Study targets wastewater collection system
June 19, 2008
By Lori Newman
FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas --- Inspection crews will conduct a physical survey of the wastewater collection system on Fort Sam Houston. Information gained from the study will be used to repair and improve the system.
Pipeline Analysis, LLC, will perform the study, which involves opening manholes in the streets and backyard utility easements, according to Kelly Kane, supervisor, Sanitation Section, Directorate of Public Works.
The inspection study is due, but is also driven by Base Realignment and Closure, which will bring an influx of personnel and infrastructure additions to Fort Sam Houston.
"It is important to assess the system, analyze the data and see where improvements are needed," said Kane.
Some of the pipes, made from concrete and clay, are 100 years old. The PVC pipes are newer but also need to be inspected. The data collected will assess pipeline capacity, the condition of manholes and pipes, the impact of wet weather infiltration and inflow, update maps, and analyze the condition of assets and repairs needed.
Starting next week the company will conduct smoke tests of the sewer lines to detect breaks or defects in the system. The testing should take about one to two weeks. A non-toxic white smoke will be pumped into the sewer lines. The smoke will not leave any residue or create a fire hazard, but will exit through vent pipes on the roofs of homes and office buildings and breaks in sewer lines. The smoke should not enter homes or office buildings unless defective plumbing exists or drain traps are dry.
If people have seldom-used drains such as sinks, bathtubs and floor drains, they are encouraged to pour a gallon of water into the drain. This will help prevent smoke from entering through the drain.
Field crews will be performing the tests but at no time will they need to enter a resident's home.
"We appreciate the post community's cooperation as this important study is conducted," said Kane.