The total length of street and intra-quarter water-bearing networks with a diameter of 100 to 400 mm in the Russian Federation is 1,550 thousand km long. From this, 464.5 thousand km is worn out and requires replacement. Each year this figure increases by 31 thousand km, while only 9-10 thousand km are being replaced. The problem lies with the huge material losses due to the emergency condition of underground engineering communications, which leads to an increase in the level of groundwater and flooding of urban areas, which in turn leads to drawdowns of buildings, structures and pavements, a significant violation of water balance and contamination of soil massifs by household and industrial wastewater. In a number of cities, leaks in water-bearing systems reach 50%. According to the F.F. Erisman Institute of Hygiene, the daily leakage failure of pipelines has a very negative impact on public health. The traditional trench technology for replacing water-bearing networks is complex, cumbersome and cannot be used in the central regions of large cities. The solution to the problem is seen in the cardinal expansion of the use of modern trenchless technologies. This would allow in the coming years, to a large extent, and in the future completely, to exclude from the practice of very laborious and expensive earthworks, the blocking of main roads, streets and driveways.
Advantages of the technology:
- Minimum volume and cost of preparatory and final works
- Possibility to use equipment for work in a wide range of diameters
- Small dimensions of the equipment allow to work in existing wells
- Replacement of large sections
- No expensive, scarce or imported materials are required
- Kits are adapted to the climatic conditions of Russia
- Mobility of power supply (compressed air from a mobile compressor)
Research in this direction is conducted by the Scientific and Production Company ‘Kombest’, which is engaged in designing, manufacturing and selling to consumers in many regions of Russia and near abroad, kits of equipment for the replacement and laying of engineering communications by trenchless method. These technologies are based on the basic research and development of the Institute of Mining in Siberia, one of the leading scientific institutions of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Besides, the company ‘Kombest’ carries out in-house reconstructions and laying of pipelines.