The Flint, Michigan water crisis has brought new attention to the quality of water delivered to citizens throughout the nation. Politicians and local officials struggle to answer questions about why the health of some of the poorest residents in the city, especially the children of these families, was but at risk for the savings of what some claim to be a mere $100 a day.

As those in charge attempt to answer some very difficult questions, city officials across the country fear that they too may have been putting the poorest residents at risk, as sewer line repair projects and fresh drinking water projects show signs of deterioration. As more studies indicate the possible damage that may have occurred, the entire country is asking if any amount is too much to pay for healthy drinking water and the safe separation and disposal of waste waters?

As the nation continues to demand answers to questions about the safety of Flint, Michigan water and the solution for aging water systems, one option that was at once deemed expensive — trenchless sewer line repair — is looking like a worthwhile investment and solution. In the sewer line repair world, trenchless means a process that does not involve excavating and removing the old sewer line. The trenchless process, which has been available for residential jobs for the last 15 years, often involves inserting a flexible tube that is coated with resin inside current pipes. Marketed as a versatile process, this type of sewer line repair is available:

  • for any pipe, no matter the size
  • for pipes providing any kind of water pressure
  • for replacement in any temperature
  • for any location in the country

The process is often used when sewer line repair is needed for the following reasons:

  • tree roots have crowded their way into current sewer lines
  • rust and age have caused holes in old cast iron pipes
  • leaks in vertical sewer pipes and rain drains in apartment buildings and condominiums
  • lengthwise cracks in the bottom of cast iron pipes caused by age
  • water studies indicate unsafe levels of chemicals, including lead, in old pipes

Nearly three-quarters of home owners interviewed say that they are willing to pay more for sewer line repair if it means they do not need to tear up existing flooring in their home or external features like sidewalks, yards, landscaping, and decking. Add in the possibility of having to dig up prize winning rose bushes or peonies transplanted from a grandmother’s yard, and the value of a trenchless sewer repair becomes almost immeasurable.

After first using a high-pressure water jet that produces a pressure force of 4,000 PSI to blow the roots and other obstructions down the line, the trenchless pipe lining is pulled through the pipe. With only one small opening at the beginning and another small opening at the end, the 100 year warranty lining is inserted. If needed, the sewer camera can again be used to inspect the installation. Interestingly enough, the inserted lining takes up minimal space inside the pipes, reducing diameter by only 4%, allowing for excellent water pressure.

Another advantage to trenchless sewer repair is that the corroded pipes are never exposed. When old pipes and the soil that surround them are destroyed and removed, the soil and sewer bacteria can act like an aerosol and spread throughout the air. This exposure is especially dangerous when the process takes place inside in situations like tearing up basement concrete.

This pipe lining is strong enough to be load bearing in places where the original pipe has completely deteriorated. In addition, the entire process can often be done in just a few hours. Instead of days or even weeks of messy repair, the trenchless method is fast. The speed of the process is exactly why the trenchless pipe lining method has long been used in the commercial industry. Business owners can have major sewer projects completed without having to shut down their entire business.

The allure of no excavation sewer replacement by using the permanent pipe restoration is difficult to ignore. If you find yourself facing major sewer line repair, make sure that you explore all of the trenchless options available.