Lincoln Company offers a full range of municipal pipeline services, including settled pipeline support and retired pipeline abandonment.
Our expert municipal infrastructure services include remediation for sinking storm, sanitary, water and gas pipelines.
We also offer emergency response services to address critical pipeline failures.
Leaking Pipelines Cause Sinkholes
Routine pipeline inspections will reveal pipeline settlement. Catastrophic failure of these at-risk pipelines can be prevented by identifying and correcting settled spans.
Pipeline settlement can be caused by improper installation, soil erosion, or soil with insufficient load bearing capacity. This places stress on the joints, which are then at risk of failure. Underground leaks caused by distressed pipeline joints create voids and sinkholes, which can cause extensive disruptions to municipal operations, including:
- Sanitary service disruption
- Traffic flow disruption
- Utility damage
- Roadway damage
Combined with remediation costs for the sinkholes themselves, repairing the damage they cause can create overwhelming financial burdens for affected municipalities.
Raise or Stabilize A Pipeline
The decision to either raise a settled pipe to its original level or stabilize it in place is made after careful evaluation of the specific conditions, including an assessment of whether movement caused by the raising process has more potential risks than benefits.
Grouting is the most common method used to stabilize settled spans of existing below grade pipeline. It is cost effective, addresses the root cause of the problem and has a number of advantages over conventional excavation techniques, including:
- No excavation, trench boxes, backfilling , landscaping or repaving necessary
- No need to relocate utilities, fiber optics, sanitary, storm drains, gutters or curbs
- No pipe flow disruption or diversion required
- Can be done from within larger diameter storm lines, eliminating traffic interruptions
- Project duration is much shorter, minimizing disruptions
- Stabilizes the underlying soil, eliminating risk of recurrence
- Significantly lower cost than conventional open-and-cut excavation methods
Grouting prevents direct pressure being placed on the pipeline itself because the surrounding soils are displaced in unison. This minimizes the risk of the pipeline deformation or cracking, which minimizes the risk of additional repair costs.
The specific grouting technique appropriate for each pipeline location is determined by soil analysis.
Sewer Line Abandonment
Storm and sewer lines slated for abandonment due to water volume limitations and aging infrastructure are rarely removed, unless there is a specific need due to environmental concerns or property development plans. Left open, these lines can collapse and cause settlement below roads, sidewalks and buildings. They may also fill with standing water, which can migrate freely and contaminate groundwater.
Clay Tile Abandonment
Clay field drainage tiles were often used by farmers to remove excess water from low lying fields. Many date to the 1880s and some remained in use as recently as the 1980s. These clay pipes are often discovered during excavations for real estate development, at which point grouting is done to seal the lines.
Clay drainage pipe abandonment requires careful investigation and planning, because if handled incorrectly it is possible for large volumes of water to backflow into the excavation site. If drainage tile layouts are not available in county files, electronic equipment can be used for location.
Contact us today to discuss your municipality's pipeline support and abandonment needs.