NuFlow pipelining technology could help Flint

The Nu Line blown-in epoxy pipelining system could play a role in restoring safe water supplies to Flint, Michigan.

MANCHESTER, UK, March 8, 2016 -- An advanced pipelining technology newly introduced to the UK, and originally developed for use on US aircraft carriers, could play a role in restoring safe water supplies to Flint, Michigan. The 100,000 residents of the city have been left with unsafe water supplies, including unacceptable levels of lead after inadequately treated water from the River Flint caused corrosion throughout the city water network.

Nu Flow, part of Aquam Corp, is the manufacturer of the Nu Line blown-in epoxy pipelining system. The company, which has offices in Manchester, UK and Ireland, has contacted the US Environmental Protection Agency to offer help in solving the crisis, saying its patented technology could cut the cost of repairing the water system by relining existing lead pipework to make it safe.

No-dig alternative
Dermot Finn, Operations Director of Nu Flow said: “Flint faces a lot of problems, but one of the most serious is the high levels of lead which has been detected in drinking water. Many people assume the city authorities will have no choice but to rip out and replace all the lead pipework in the city but fortunately there is an alternative.

“Using our patented epoxy resin, Nu Flow can restore and repair pipes, creating an impermeable barrier between the existing lead pipework and the water. Our Nu Line system is quicker and cheaper than replacing pipework, as well as being far less disruptive to householders.

“Even pipes which are severely corroded can be reconstructed using our technology, which creates a protective layer between the original pipe and the drinking water flowing through. This technology, which has recently been introduced to the UK and Ireland, has already been successfully used to reline drinking water pipes across the US.”

Relining pipes with Nu Line can be carried out at one-third of the cost of replacing existing pipes. It can be used on supply pipes and even household plumbing of the smallest diameter - in the 10 to 300mm range.

Cut repair bill
The problems in Flint arose through a failure to maintain water chemistry in abstractions from the Flint River, which subsequently caused corrosion to the ageing water network. Thousands of people in the city have reported health problems and are now having to rely on emergency supplies of bottled water for drinking and bathing.

The city has now adjusted its water treatment process, adding chemicals which will in time coat and restore the interior of the corroded mains pipes. However as many as 15,000 residents in the city are connected to the mains by lead piping, which has been affected by the corrosive water.

The City authorities and the State of Michigan are now facing calls to identify and rip out all the remaining lead piping in the city – as part of a long-term infrastructure investment programme, which will cost an estimated $1.5bn.

Dermot Finn said: “Nu Flow’s technology could help cut the huge repair bill facing the city of Flint and help restore safe water supplies to the residents in a fraction of the time. Nu Flow in the United States has written to the Environmental Protection Agency to offer our help and expertise.”

“Nu Line is much less sensitive to water chemistry so is a safer and more robust long-term solution than having a process that requires active management.”

Tried and tested
The Nu Flow system, which was originally developed by the US Navy for use on its fleet of aircraft carriers, has an estimated life of 100 years. It has also been used to repair historic buildings including the White House and the House of Representatives, and was recently used to restore the plumbing of a 1,000-year-old castle in Ireland where the pipes were previously considered beyond repair.

About Nu Flow
Nu Flow is part of the Aquam Corporation and a trade alliance partner of Aquam Water Services. The company is the global leader for the small-diameter pipelining industry, with 300+ worldwide licensees, including a presence in five continents. The Nu Flow companies manufacture and install innovative, non-invasive, eco-friendly technologies for the restoration of failing, deteriorated or aged pipe systems. Pipelining restoration is a non-invasive procedure that uses epoxy to coat the inside walls of pipes or create a structural liner inside host piping systems, without destruction to interior or exterior surfaces of structures or landscapes. For more information visit www.nuflowtech.com

About Aquam Corp
Aquam Corp is a global cleantech firm that provides infrastructure support, rehabilitation and diagnostics solutions for water infrastructure. Aquam, which is headquartered in San Diego, USA, uses environmentally friendly technologies to address the world’s aging infrastructure problems.

Aquam Corp is the parent company of world-leading small-diameter pipe lining technology manufacturer Nu Flow Technologies, pipelining installer Nu Flow and global pipeline assessment and inspection technology provider JD7. All services are available in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia.
For more information, visit www.aquamcorp.com

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