Municipal grouting is a proven and reliable method to control infiltration in sewers. The Infiltration Control Grouting Association (ICGA), a division of NASSCO, is an organization whose membership base consists of contractors, engineers, public works employees, and suppliers. Its purpose is to educate engineers and owners about this highly versatile process as well as support and promote the proper use of injection grouting as a safe, economical and effective means to reduce groundwater infiltration into sewer collection systems.
To further the objectives of ICGA, reeducation is now core to its mission, as injection grouting has experienced monumental advances in the last decade, with more to come. Reeducate [ree-ej-oo-keyt] Verb: to educate again, to rehabilitate or reform through education.
It is ironic that Webster would use the word rehabilitate in its definition, but for the grouting industry, it makes perfect sense when you think about it. The trenchless world is changing faster than ever and it’s only going to accelerate.
Reeducation, or continuing education, has become more important than our degrees, our experience, or our certifications
from 10 to 15 years ago. One of the more seasoned grouters recently confessed, “I thought I knew everything there was to know about grouting— did the same thing for years. Now I know different. I was wrong.”
Beliefs are hard to change. From ICGA’s perspective, we’re seeing stakeholders rethink their position on injection grouting as a proactive maintenance practice and an engineered construction project. Engineers are learning how to specify grouting for in-situ conditions. Municipalities are learning how to plan, prioritize, and protect their underground assets prior to requiring more costly structural rehab. Contractors are retooling their workforce to better understand the importance of grout mixtures and gel times, injection rates and grout volumes, techniques and tactics for a long-term, permanent seal.
Most importantly, today we have documented standards (ASTM, NASSCO/ICGA) that, when followed, provide predictable outcomes. Controlling infiltration will extend the life of our collection systems, recoup capacity, reduce flow to the WWTP, minimize SSOs and sewer back-ups, and save operating costs. These standards did not exist a decade ago, but the adoption rate is escalating by the engineering community because it’s delivering value for the municipal dollar.
More to Come in 2017
As industry professionals, how quickly we adopt to change is critical to our individual and collective survival in the coming decades. Our mantra should be: Rethink, Retool, Reeducate. For every segment of the trenchless industry, and specifically injection grouting, these rehabilitation methods mean the most.
Article provided by the Infiltration Control Grouting Association (ICGA), a division of NASSCO.
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