When a sewer line collapsed in one of Tulsa’s historic neighborhoods, T-G Excavating, Inc. didn’t have to look far for its HDPE fusion solution.
With a McElroy Rolling 412, Rick Blanke and a crew of about 10 people fused 360 feet of 7.125-inch HDPE, to be sliplined into an existing 8-inch pipe in the 2400 block of South Trenton Avenue, not far from the Philbrook Museum of Art. This line provides sewer service to nine houses in the area.
Sliplining is a technique to repair leaks that involves installing a smaller pipe within a larger one.
Because HDPE has a resistance to corrosion and tuberculosing, the 7.125-inch HDPE will be able to supply the same amount of output as an 8-inch steel pipe. The pipe itself will rarely, if ever, be entirely filled.
Blanke explained further:
“Most people think an 8-inch sewer line is running full all the time,” he said. “But usually there’s just a trickle at the bottom. This will be plenty to handle the houses in the system.”
The T-G Excavating crew began by digging a slip pit where the sewer line collapsed. With the HDPE successfully fused into a single piece, the crew pushed the pipe into the existing line in both directions – 205 feet one way and 135 feet in another. Smaller electrofusions took place later in the project.
By first digging the services and the slip pit, the risk of sewer backups was kept low, Blanke said.
“These houses have basements that are level with the sewer main, so you definitely don’t want any backups,” he said.
Because the line collapse happened in a space that didn’t allow for much wiggle room, Blanke said the project took a bit longer than it might have otherwise. In all, the Rolling 412 Electric completed nine fusions, each one connecting a 40-foot length of HDPE to another in the line.
Blanke has decades of experience with McElroy machinery and said there’s nothing he’d prefer to use over a McElroy product.
“With McElroy equipment, everything is lined up well and works really well,” Blanke said. “Other machines I’ve tried haven’t been nearly as good as I think McElroy is.”
He also emphasized the user-friendliness of McElroy equipment.
“You can train pretty much anyone how to run a McElroy machine in an hour, and they’ll be just as good as the other guys,” he said. “They’re operator-friendly.”