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Why Watertight Connections Are Gaining Attention

By Alan Siebenthaler
HK Marketing/Territory Manager

Large, high-profile upgrades to sanitary systems often focus on the pipe-to-pipe connections while sometimes neglecting the connections between a pipe and a manhole (maintenance hole). Pipe-to-manhole connections, while absolutely vital in a sanitary sewer system, are quite important in a stormwater system.

Why should you focus on these connections? 

These connections can often be a very cost-effective way to target infiltration of groundwater into sanitary sewers. Prevention of this leaking can cost a few cents per gallon compared to hundreds of dollars per gallon for increasing sewer capacity or rehabilitation. 

Pipe-to-concrete connections can come in a few forms:

  • Cored/Formed Hole Connectors – These connectors are ideal for smaller diameter pipe connections. They are flexible while meeting the most rigid standards. 
  • Cast-in Connectors – These come in a broad variety of configurations and sizes. They can fit pipes measuring several inches to several feet in diameter.

If your connections aren’t secure, your sanitary sewer system may end up taking on storm and groundwater, and when it reaches capacity it will overwhelm wastewater treatment plants, causing sewer backups into homes and flooding streets and waterways. 

The consequence of leaks in your system from pipe-to-concrete leads to unhappy homeowners and potentially dangerous situations. When soil, sand and debris get into your storm or sanitary sewer pipes, they can reduce capacity; and that material eroding away from around manhole structures will likely lead to potholes, and possibly sinkholes. Or even basic system failure, like this high-profile incident where a 90-year old burst pipe spewed millions of gallons of water through the UCLA campus, causing thousands of dollars of damage.

In addition, if wastewater is leaking from your sanitary sewer system, then groundwater and surface water can become contaminated and the health of your residents can be affected.
Connections are our business at Hamilton Kent. We help to make sure that the connections in your underground infrastructure are secure and watertight. 

Learn more about connecting your pipes in this webinar on flexible connectors and protecting your community with watertight sewer and stormwater systems.

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