Tags: Sewage pumping, Eco management, Innovation, Products, Africa
The Jetvac sewer cleaning company in South Africa was tasked with repairing multiple defects in a four-kilometer-long sewer pipe in Cape Town. Using conventional technology would mean installing a cured-in-place pipe lining between each set of manholes along the pipe – at a cost that would bust the annual budget for such work several times over.
Instead, Trelleborg’s epros® DrainPacker method offered a much more flexible and cost-effective -solution.
“We were able to apply patches of up to five meters to more than 70 defects,” says Peter Salomons, Director of Jetvac, “and all within one year’s budget.”
The epros®DrainPacker system consists of two products, a silicate resin and a fiberglass sheet, which combine to make sectional repairs of damaged pipes and sewers. The resin is applied to both sides of the sheet, and once the sheet is impregnated and folded into three layers, it is rolled around an inflatable packer. The packer is lowered into the sewer pipe and pulled into position, where it expands, pressing the patch against the pipe wall. The resin cures, creating a strong and impermeable bond.
Time is of the essence. The patch must be in place before the resin starts to cure, and the hotter the ambient temperature, the faster the products react.
“The heat in Cape Town was a problem, so we specified a silicate resin with a longer reaction time,” says Andreas Bichler, Technical Leader with Trelleborg in Duisburg, Germany.
Bichler, who also supervised Jetvac’s first installations, points out that Trelleborg provides a unique service:
“We sell the complete system, including the packer and all accessories, and provide in-house training as standard.”
Salomons, who along with several colleagues participated in Trelleborg’s training in Germany, appreciates the service.
“The Trelleborg people have always been helpful, and they’re only a phone call away,” he says.
Founded by Peter Salomons and his partner in 1995, Jetvac has developed into a one-stop shop for the inspection, cleaning and rehabilitation of sewage pipes. Currently employing about 170 people, Jetvac is poised to expand elsewhere in Africa.
“We’re very bullish about new markets,” Salomons says. “There’s lots and lots of work.”
The epros® DrainPacker system combines silicate resin compounds with a CRF+ fiberglass sheet to create a pipe lining with high mechanical properties. According to Technical Leader Andreas Bichler, the liner would be left standing even if the pipe itself collapsed. The product is also unique in that its curing process can take place underwater.