Trenchless pipe installation minimizes disruption to upscale community

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VALLEY FORGE, PA -- Last year, the city of Arlington, Texas, faced the challenge of replacing a damaged clay sewer line in a way that would minimize disturbance to the affluent neighborhood surrounding it. Most neighborhood homeowners prefer that their grand old trees and landscaping located within the utility easements remain intact. Of course, that presented a difficult challenge for the city of Arlington, considering that these trees stood so close to the sewer line that the overgrowth of their roots was a major factor in the sewer pipe damage.

The Arlington Water Utilities Department also wanted to use a more rigid pipe product that would perform better in the neighborhood's highly elastic clay-based soil, or "black gumbo," which either drastically expands or contracts, depending on a season's rain level. Going on the success of a similar previous project, Arlington Water Utilities Project Engineer Brad Franklin, P.E., specified CertainTeed® Certa-Lok™ Yelomine™ 8" SDR 21 PVC Pipe for trenchless installation.

"We had a really good experience with CertainTeed PVC pipe on a previous project and since this was our first project to utilize horizontal directional drill for sewer, we went with a sewer pipe that we felt would give us the best results," Franklin says.

The city of Arlington hired contractor Gra-Tex Utilities Inc., of Arlington, to install the new sewer line. Beginning work in Dec. 2006, the Gra-Tex crew of seven was able to put in 2,800 feet of Yelomine PVC pipe through the open trench method, but the remaining 3,500 feet was installed with a Vermeer directional drill. The crew finished in early April of this year. The job ran smoothly, despite the very limited workspace, thanks to the trenchless installation method and easy assembly of the Yelomine PVC pipe.

"Our experience with CertainTeed PVC pipe has been very positive," says Don Kemp, President of Gra-Tex Utilities. "Our production time was reduced due to our use of Yelomine PVC pipe, and that is a very important aspect of our job. We received several letters from the homeowners stating how satisfied they were with our company on the project. When you receive positive feedback, especially from homeowners, it makes you very proud of your personnel and the vendors who helped with the planning of the project."

Certa-Lok Yelomine is performance-proven for a broad range of piping applications, including trenchless construction, potable water, sewer, irrigation and mining. Its innovative joining system, which uses a high-strength spline with an elastomeric O-ring inside to connect pipe lengths, reliably holds the pipe together when installed and pressurized. The product has many qualities that appeal to contractors, but its leak resistance, quick assembly without the need for time-consuming and expensive joint fusion, and high impact resistance are what really stand out amongst the competition.

"For more than 30 years, Yelomine has been making a name for itself with its groundbreaking restrained joint PVC pipe system and strong performance," says Steve Gross, Director of Marketing & Product Development for CertainTeed's Pipe & Plastics Group. "Yelomine's impact-modified PVC material provides the long-lasting durability needed for sewer lines in the heavy clay soil of North Texas. We are pleased the city of Arlington chose Certa-Lok Yelomine for this challenging sewer project."

CertainTeed is headquartered in Valley Forge, PA, and is a leading brand of exterior and interior building products, including roofing, siding, windows, fence, decking, railing, trim, foundations, pipe, insulation, walls, ceilings and access covers, in North America.

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