Waterproofing Water Valve Chambers in Airdrie, Alberta
Providing a long-term solution for groundwater infiltration problem
The City of Airdrie, Alberta was in need of a solution to seal both existing and new water valve chambers. Due to infiltration, groundwater was filling the structures and greatly shortening the useful life of the chamber’s key components. A solution to the costly replacement of this equipment was required.
The city hired LiquiForce, a North American leader in “totally trenchless solutions” for the water and wastewater industry to provide a long-term solution for the infiltration problem.
SpectraShield liner system
Water valve chambers with an approximate size of two-metres-wide by four-metres-long by four-metres-deep required an internal coating that would be structural enough to eliminate infiltration yet remain flexible enough to endure the harsh freeze/thaw conditions of Canada’s winters. SpectraShield, a polyurea multi component three-layer system was decided upon.
As with all coatings, thorough substrate preparation was required. A 4,000 psi high-pressure water blasting unit was used to remove loose dirt and debris from the substrate. The remaining water was pumped out and the chamber was thoroughly dried. The valves and moving parts were covered for protection, and the chamber was now ready to receive the new coating.
Step number one of the three-layer multi component stress-skin panel is the spray-applied, silicone-modified polyurea material. The repair required a totally sealed chamber, and the liner was to be applied to all internal surfaces of the structure, from the manhole cover frame to (and including) the floor. This layer structurally bonds the new liner to the substrate, achieving extremely high adhesion results.
The second step in the process is the application of a closed cell polyurethane foam. This expanding foam fills in all holes and eroded portions of the original structure. The polyurethane foam becomes the backbone of the three-layer stress-skin panel.
A final layer of modified polyurea is applied to complete the stress skin panel. This barrier will ensure that the designed 50-year repair will remain leak free. Each layer of the stress skin panel cures in seconds. A typical structure is completed in under two hours.
Certified applicators visually inspected each sealed structure to ensure a monolithic, uniform spray applied liner was achieved. With over 40,000 structures repaired across North America to date (the equivalent of five million square feet) the city can be confident that the water valve chambers will be infiltration-free for years to come.
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