For contractors, time is money. So making sure employees are equipped to make the most of their time in the field is key for a successful business. Having employees with not only a wide range of skills, but also greater knowledge, can help your business stand out from its competition.
In 1976, the National Association of Sewer Service Companies (NASSCO) was formed with the mission of providing education, technical resources and advocacy to the wastewater industry, and to help pipeline inspection and rehab professionals be more effective. In 2001, NASSCO established the Pipeline Assessment and Certification Program (PACP), the North American standardized protocol for documenting inspection and assessing defects in pipes. The program aims to provide a standardized coding format for classifying, evaluating and managing pipeline conditions.
Before a standardized format was available, operators used their own judgement to evaluate and describe a pipe. This generally led to some variation across coders, which oftentimes translated into misunderstandings and a misuse of resources. Under PACP, all inspectors are using the same language to describe their lines.
Your employees should be PACP certified for several reasons. Most importantly, PACP has become the universal coding language in the wastewater industry. Regardless of location, contractors should be using the same terminology as system operators to document observations. Utilizing the standardized coding in the field can speed up the inspection and documentation process by eliminating the need to write out unique observations for each pipe. The codes documented can be easily uploaded into sewer inspection software to generate a PACP-compliant report.
Secondly, most cities require the contractor performing the work to submit PACP-compliant reports. Having fewer certified employees to easily create PACP-compliant reports could mean having to turn down jobs; having more can make your company more attractive to a wider range of municipalities.
This also closely applies to contractors completing rehabilitation work who may be receiving previously-generated PACP reports coming into the job. Being able to easily read and understand these reports may help contractors complete the work quicker and better meet the employer’s needs, as they would be starting the task already knowing what to expect in each pipe.
Another important reason is to ensure your company’s resources are being used effectively. By using a consistent and dependable system for evaluating and classifying pipeline conditions, you can ensure your employees are on the same page when allocating resources, including time, money and personnel, for rehabilitation and maintenance work.
“They should be aware of the many different defects they may encounter, and should be able to determine how severe they are. Which lines need immediate attention, and which are going to require scheduled maintenance?” says PRT’s Midwest Territory Account Manager Jerry Schroeder.
To become PACP-certified, individuals are required to participate in a 3-day training course, which is regularly held by trainers across the U.S. and Canada. Once training is completed, participants have their name entered into an online database so that employers and potential customers can verify the contractor of their choosing is PACP-certified.
Learn more about PACP and its significance in the wastewater industry with Envirosight's white paper: "5 Things You're Missing Without PACP."