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A large and long-overdue sanitary sewer rehabilitation program is underway at Citizens. Tens of millions of dollars are being spent to rehabilitate pipes that have, in some cases, been untouched since they were installed in the 1800s. Citizens is addressing the backlog of needed repairs by employing cured-in-place piping (CIPP) contractors to rehabilitate the lines and extend their service life by another 50-plus years.
CIPP lining starts by precisely measuring the existing or "host" pipe to determine the diameter, length and service connection locations. A felt tube is then manufactured to those exact specifications, saturated with resin, and shipped to the job site. Steam or water pressure is used to "invert" the tube down the host pipe where it will be "cured" using steam or hot water. The curing process lasts a few hours, and when completed, provides a new seamless and structurally sound pipe. Robotic tools are used to reinstate all service connections; and, in most cases, the projects are completed without any disruptions to the customer's service.
Since taking ownership of the wastwater utility, Citizens has installed over 100,000 linear feet of CIPP from pipes ranging in size from 8 inches to 72 inches. This rehabilitation program provides several important benefits for Citizens customers including: revitalized assets providing economic development opportunities, increased reliability of service through reduced asset failures, and increased safety for the traveling public by reducing the possibility of catastrophic failures causing sinkholes or voids under the pavement.