Worth the Cost

Quality construction inspection is an important piece of any project.

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Why would a municipal utility design and bid a project that significantly reduces I&I and increases the longevity of its sewers for 80 to 100 years, but leave out the most critical element to the success of the project? It's not logical, but good construction inspection is often overlooked.

Utilities spend millions of dollars designing projects that will reduce operations and maintenance costs, eliminate SSOs, increase capacity, increase levels of service, and replace deteriorating infrastructure. When it comes to full-time construction inspection, however, they tend to skimp.

When developing a project budget, it is important to factor in at least 4 to 6 percent of the construction cost for project inspection (depending on the overall construction costs). Just as a good design is necessary for a successful project, things can go wrong when construction is not appropriately inspected.

One of NASSCO's goals is to assure the continued acceptance and growth of trenchless technologies. It is important that newer technologies are designed and installed properly so that they can have the greatest benefit to the owner. Proper installation can only be verified by having an inspector on site who is knowledgeable about the technology and willing to make sure that the contractor follows the specifications. In this way, proper inspection can encourage the spread of newer, cost-effective technologies when they are properly installed. Good contractors welcome an informed inspector who is there to make sure the project goes right, which opens up more business opportunities after the project is complete.

To accomplish this, NASSCO has established the Inspector Training and Certification Program (ITCP). To date, we have developed a two-day course for cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) installation, and another for manhole rehabilitation. These classes provide inspectors with a thorough understanding of the technologies associated with these trenchless technologies, as well as inspection and testing procedures that assure successful installation.

The CIPP ITCP started in 2007, and to date NASSCO has trained over 750 inspectors all over the U.S. and Canada. Municipalities have provided excellent feedback on this training, and many now require ITCP for inspectors who work on CIPP projects.

Manhole Rehabilitation ITCP began at the request of CIPP-trained inspectors who were being asked to inspect manhole projects. The latest class was more than three years in the making, and we are very proud to release it this year. Both classes are based on contributions from NASSCO members, many with decades of experience in their respective technologies, and have involved a significant amount of peer review from industry experts.

In our ongoing mission to set industry standards for the assessment and rehabilitation of underground pipelines, we are currently developing ITCP for pipe bursting, which we expect to release early next year. We have also established an intensive screening process for potential trainers, who must have a minimum of 10 years of experience in their respective field and be able to prove they can train the class.

NASSCO provides a variety of resources on these subjects, including performance specifications
for cured-in-place pipe, manhole rehabilitation, pipe bursting and others. If you are interested in ITCP certification, or have ideas for future classes, please contact NASSCO. F

Ted DeBoda is executive director of NASSCO. He can be reached at director@nassco.org.


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