Sensitive sewer restoration work in Berlin

Protection of woodland and landscaped areas was a priority when the crumbling 100-year old sewage pipes of Germany’s Federal Institute for Material Research and Testing had to be replaced in difficult terrain.


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The Federal Institute for Material Research and Testing (BAM) is a government

office in Berlin. The present office, and its predecessors, has been located

at the ‘Unter den Eichen’ site for over 100 years. This is a large

urban area between Zehlendorf and Steglitz on the B1. However, separating the

many buildings on the site are landscaped lawns with extensive wooded areas.

The BAM terrain

As well as the landscaped areas, the site comprises a large number of buildings

which are connected to the main sewer by combined building sewers gravity pipes.

The existing pottery gravity pipes on the BAM property are up to 110 years

old. Ingrowing roots and routing of the pottery pipes over many years have led

to blockages every few metres or so. The clearing out of these pipes afforded

only short term benefits because the mechanical stress to the pipe caused by

routing frequently led to cracks which caused further blockages. This caused

severe problems in the BAM laboratories.

When confronted on site with the problems posed by pottery pipes with pushfit

couplers, the Federal Building Office specified FRIAFIT sewage fittings in connection

with HDPE pipes. In addition to the light weight pipe material, FRIAFIT sewage

fittings interconnect HDPE pipes are leakproof and longitudinally strong as

they employ FRIAFIT fusion technology. Cracks at or near the arch springing

line due to ingrowing roots, or at the couplers due to static stress or flushing

out of pipes no longer occur.

Four year project

The three construction stages so far comprise the installation of PEHD pipes

measuring d110, d160, d225, d355 and d450 in SDR 17.6. Further pipe installations

carried out by Tiefund Wasserbau GmbH/Land Brandenburg are expected to take

another 3-4 years. For the connection of these pipes and the reaches on the

concrete inspection chambers, to date 754 sewage couplers, 246 sewage slideon

couplers and 189 sewage inspection chamber adapters from the FRIAFIT range have

been installed.

Service and support

In view of how difficult it is and always has been to dig out pipe trenches

in a highly wooded area, and in particular to sink these trenches in sandy terrain,

the installation of the FRIAFIT sewage system went remarkably smoothly. This

was due to the light material, long dimensions of the HDPE pipes, technically

comprehensive, clear and easy handling of the FRIAFIT couplers, slideon couplers

and inspection chamber adapters.

Friatec also provides onsite advice and service, including a training demonstration

service and testlaying.

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