Pipe Rehabilitation Packers – Repairing New York’s Pipelines

Do you ever wonder how pipe systems or aqueducts in New York are maintained and repaired? In order to repair a pipe certain devices such as pipe rehabilitation packers are needed.

A pipe rehabilitation packer is an innovative device that allows maintenance repairman to replace damaged sewer pipes with the packer. They’re usually flexible and are manufactured in different widths and lengths.

Pipe rehabilitation packers are made with reinforcement materials such as polymer and fiberglass that can be used with resin to ensure a tightly sealed pipe that’s durable and static.

What Is Pipe Rehabilitation?

Pipe rehabilitation is known as a trenchless technology because there is little to no digging involved when installing the pipe. This is a more cost-effective and less disruptive way of repairing a pipeline in a high traffic area.

The flexible pipe is inserted or pulled through a damaged pipeline and is usually done so through the upstream access point (using a manhole). It can be pulled through a downstream access point but this can be dangerous.

The pipe rehabilitation packers can be inserted using air or water pressure, which is done by using pressure vessels and scaffolds. In order for the pipe to be tightly sealed, a resin lining needs to be layered and cured.

So what happens when bigger pipe repairs need to be done? Such projects can take months or even years to repair leaks and other damage. Can pipe rehabilitation packers help with more complex projects? It can be done if the pipe rehabilitation packer is custom-made for that job.

What’s Happening with New York’s Pipeline Repairs?

At the moment New York is going through a serious pipeline upgrade. It all started in 2018. Hard-hat workers started trenching 55 stories under the Hudson River to repair a gushing leak in a tunnel that’s part of the city’s main water supply.

The Catskill and Delaware aqueducts are connected in a complex system that serves more than 9.5 million people in New York and the upstate cities. Unfortunately, the Delaware Aqueduct is showing signs of major leaks and damage where it crosses under the Hudson River.

There are leaks all over the tunnel and it’s said it can take months to repair the damage, which means the entire part of the Delaware aqueduct will be shut down during the process. The repairs cost more than $1 billion and it will only be fully completed by the year 2022.

It’s the largest and most complex water-tunnel repair that the City of New York has ever done. By drilling through hard concrete, workers are creating a two-and-a-half mile bypass around the worst of the tunnel damage.

In 2022 the Delaware aqueduct will be cut off completely to make way for more repairs and the city will have to rely on water from suburban Winchester County’s reservoirs and the Catskill aqueduct.

In 2023 it’s said that the bypass will be built to last. A layer of steel will be fitted into the tunnel and a layer of concrete will go over that to make it more durable.

Final Thoughts – Pipe Rehabilitation Packers for Bigger Projects

Although pipe rehabilitation packers are meant for small repairs, perhaps a custom-made product can be made big enough to fit into a tunnel to repair it quickly and easily. Unfortunately bigger repairs still require digging a trench, but at least the process may not take as long.

Perhaps New York maintenance and construction companies can benefit from using larger pipe rehabilitation packers to assist in repairing tunnels and even use them to repair the Delaware aqueduct faster.