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Do Not Forget the Force Mains!!!!

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In April 2007, Sanitation District No. 1 of Northern Kentucky (SD1), which serves over 97,000 customer accounts in Campbell, Kenton, and Boone Counties, entered into a Consent Decree with USEPA Region 4 and the Kentucky Division of Water (KDOW) to address CSOs and SSOs in the sewer system. The Consent Decree required the District to conduct a CMOM self assessment. Most utilities have focused much of their efforts on CMOM associated with the gravity sewer system. However, SD1 recognized the need to focus on the pressure system as well. Therefore, one result of the self assessment was the need to develop a more proactive approach to addressing maintenance of SD1's 129 pump station force mains and air release valves (ARVs).

SD1 began a project to evaluate the current condition of their force mains, air release valves, and pump stations. The project also includes the development of a Preventative Maintenance Program for the air release valves and force mains. Before that program could be developed, it was necessary to determine the locations and current condition of the system. Key features of the program include:

Field location of approximately 77 miles of force main,

Location, inspection and evaluation of all ARVs with replacement recommendations

Digitization of all available pump station and force main drawings

Condition assessment of 10 priority force mains

Drawdown testing and surge modeling at 10 priority stations

Criticality analysis for all force mains

CCTV inspection of manholes and gravity sewers within 1 mile of force main discharges with rehabilitation recommendations

Development of a Preventative Maintenance Program (PMP) for the force mains and ARVs

This paper will focus on the innovative techniques used to locate and understand the condition of the force mains as well as the results of the surge modeling. The development of the PMP will also be discussed.

The results of this project have given SD1 invaluable information regarding the location and condition of the pressure system and has provided the basis for an Asset Management approach to preventative maintenance of the pump stations, force mains, and ARVs. This will result in fewer surprise collapses and better planning of improvements.

Keywords: Asset Management; Force main condition assessment; air release valves; criticality; surge modeling

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2010-01-01

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