Discolored water is an ominous sign of a failing pipe system. “Rusty” water occurs when the zinc coating of a galvanized steel pipe begins to erode, allowing the unprotected steel to corrode by interaction with chemicals in the water. Brown water and pinhole leaks are common failures associated with aging water pipes. CPI Products, a company that develops, manufactures, and markets push camera and pipeline inspection accessories, decided to investigate.

The Chicago High Rise Story

This case study concerns a twenty-eight-story Chicago condominium whose residents had good reason to be alarmed when they saw reddish-brown water continually flowing out of their faucets.

The members of the homeowners’ board were not thrilled with what they learned about traditional repair options and turned to a more long-term solution to restore the building’s forty-year-old piping. A conventional solution meant a long and disruptive process that would cause unsightly demolishment of certain areas of the building, displacement of the residents, and high construction expenses. Instead, the board chose a modern, more progressive process - an environmentally-friendly, pipe-lining technology. The building’s hot and cold water risers were preserved and restored using existing access points and compressed air, preventing the need for any destruction to the property.

The Weather Was No Deterrent

The project began when Chicago was undergoing extreme cold and record-setting snowfall, the kind of conditions that would have put a traditional repair job on hold for a month or more. Using a two-hour cure time, the water piping was effectively cleaned and restored to a better-than-new condition. Condo residents were not displaced from their homes, nor did they have to go without water thanks to the bypass systems that were set up. The building has had no water-quality issues since the completion of the project.

Water Contamination

Water pollution throughout the country is a major concern and poses health risks for many. Various studies and investigations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have ascertained that a significant percentage of waterborne disease outbreaks can be traced to pipe distribution systems.

The majority of people assume that only old buildings or sizeable cities have water contamination problems. In reality, buildings of all ages and towns of all sizes can house older corroding or leaking infrastructure systems or newer piping with aggressive water that can leach metals into the drinking supply.

In addition, dangerous bacteria, viruses, and other microbes can enter the water supply system through various means - backflows, breaks in the distribution network, dormant water, and the result of conventional piping repairs.

A Better Solution

Epoxy-coated pipe-lining technology introduces a thin protective epoxy barrier coating to the interior of water pipes so that the water does not come into contact with the metal of the pipe itself. The use of epoxy coatings is an economical, effective and safe method to rehabilitate pipes, make leaks less likely, and prevent leaching of metals into the water supply. This process greatly increases the chance of clean water staying clean on its journey to the tap.

The use of this lining technology to restore pipe systems has been gaining momentum within the engineering industry and the facility and property management professions. However, pipe-lining systems are not confined to multi-story skyscrapers; they can also be installed in the average home or small apartment building. This in-place restoration process saves time, inconvenience, and money when compared to a traditional "repipe" and significantly increases the lifespan of the pipe system.

CPI Products

CPI Products is a commercialization company that develops, manufactures and markets push camera accessories for pipeline inspections. To help you inspect residential or commercial pipelines, CPI produces a line of products designed to increase the effectiveness and lifespan of portable video inspection systems. CPI Products is the sole producer of the Universal Roller Skid.