Time for an Update
In 2016 aging sewage pipes, and the impact they can have when they fail were prominently in the news. The average homeowner is now aware of the issue, but may not realize that if they are not in a new development, their residential sewer lines were likely installed in the 1950’s or 60’s using a kind of “no-corrode” pipe called “Orangeburg.” The pipe gets its name from the city Orangeburg, New York where the bituminous (a black viscous mixture of hydrocarbons obtained naturally or as a residue from petroleum distillation) fiber pipe was manufactured starting in the 1800’s. A technology now 200 years old! After all this time, this type of pipe’s vulnerabilities are becoming apparent, namely having a tendency towards ground movement and being compromised by root intrusion. Orangeburg’s also can not bear much weight which causes them to lose shape and pneumatic pressure or flow.
Sewage backflow is such a problem from aging infrastructure that the Alberta Building Code and the National Plumbing Code both contain mandated requirements to prevent sewer backups. However, the predicament is so massive and widespread that the time and money for a quick fix are not there. The potential for health issues is great when old pipes fail, as was seen in Flint, Michigan in 2016 when improper water treatment caused lead from old pipes to get into the drinking water. Legionella, a bacteria that can cause respiratory disease, pneumonia, or flu-like symptoms, is also expected to be on the rise in 2017. While there are many systems put in place to keep the public’s water safe from invaders like typhoid fever, cholera, and hepatitis A, Legionella is considered the biggest bacterial threat lurking in old pipes, especially to buildings like hospitals and hotels.
Get The Word Out
With all this buzz in the pipeline, property holder’s may have concerns about their pipes, but have no way of knowing if “you-know-what” is literally about to hit the fan. Old sewer lines are often missed by home inspections, and if they have been living in their home for a while, there may have been no reason for one.
Take advantage of this opportunity for your plumbing business in 2017. Start an awareness campaign and aggressively market a pipe inspection service to identify and replace failing pipes. You can also present new technologies to fix the problem like non-intrusive Trenchless Technology Solutions, which are expected to grow in popularity this year. Some of the benefits of this new technology you can present to your customers are:
- diminished home/building disruption
- shorter time to install
- less money is commonly spent to retrofit
Let the old pipes create more swipes, of the bank and credit cards profiting your business. You not only will be saving local citizens future headaches and clean-ups, but you will be protecting the public’s health and growing your bottom line.
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