Often dubbed a trenchless technology, pipe bursting involves the replacement of an old pipeline with a same or larger diameter pipe that destroys the original pipe as the new one is installed. The pipe bursting tool, which is pulled through the sewer by a winch or rod located at the upstream manhole, forces its way through existing pipe materials by fragmenting the pipe and compressing the broken pieces into the soil as it progresses.
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) includes Levees on its 2009 Report Card for America's Infrastructure, giving them a D–. The category of "Levees" covers major flood control works. However, what about the water that causes the flooding that levees protect against? Throughout drainage basins comprising thousands of square miles, stormwater runoff makes its way downstream. Obviously some systems convey that stormwater and even control it. ASCE says nothing about these storm sewer systems, but they form a vital part of America's infrastructure.
The list of street categories is long -- interstates, rural highways, minor arterial roads, collector streets, and neighborhood streets -- and the need to keep them in good repair and of adequate capacity for a seemingly insatiable need is huge. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) assigned the United States’ Roads Infrastructure a grade of “D-” on their 2009 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure. Why? The report stresses safety (as measured by highway fatalities and injuries), congestion, and road condition. It also seems to be skewed toward the i–nterstate highway system and major urban areas. What about the endless miles of roads that provide a lower level of service?
Buffalo Township’s wastewater treatment plant is located along Buffalo Creek in Pennsylvania, beneath the State Route 28 bridge. This type of wastewater treatment plant is perfect to serve smaller communities. It supports 6,000 people with 3,100 sewer connections to homes and businesses throughout Sarver, Pennsylvania, and the vicinity. It’s an excellent example of an efficient wastewater infrastructure that uses extended aeration to treat raw sewage, without any initial sedimentation.
Located in Freeport, Pennsylvania, about a 30 minute drive north of Pittsburgh, Buffalo Township’s water treatment plant produces over 700,000 gallons of fresh water daily. The plant provides drinking water to over 5,000 residents in Buffalo Township and Freeport Borough. It is also the fresh water supplier for the Municipal Authority of South Buffalo Township. Join Buildipedia for a photo tour of Buffalo Township’s water treatment plant, as we trace the flow of water from the Allegheny River to its distribution throughout the utility.
Reduce, reuse, recycle. This is the simplest mantra of the environmental movement and the guiding principle for families and small programs across the nation. How does this principle apply to infrastructure, specifically asphalt pavement? We already use as little asphalt pavement as we can, but this is more an economic decision. We recycle asphalt pavement to build new pavement. We reuse it as clean fill. What else can we do with it? Can we use it to collect solar energy?
The continued development of the high-speed rail (HSR) infrastructure in the United States will enable people to quickly travel from city to city, and companies to ship freight in significantly less time. However, what makes HSR unique goes beyond the offering of a new mode of transportation or shipping. Developing the HSR infrastructure in the U.S. will require consideration of various construction approaches and technology options.
There are over 600,000 bridges in the United States and almost 13% have some sort of structural damage. Most bridges still require field methods to assess this damage, including visual inspection, dye penetrant testing, magnetic particle testing, and ultrasonic techniques. These field methods can miss structural problems or fail to catch them in time to prevent a catastrophe. In the case of the Minneapolis steel truss bridge that collapsed in 2007, resulting in 13 lives lost, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) ruled that 16 of the gusset plates that connected the trusses failed. Smart bridge technologies are being implemented in the redesign, providing more efficient and real-time monitoring and inspection.
Summersville Dam, in south central West Virginia, is the second largest rock-fill dam in the eastern United States and exemplifies the way a dam can provide multiple enhancements, such as recreational activities, flood control, and electricity generation, to the local community.
Zach Kent is a stormwater engineer for Modular Wetlands in Oceanside, California. We learned about Modular Wetlands’ urban wetland unit in our case study, “Water Quality Retrofit and Retaining Wall Remediation.” We've partnered with Kent to provide a perspective on some dynamics within the stormwater management industry over the last decade, including new processes and technologies designed to meet higher regulatory standards.
The City of Takoma Park, Maryland, needed to replace a failing retaining wall that supports a roadway in a small residential development. The Linden Avenue site is directly adjacent to Sligo Creek, which is a tributary of Anacostia Creek, a river undergoing a significant restoration effort. T. E. Scott & Associates, Inc., designed a replacement for the failing retaining wall infrastructure, created a pocket park for the local residents, and provided water quality treatment for the unmanaged watershed. This combination of aesthetic and environmental improvements adds value to the project. We’ll look at some stormwater flow design calculations, a storm water flow splitter, an urban modular wetland unit, a step/plunge pool, and an interesting retaining wall design.
Wastewater systems is the sixth topic in our U.S. infrastructure series. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) assigned the United States’ WASTEWATER infrastructure a grade of “D-” on their 2009 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure. Here we explore the funding issues that effect the aging treatment plants and waterways that make up our nation's wastewater infrastructure.