PACP: Beyond the 48

Unique geographic concerns provide information and insight that helps NASSCO continually evolve and improve.

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In 2013, NASSCO presented its inaugural Trainer of the Year award to Marilyn Shepard, owner of International Training and Rehab Technologies and a NASSCO Master Trainer.

Shepard was part of the original Pipeline Assessment Certification Program development team in 2000. She trains across the United States and is on the front line, serving as a valuable resource in identifying unique geographic concerns and other issues that affect proper application of PACP data in all 50 states and the rest of North America. In addition to training in the continental U.S., she also conducts PACP classes regularly in Hawaii and Alaska.

During Shepard’s first PACP classes in Alaska in November 2012, she trained 35 people in two classes, including engineers, TV operators and supervisors from Anchorage Water and Wastewater Utility. While the students gained valuable knowledge, they also provided Marilyn with information and insight that helps NASSCO continually evolve and improve PACP data.

For example, temperatures drop very low in Alaska, and the resulting permafrost requires pipes to be installed very deep. Cold weather is also problematic because it leaves a small window of June, July and August to repair pipes. In the continental U.S., common pipe depths are 8, 10 or 15 feet. In Alaska, they start at 20 feet, making access considerably more challenging. Due to the significant consequence of failure, most pipes are coated with a specific inside liner to help them last as long as possible. This information is extremely useful to NASSCO as we consider adding a PACP code for “factory applied coating.”

Shepard also trains trenchless professionals at least once each year in Hawaii, where Maui and the City and County of Honolulu are under consent decree. She reports they are doing remarkably well with compliance. In fact, they appear to be well ahead of schedule, partly because all of their contractors use PACP for data collection and their inspection and rehabilitation program is very aggressive. Gerry Muenchmeyer, NASSCO’s technical director, has trained many of the inspectors in Hawaii through the Inspector Training Certification Program, which focuses on cured-in-place pipe. This training equips inspectors with the knowledge to ensure proper installation.

Shepard recently shared that the best part of her job is watching the progress of the application of PACP and how it ultimately helps the agency, utility and student. We are grateful to have her and so many other dedicated PACP and ITCP trainers helping NASSCO set industry standards for the assessment and rehabilitation of underground infrastructure, and to assure the continued acceptance and growth of trenchless technologies. To learn more about PACP or ITCP and request training in your area, please visit

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


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