Problems with Laterals and How to Solve Them

According to the American Society of Civil Engineers in their 2017 Infrastructure Report Card, there are over 800,000 miles of public sewers and 500,000 miles of private laterals in the U.S. The report notes that “each of these conveyance systems is susceptible to structural failure, blockages, and overflows”, and that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that between 23,000 and 75,000 overflow events occur each year, not including sewage backups into buildings.

Laterals in older homes were commonly made of metals which, while strong, are susceptible to corrosion, breakage, and clogging from water-seeking tree and shrub roots. Clogged and broken laterals need immediate attention. Not only does a clogged lateral affect the homeowner, it can also have a negative impact on the municipal wastewater systems. 

Open-cut trenching to replace the lateral with a new pipe is an option, but one that some homeowners are reluctant to undertake because of the unavoidable disruption to their lawn, landscaping, and pavement.

A no-dig CIPP lining solution is an attractive alternative for many homeowners. 

In their “Overview of Lateral and Main/Lateral Connection Lining and Sealing Technologies”, NASSCO identifies some challenges in lining laterals including multiple bends, diameter changes, and offset joints. The Formadrain system of pipe lining was designed to address these and many other challenges.

Formadrain liners are made of bi-directional fiberglass impregnated with an epoxy resin, allowing the liners to easily conform to the shape and size of the host pipe to create a new, durable pipe.  

Bends: Formadrain liners will easily negotiate bends and elbows of up to 90 degrees, without leaving excess material or lips in the new pipe.

Transitions: Many laterals transition from four to six inches. Formadrain liners perfectly accommodate changes in pipe size in two inch increments without the need for precision stitching. 

Offset Joints: Laterals are sometimes built in sections that can shift over time creating open joints. Formadrain liners smoothly conform to the offsets.

Connections: Formadrain’s unique LMC (Lateral-Main-Connections) system provides a watertight connection with no sacrifice of structural integrity.

Missing Sections: Formadrain will line through missing sections of pipe. A retaining jacket is put on the outside of the liner to prevent overgrowth into the missing section.

Curing: Cure quality is essential to the strength and durability of the liner. Formadrain liners are steam cured, allowing for a controlled and complete cure every time, regardless of ambient temperatures. Curing takes only 45 minutes to two hours, depending upon the resin used. 

Formadrain liners are designed to have a minimum 50-year life expectancy with no compromise of the hydraulic capacity of the pipe. In fact, because Formadrain liners are very smooth and thin, the hydraulic capacity of the pipe is often enhanced.

Formadrain is a green product. The proprietary epoxy resins contain no Volatile Organic Compounds. Formadrain’s no-dig system is non-disruptive to other buried infrastructure.

To find out how to join the growing network of Formadrain licensees, call Bruce Stevenson, Business Development Manager, at 1-888-450-3986 or email Bruce@formadrain.com to download our free info pack.