Poland tackles its sewer pipe problems

In advance of the 1st International Conference & Exhibition on No-Dig Technology at Kielce University in April, chairman Prof Andrzej Kulickowski reports on the sewerage situation in Poland as the country joins the EU.

Polish accession to the EU, and legislative acts on environmental protection that Poland is now obliged to fulfil, mean that the existing sewerage infrastructure is to be overhauled, using EU funding.

Currently, new sewers are being laid throughout Poland, some in places that have not had sewage systems previously. If the requirements of the Accession Treaty are to be met, about 78,000km of sewers are needed by 2015.

CCTV inspection has helped determine the technical condition of existing sewage disposal systems and to prioritise sewers for renovation, but strategies for the systematic survey and renovation of sewers have not yet been prepared in Polish cities. Despite the use of new technologies for over a decade, the overall picture of the technical condition of Poland's sewers is still unclear.

The majority of the surveyed sewers are made of concrete and stoneware and the following defects and abnormalities have been observed (see figures 1-8):

In concrete sewers, installed pre-1990, additional defects have been attributed to the use of low grade of concrete (B10 - B25) in pipe production. These include (see figures 9-10):

Currently all renovation methods, ranging from the simplest like short and long relining to epoxy liners and replacement methods such as Berstlining, are used in Poland. Traditional as well as trenchless methods are applied during the installation of sewers. Trenchless technologies are mainly used in highly urbanised areas and for major crossings such as rivers and railways.


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