Municipalities have long suffered trying to open iron manhole covers fused to the frames by hydrogen sulfide corrosion. The common solution is striking the cover with a sledgehammer to break the bond. Both time consuming and frustrating, that pounding often leads to operator injuries, cover and frame damage, or simply skipped inspections if an operator can’t open it.

Composite Access Products’ (CAP) composite, traffic-rated manhole covers are made in the United States, and they’re corrosion resistant, which reduces the operator time, safety risks, and potential vehicle and pedestrian hazards caused by broken or uninspected covers.

Inflow and infiltration also can be reduced with CAPs. The compression molding process reduces part-to-part dimensional variation compared to casting iron which allows for a closer cover-frame fit.

The city of San Antonio recently performed a test, submerging a CAP manhole cover in a water tank. The findings were that CAP’s gasketed, four-bolt model leaked 0.00 gpm under 9 inches of water. 

The costs of I&I

I&I costs cities millions each year. The Environmental Protection Agency fines for sanitary sewer overflow events, unnecessary rain guards, high wastewater treatment costs and astronomical capital costs on over-capacity plants for high rainwater events. Reduced I&I allows for smaller plants.

CAP covers weigh approximately half that of iron covers, reducing operator disability costs from back, finger and toe injuries. They also eliminate the root cause of manhole theft, as metal thieves take them to sell to scrapyards.

“No more replacement costs, vehicle damage and pedestrian falls,” says a CAP spokesperson. “CAP’s thermosetting, UV-inhibited composite formula gives strength and weatherability. CAPs are also transparent to transmission signals so there’s no need for antennae holes.” 

CAPs are available in various colors, stone looks, custom logos and with encapsulated radio-frequency identification. Finally, CAPs are affordable and available in weeks, not months. 

Composite Access Products was started in 2015 by W. Chad Nunnery, former executive of a large U.S. composites leader.  After learning of the desire for American-made advanced composite utility cover solutions, CAP was formed in McAllen, Texas. The company uses high tonnage compression presses for the best blend of quality and affordability. 844-344-2271 |


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