-inch in diameter. The majority of the sewers are secondary sewers that are 15-inch and smaller in diameter which are the most susceptible to blockages and overflows. In addition, over 50 percent of the secondary sewers are older than 50 years.

The City has established a goal of renewing a minimum of 60 miles per year with focus on those sewers and areas that are most susceptible to SSOs. This commitment was included as part of a negotiated agreement with the US EPA, the California Regional Water Quality Control Board and the Santa Monica Baykeeper.

The City sewer renewal program was based on an integrated sewer assessment effort. The 218 sewer basins in the City's sewer system were prioritized based on their maintenance history, SSOs, age, and material. The prioritized basins were then used as the basis for the City proactive sewer maintenance program. Using the same priority, an aggressive Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) inspection followed where more than 600 miles of sewers are inspected and assessed annually. The same process was carried to the planning for renewal where specific renewal plans were developed that incorporate maintenance issues, structural condition assessment and hydraulic condition assessment.

Specific criteria for renewal need and type were established and incorporated into the planning effort. The criteria and the basis for the criteria will be presented as part of the paper. About 20 basin plans are produced annually. The identified renewal projects are then transmitted to the design team for very innovative and streamlined design procedure that minimizes time, cost and increased delivery and effectiveness.

This paper will describe the entire sewer renewal process and highlight the innovative measures developed and undertaken by the City, and demonstrate that sewer rehabilitation should be an integrated effort between maintenance, condition assessment, planning, and design.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2008-01-01

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