IRVING, TX — As post installation inspection of underground storm systems becomes accepted practice in municipalities across the nation, the American Concrete Pipe Association has stepped up its efforts to provide hands-on experience and tools to contractors, consulting engineers and Department of Transportation personnel.

Dozens of post installation inspection demonstrations have been hosted by members of the ACPA, attracting hundreds of participants in several states. These demos typically include three key components, each led by industry experts:

  • Detailed overview of post installation inspection and reinforced concrete pipe evaluation procedures;
  • Introduction to, and overview of, robotic video and laser profiling analysis; and
  • Plant tours

Presentation topics typically include proper gasket and joint installation, identifying and repairing minor pipe damage, and each state DOT’s pipe inspection expectations.

During most tours of concrete pipe plants, viewing stations are set up to allow participants to observe reinforcement cage production, cage delivery, pipe removal from the floor, rounding ring removal, the pipe production machine, pipe production cycle, removal of the pipe to kiln cars, tip out, deburring, stenciling, quality control, yarding, a three-edge bearing (3EB) test, and autogenous healing.

At a recent plant tour in Maryland, four units of pipe were intentionally cracked (to 0.01 and ultimate) a month earlier at the autogenous healing display. The pipes were displayed bell down on mastic sealant and filled with water.  By the time of the demonstration, the units were almost completely healed.

"The vast majority of storm system owners now understand that the only way to adequately ensure the service life of a pipe system is to confirm that it has been both designed and installed correctly," said Matt Childs, president of the ACPA.  "Post installation inspections are an integral part of that process to verify that the pipe system incurred no damage during the construction phase that may result in excessive maintenance or unanticipated failures down the road."

The ACPA has urged storm system owners to conduct post installation inspections on all types of pipe systems as a commonsense approach to quality assurance.

The Association has developed a PII Demonstration Tool Kit for its members that includes sample PowerPoint presentations, how-to notes for key demonstration components, and plant tour suggestions.

To find out when the next demonstration and plant tour is taking place in your area, contact the ACPA at (972) 506-7216, or via email at info@concrete-pipe.org. Or find your ACPA Region Engineer here: www.concrete-pipe.org/pages/staff.html.