With over 1000 miles of sewer pipe and 400 miles of storm pipe, the City of Tallahassee’s Underground Utilities and Public Infrastructure Department has been an industry front-runner in establishing a proactive sewer inspection and rehabilitation strategy. “Our Department’s motto is Setting the Standard for Excellence—this motto is engrained in all our work and challenges us to be leaders at what we do,” says Todd Hacker, the Department’s Superintendent. In 2010, the Department bought their first ROVVER system; today they have a total of seven ROVVER and ROVVER X systems. “We like to consider ourselves early adopters—especially when it comes to technology that can make the work we do more efficient and effective,” says Tony Moore, the Department’s Maintenance Construction Chief. “We need first-class technology to help us stay on top of our underground utilities, and our ROVVER X inspection cameras help us do just that.”
Prior to 2014, the Department relied on open-cut excavation methods to perform sewer repair work. This type of excavation often requires a crew to block roadway access as they dig up and replace pipes. “I made the decision to use the Quick-Lock point repair system because it is safer, easier, and less disruptive—plus it saves our department money,” says Hacker. The Quick-Lock sleeve gives the Department the ability to repair pipes without open-cut excavation—and it works seamlessly with their ROVVER X systems. Quick-Lock is a stainless steel sleeve that structurally reinforces deteriorating sewer lines and seals out infiltration. It’s delivered to the repair location on a wheeled flow-through packer pushed by a CCTV crawler. Once in position, air pressure supplied to the packer expands the sleeve tightly against the host pipe wall.
“Open-cut repairs could take up to a whole day, and it was an inconvenience to the public—we needed to find a better way,” Moore says. “With the Quick-Lock, a spot repair now only takes about an hour.” In the past two years, the City of Tallahassee has installed more than 35 Quick-Locks. “In fiscal 2016, we’ve been able to save tens of thousands of dollars by performing Quick-Lock point repairs instead of open-cut replacement,” says Moore.
A sewer inspection program as comprehensive as Tallahassee’s allows the City to take a proactive approach to rehab—and that is exactly what Quick-Lock is about. "Our recipe for success is investing in the right technology and having great people on our crew to implement it,” says Moore. His crew includes Jeff Hawkins, Richard Johnston, Wes Leggett, Kent Thibou, D.J. Johnson, Al Thomas, Dallas Lively, Nate Grimsley and Kevin Houston. The results speak for themselves, as the Department continues to receive accolades for its commitment to underground utility management. Most recently they were awarded the prestigious Governor’s Sterling Award for excellence in underground utility management.
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