'Sock' to reline failing Sandy Lane sewer pipe

Warwick Beacon ·

The wet sock arrived at Sandy Lane yesterday morning in a refrigerated truck.

The baby blue felt sock, 140 feet long and 24 inches in diameter, was neatly folded in the back of the truck. It reeked.

Zack Scott, foreman for Green Mountain Pipeline Services of South Royalton, Vt., smiled as a reporter stepped back from the truck and snapped a couple of pictures. The overpowering chemical odor came from the resin that dripped from the layers of folded felt.

This is the cure for the deteriorating cement pipe sewer lines buried 20 feet below Sandy Lane and the reason why traffic is being detoured once again on the busy city thoroughfare. This time, however, if everything goes as planned, two-way traffic will be restored by Thursday and the formerly collapsing wastewater line should be good for years to come.

“It’s going to last for longer than I’m alive,” vowed Scott.

Scott started with the company when he was 19 and now, at the age of 40, estimates he’s installed hundreds of thousands of feet of cured in place pipe (CIPP), the technical term for the sock.

The first step to the process was a bypass to the 140-foot section of pipeline to be treated Monday. The “sock” that is rolled up on itself is lowered into a manhole and fed into the empty pipe that has been surveyed by camera and showing signs of crumbling. Cold water is then pumped into the open end of the sock, forcing it to expand the length of the pipe until it reaches another manhole. Once fully pressurized, the sock conforms to the old pipe.

The next step, explained Scott, is to cure the resin so that the sock hardens in place to create a new pipe. To do that, the cold water is pumped into a boiler, which is mounted on a truck, and heated to 180 degrees before being pumped back into the section of pipe. It is left in the pipe for eight hours, during which time the resin hardens to create a new wall for the pipe. After the lining to the pipe has hardened, a robotic cutter is sent down the pipe to cut holes for connecting pipes.

A total of three sections of pipeline are to be treated this week. Green Mountain is scheduled to treat another 600 feet today and a final 80 feet on Wednesday for a total of 820 feet.

Meanwhile, traffic will be diverted to the same detour used for several weeks following the collapse of a section of the pipe near Armory Drive and Sandy Lane Thanksgiving week. The collapsed pipe resulted in wastewater backups in 11 homes and forced the Warwick Sewer Authority to install a bypass while it assessed the damaged pipe and then contracted to have 154 feet of pipe unearthed and replaced at a cost of $750,000. The CIPP being installed this week as well as an additional section that is part of the Oakland Beach interceptor for a total of 1,400 feet will cost $180,000.

With the exception of local traffic, all eastbound passenger vehicles will be diverted to Whitford Street, then to Ingalls Street, up Range Road and onto Cedar Swamp Road before rejoining Sandy Lane. Westbound traffic will follow the detour in reverse. Vehicles with a gross weight of 10,000 or greater will be required to seek alternative routes according to the city. The Boys & Girls Club activities at the Cooper Armory will remain on regular schedule and will not be affected. Also, the School Department will be advising parents and students about bus stops through their ConnectEd system, according to the mayor’s office.