NASSCO Develops New Sewer Service Guidelines

Specifications provide process standards for the sewer service industry

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Developing guidelines is an important part of NASSCO’s mission: To set standards for the assessment, maintenance, and rehabilitation of underground infrastructure and to ensure the continued acceptance and growth of trenchless technologies.

Over the past year our hardworking committee members have developed new NASSCO Specification Guidelines for styrene-based resins, smoke testing and rehabilitation with fiber-reinforced polymers. The guidelines will benefit the entire industry.

Safe Use and Handling of Styrene-Based Resins in Cured-in-Place Pipe: Published in October 2020, this guideline is a revision of the 2009 edition, which was updated to address recommendations made by the Trenchless Technology Center at Louisiana Tech based on its findings on styrene safety (released in January 2020). The guideline discusses styrene and other volatile organic compounds, as well as using styrene-based resins in an environmentally friendly manner that is safe to workers and residents. 

Rehabilitation of Sewers Using Fiber-Reinforced Polymers: Published in August 2020, this Performance Specification Guideline provides guidelines and performance requirements for the rehabilitation of gravity sewers using internally bonded fiber-reinforced polymer composite systems.

Smoke Testing Inspection in Sewer Pipes: Updated from the 2010 version, this document provides guidance on smoke testing inspections to confirm system connectivity, identify gravity sewer system defects that allow inflow and infiltration, assist in locating cross-connections between storm and sanitary sewer, locate sources for odor complaints, and provide a permanent record of the defects including type, location and severity. 

NASSCO committees are also finalizing many additional Specification Guidelines that will be made available on in the coming months:

  • Concrete Pipe/Geopolymer Rehabilitation
  • Cured-in-Place Pipe (Update to 2017 Edition)
  • Grouting for Capital Pipe Rehabilitation
  • Grouting for Maintenance and Pre-Rehabilitation of Sewer Lines
  • Pressure Pipeline Rehabilitation Using CIPP
  • Private Lateral Inspection
  • Private Lateral Repair/Rehabilitation Recommendations
  • Sags in Different Types of Pipe

All of these Specification Guidelines are (or will be) made available to the industry for free download. Visit frequently to browse, download and utilize these important resources.

All NASSCO guidelines are prepared by committees made up of representatives of NASSCO members and peer-reviewed by industry professionals. NASSCO guidelines are not specific to any one product, project or job site, and should be considered guidelines only. Conditions for use may require additions, deletions or amendments to NASSCO guidelines to conform to project-specific site conditions and to comply with applicable laws, regulations and ordinances. NASSCO does not guarantee, certify or ensure any result and assumes no liability as to content, use and application of these guidelines.

If you would like to be involved in the development of NASSCO Specification Guidelines, visit

About the author: Sheila Joy is executive director of NASSCO. She can be reached at


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