The city of Weirton, West Virginia has two existing transmission mains that supply water to its system. One is a 24-inch ductile iron pipeline and the other is an 18-inch wire wound steel pipeline. The 18-inch pipeline was installed in the 1960s. Over the years, the deterioration of this steel section has ultimately led to failures. Unfortunately, the steel section is located under downtown Weirton, with most of it buried under alleys and streets and behind and in front of commercial businesses, making repairing or replacing the pipeline problematic.
The city worked with the Thrasher Group, Inc. on potential solutions to replace the pipeline. Jonathan Carpenter, PE and Jesse Alden, PE, engineers with the Thrasher Group, evaluated options and determined sliplining was the most cost-effective solution. Sliplining involves pulling a new, smaller replacement pipe into an existing host pipe. In this case, Thrasher looked at a 14-inch pipeline to place inside the existing 18-inch steel pipeline. As long as the downsized nature of the new pipeline will still work for the operation of the pipeline, sliplining is a very simple yet effective rehabilitation option for a municipality facing limited easement space, difficult surface features or developed project sites.
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