Lateral Relining & Spot Repair System
Call Now 1-888-337-6764

Case Studies

Molson Coors Brewing Co. Uses Formadrain No-Dig System

This originally appeared in Trenchless Technology Magazine Molson Breweries uses Formadrain No Dig Trenchless CIPP TechnologyThe Molson Coors Brewing Co. recently required extensive repairs of numerous underground pipes at its Montreal, Canada, plant, one of numerous facilities that are part of the company’s Canadian division. The facility is the oldest owned by Molson having been founded more than 230 years ago. Due to the plant’s age, size and complexity, tearing up reinforced concrete floors, dismantling plant industrial equipment and other issues attendant with conventional dig-and-replace methods of underground pipe rehabilitation, Molson opted for a trenchless lateral repair solution. The trenchless technology selected—Formadrain—has also been utilized in other industrial plants such as the project at the hydrogen peroxide production plant owned by a subsidiary of ATOFINA Worldwide, the fifth largest chemical company in the world.


Molson’s Montreal facility is the oldest brewery in North America, with operations ongoing on the site of the original brewery since 1786. Although the plant has undergone numerous transformations over the past two centuries, the cellars once used to store beer are still intact beneath the current building. Molson is the second oldest company in Canada after the Hudson’s Bay Co. The company brews and markets a number of the most popular brands of beer in Canada. Domestic labels include Molson Canadian, Molson Export, Molson Dry, Pilsner, Rickard’s and Creemore Springs. Through partnerships with other major brewers, Molson Canada also offers several world-renowned brands, including Coors Light, Corona, Miller Genuine Draft, Foster’s Lager and Tiger. Molson employs 3,000 people in Canada and operates six breweries in locations across the country (Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Moncton and St. John’s), including the Creemore microbrewery in Ontario.

The Situation

Molson Breweries uses Formadrain No Dig Trenchless CIPP TechnologyMolson’s production facilities are expansive and produce at a very high volume on a daily basis. There are hundreds of thousands of feet of piping and tens of millions of dollars in industrial infrastructure. Underneath the plant is a network of cast iron pipes, many decades old and suffering from premature corrosion inherent in the beer-making process. When these needed repairs recently, shutting the plant down was not a viable option due to production demands. Moreover, repair costs for traditional repairs would have been extensive as the plant floor would have to be dug up. To make matters worse, there were areas where it was simply impossible to dig. Moreover, there are historical factors to consider as the building itself is more than two centuries old, and the company wanted a green solution to reduce environ- mental impact by avoiding factors that go along with digging. To overcome these problems, Molson chose a no-dig solution. In addition to no manufacturing downtime or loss of production, using a no-dig option meant significantly reduced repair costs: no concrete floors to break and replace, no plant machinery to relocate, no cleaning afterwards, no environmental pollutants, etc.

The Project

After a thorough review, Molson’s maintenance manager selected Formadrain no-dig technology, which has been in use since 1994. This process utilizes a liner with an epoxy formulation that is inserted inside the existing pipe (it’s a pull-in- place system), but with minimal loss in diameter. Another unique feature is that the new pipe, once installed, is injected with pressurized steam allowing for a short curing time of about two hours for the industrial liner. The Molson project involved repairing an extensive sewer network of cast iron pipes suffering from heavy corrosion — some pipes had no bottom in several spots. It was practically impossible to remove the tanks to dig and replace the cast iron pipes underneath. Additionally, under the tanks there was a double-layer concrete slab and others exist in areas where it is unfeasible to dig. As no pictures were allowed inside the plant, to protect trade secrets, a sketch was created (see the diagram on page 35) that shows the large cellar, including 8-ft diameter by 25-ft long beer tanks. The repairs involved lengths of pipe up to 90 m with diameters of 150 and 100 mm. The badly corroded pipes include eight “Y’’ connections (floor drain and lateral connections) that had to be renewed. These problems produced maintenance issues in the form of pipes backing up — a nightmare for a brewery. The existing laterals were originally made of cast iron, and as noted, badly corroded with no bottom in some sections of pipe.  Additionally, there were pipes that were stopped up with broken glass, beer bottle caps and other debris. There were also structural blockages including concrete in the 8-in. diameter main that needed to be removed.


LMC technology
LMC technology was used on the laterals and Y connectionsThis project involved rehabilitating 14 laterals and seven “Y” connections (which were lined with Formadrain’s Lateral Main Connection technology or LMC). It was done over a month’s time and presented various challenges — the most prominent being that Molson simply could not stop operations. These were met with success and work continued without interrupting production. For this project a Novalac Epoxy resin was utilized, which was especially designed for industrial purposes. In fact, the liner had chemical tolerances that exceeded those of brewery, with a life expectancy of 50 years. Equipment included special safety apparatus, such as a harness gas detector, flushers, vacuum pumps, and a full lining equipment unit that incorporated a high-pressure steam unit capable of producing 700,00 BTU of steam. Prior to installation, the existing pipes were properly prepared, something as important as the lining itself. All lining, to be successful, requires three things: preparation, preparation and preparation. Preparations began with proper and searching camera inspections to assess the actual pipe diameter, that all laterals are properly located to avoid back-ups, etc. Preps also included deep cleaning (with standard and high-water pressure equipment) to remove some soft and other very hard residues, i.e. concrete. Once all preparation was done, the pipes were lined with a process that includes steam curing. This allows for excellent quality control during the installation process, as well as producing a liner with an elevated chemical resistance (which simply would not be possible without a controlled heat source). It was the combination of the unique industrial formulation, which is suitable for strong acids, caustics and strong hydrocarbons, and the steam curing process that made the project possible. The project was completed with 100 percent client satisfaction. There was no loss of production and all affected infra- structure was left intact. Stephane Therrien is President of Formadrain Inc.

