The City of Tampa is taking the next step in strengthening its sewage infrastructure with a major project to inspect, clean and rehabilitate sewer lines in East Tampa and West Tampa.
Crews use a technique called pipe lining, which can be used to protect a pipe from corrosion, leaks, or cracks caused by roots by inserting a resin-soaked liner into the old pipe. Pipe lining is inexpensive and less disruptive compared to replacing the entire pipe or pipe sections.
This wastewater project, currently being carried out by Kiewit Infrastructure South Co., consists of 25 miles of pipe lining and rehabilitation.
Crews also use a trenchless method of sewer rehabilitation that requires little or no digging and significantly less time than the traditional method of digging roads.
“Pipe liner not only increases the life of a piping system, but also improves water flow and water quality, reduces disruption and congestion in water and wastewater infrastructure, and causes little to no property damage.” said Eric Weiss, director of wastewater.
Some of the pipes being relined in Tampa are nearly 100 years old and nearing the end of their useful life. More than 60 percent of the existing gravity sewer lines were built before 1970 and 20 percent before 1950.
Strengthening and building the city’s infrastructure through water, sanitation and transportation projects is a key aspect of Mayor Jane Castor’s Transforming Tampa’s Tomorrow Plan. This project is part of PIPES (Progressive Infrastructure Planning to Ensure Sustainability).
“Upgrading our infrastructure is a critical part of Transforming Tampa’s Tomorrow, and the pipe liner will ensure these sewers are reliable for decades to come,” said Mayor Jane Castor. “We also plan to expand to Forest Hills and Palma Ceia soon to further protect these neighborhoods from collapses and sewer pipe failures.”
Recently, there have been more collapses and sewage overflows as a result of the city’s aging sewage collection system. In the city of Tampa, sewage inflows have increased more than 25 percent over the past two years, according to the City of Tampa Sewer Department.
In September 2019, the Tampa City Council approved the PIPES program, which included funding for the essential repair of these sewers.
In the past three years, the City of Tampa has awarded more than 100 miles of gravity sewer remediation projects with a total construction cost of $61 million.