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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Fixing Drains Before the Rains

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Project site on De Vos Drive
Storm drain upgrades are among the most under-appreciated improvements a city can undertake, but they make a huge difference when winter rains hit.
This week, a 6-member crew from Southwest Pipeline and Trenchless Corp.  of Torrance, CA began installing new linings inside old metal storm drains that have deteriorated.

Today,  workers were refurbishing a 30-inch storm drain that runs between homes on De Vos Drive near Carlton Oaks Elementary School.
Installation requires workers to place a sock-shaped felt lining inside the pipe. The special sock, which is fabricated at the firm’s headquarters, is pushed into place first with water and then with air. The sock is impregnated with an epoxy resin that is activated when steam is injected into the pipe. The resin hardens in two to three hours, creating a new lining inside the pipe.

The process is quick enough that workers can arrive in the morning and be gone before dinner time, sparing residents the inconvenience of  road closures and heavy equipment that would otherwise block traffic.  It also allows the city to rehabilitate storm drains without expensive and annoying excavation work, said company president Justin Duchaineau, who came to check on the project site.
Justin Duchaineau of Southwest Pipeline & Trenchless Corp.
On Thursday, the crew from Southwest Pipeline  will be fixing a 36-inch diameter metal storm drain beneath Carlton Oaks Drive. The company, which was awarded a $775,576 contract in April, will return in September to rehabilitate a 60-inch diameter storm drain.

This summer, the city awarded more than $2.4 million in construction contracts to fix deteriorated metal storm drains or replace those that are beyond repair. The goal is to upgrade obsolete portions of the city’s drainage system to avoid calamities such as pipe failures and sink holes.  Santee has 6.75 miles of corrugated metal pipes (CMPs)  that were installed before the city incorporated in 1980.

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