Mumbai: Using Plastic to save pipes

For decades, the residents of Mumbai, India have suffered from inconsistent water supply owing to leakages on pipelines which creates potholes and waterlogging. The BMC attributed these numerous leakages to the clogging water pipes which are usually caused by plastic and plastic related materials. However, it seems that the answer to their problem has been identified with the evolution of a trenchless technique by the civic authorities. This technique involves the use of a polymer material known as epoxy. Epoxy eliminates the need for trenches to be dug to repair damaged water pipes. Its moldable nature enables it to easily run through broken pipes thereby eliminating the long hours spent on repairing broken or damaged pipes buried under the earth. Asides from the fact that epoxy decreases the repair time by 50 percent, it also increases a pipes lifespan by over 40 years. Civic authorities have found rifts in over 12 water mains believed to be decades old. These leaks spread across nine essential sites.

Previous Repairs were meaningless

According to a senior civic official of the BMC, "These water mains are pretty old and continuously developed leaks. These leaks damage roads, create potholes on roads, destroys caves, and wastewater. Even if we eventually decide to carry out some repair work, the leaks will keep coming back because these pipes are way too old."

Guess we all recall the Marine lines incident of June 25, a day to PM Narendra Modi visit to Mumbai. Despite the civic authorities' relentless effort to tidy up repairs before the D-day, they ended up unsuccessful.

Wasteful methods

Even in the most friendly working condition, repairing pipes can be pretty challenging owing to the presence of buildings or even roads above the surface. The official further gave an instance with the water main located at Waterfield Road, close to Pali Hill, Bandra which has over the years been reported to have about 25 leaks in its water main. "When we come across such pipes, our only option would be to make use of the trial and error technique in a bid to identify its leak source. This leaves us with the only option of digging the road towards the direction of the water flow. It is only when we find the leakage that we are able to repair it."

As a result of this, most often long stretches of roads are dug before a leakage is identified. Another employee of the civic department explained the difficulties associated with carrying out repairs. According to him, "It sometimes takes close to a month to finish, as most pipelines are either below the roads or along them. Replacing these pipelines will require closing the roads for close to 20 days, which seems impossible. Hence, the invention of trenchless repairs is a welcome idea."

"The use of trenchless technology is a welcome development as it eliminates waste of public funds, and manpower," beams another.

First time for water mains

Sources have it that the trenchless technology has already been adopted in the repair of damaged sewerage lines. According to Ashok Tawadia, chief hydraulic engineer, BMC, "The use of trenchless technology to repair leakages in pipes is a welcome development since there are frequent leaks on these pipes."

To find out more how Trenchless Pipe Repairs can save you thousands of dollars call us at 786-322-4600


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