City of Toronto’s Largest Water Treatment Plant Chooses Formadrain Technology

RC Harris Treatment Plant project done with Formadrain no-dig trenchless CIPP technologyThe RC Harris Treatment Plant is one of four City water treatment plants that service the City of Toronto.  The plant takes raw water from Lake Ontario, then cleans, disinfects and converts it into safe potable/drinking water for pumping into the City’s distribution system. Located at the foot of Victoria Park Ave. and constructed in the 1930s, it is Toronto’s largest water treatment facility.  Operating 365 days a year RC Harris produces 168,000 million liters of water.   It was declared a national historic civil engineering site in 1992 and was named for Rowland Caldwell Harris, Commissioner of Works from 1912 to his death in 1945. The project was done in coordination with Empipe Lining Solutions, a licensee of the Formadrain system, for the City of Toronto.  It involved several stacks that were leaking and had to be repaired.  As the plant is a historic site, damage to the infrastructure was unacceptable.  In short, breaking the walls was not a viable solution. Formadrain was the perfect solution because it is a STRUCTURAL liner. Lining a vertical stack is a delicate, precise procedure because the pipe is not “held in place” by the ground, as it were. The installation also has to be done through a cleanout and many systems do not have the capability of doing this, because the liner has to be structural.  And Formadrain is.

Project Details:

RC Harris Treatment Plant project done with Formadrain no-dig trenchless CIPP technology
RC Harris Treatment Plant project done with Formadrain no-dig trenchless CIPP technologyThere were some interesting challenges on this project, to say the least.  For one, the cleanouts for the stacks we had to repair were in the building attic, about a half dozen floors up from street level. We had to run hoses through another stack from the roof and then attached them to the bladder inside the stack under repair as there were absolutely no windows in the attic.  This went off without a hitch. We also had to work fast because the attic was extremely hot (the outside temperature exceeded 90 degrees Fahrenheit) and our unique, proven steam curing process really came into its own at this point. The Formadrain resin has a 4 hour working time before it starts to harden, and this combined with our completely predictable steam curing process (liner will cure in approximately 45 minutes) provides total control on the job. Prior to being able to fill the bladder with steam however, we first had to blow it up with air, as the liner was vertical, to offset the effects of gravity.  This was necessary because when the resin is hot it can slide down the liner and get out of position.  So we started with air and then followed up with steam, and were thus able to complete the project successfully. Another challenge was the handling of the materials as even the slightest damage to the building, which was a historic site, was unacceptable. The stacks were completely rehabilitated within two days and the project was a success.

Spécialités Lassonde Inc.- Food Plant Gets Brand New Pipes Without Excavation

Spécialités Lassonde Inc. plant
Spécialités Lassonde Inc. plant”You are what you eat”. Even though this statement can be challenged in many ways, one true reality is you always want the best quality control and cleanliness in food plants that transform ingredients into what you buy at the supermarket. What if the underground piping of the factory has to be replaced? Just imagine the mess it would make! Spécialités Lassonde Inc. faced that sort of challenge when they had to redo a section of their floor in their St-Damase, QC plant that produces Canton sauces and Green Giant sweet corn, among others. They already needed to shut down part of the plant and move some operations to tear that section apart. Before covering it all back, a camera was ran through the existing piping to assess their state and figure if they needed to be replaced.

Project Difficulties

Inspections provided disastrous news to the plant managers. Some being there since the construction of the oldest section of the plant in 1933, pipes needed to be replaced beyond the open floor. What to do? Drain-Net, the local sewer contractor, had heard about Formadrain No-Dig Technologies. DrainExpert from Montreal was called on site to see what they could do about that. Fortunately, there was good news: Formadrain supplies its contractors with Formapox 301, an industrial resin with high resistance to chemicals. Therefore, even with very acid residual streams created by the production of the different products made there, installing a liner was a viable solution. In its sector of activity, this facility was the first HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) certified plant in Quebec, in 2000. Tearing up the floor from the whole plant was not an option, downtimes and costs being astronomic to break and rebuild in regards to HACCP industry norms. Too much money had been put to make everything in accordance to standards to just tear it all out and redo it all over again.

Project Details

Excited by this new option, management decided to hire DrainExpert to line 150 feet (45m) of 10 inch diameter pipe (250mm) in three different sections of industrial Formadrain liner. With manhole accesses strategically placed already, the task seemed pretty easy to start with. Pipe material was clay. Or was it? Little did they know that a full 50 feet (15m) section on the outside of the facility was actually an old rain ditch that was covered by a “hat” of plywood sheets and backfilled! The pipe was therefore not round and made of soil and wood! Upon this discovery, the plans changed a little bit. The assembly had to be protected before insertion to make sure the final result was perfectly round and watertight. Once that was taken care of, the project could go on and meet the deadlines. The whole project was completed in a little more than 16 hours split throughout two and a half days of work.

Get Your Free Info Pack

Don't miss out on the latest from Formadrain. Subscribe to Bruce's No-Dig Report

The Formadrain Technology in Action

Get Your Free Information Pack