It's A Dirty Job And Clay Is The Best Way To Do It - March 2003
SANFORD, N.C. – Vitrified clay is proven to be the best product for challenging environments and applications once again. In this case, the problem occurred about 35 miles south of Raleigh, N.C., where a segment of concrete pipe had begun to corrode from the inside out. The breakdown resulted from a normal chemical process occurring in this type of sewage system.
This pipe system is part of a gravity outfall that delivers waste from a pumping station to the sewer line. During its trip, the "cargo" sits in a retention line and becomes septic, producing hydrogensulfide gas. The gas then condenses at the crown of the pipe and produces sulfuric acid. As the acid accumulates, the concrete pipe begins to deteriorate, creating a serious problem that could become disastrous.
Workers were called in to replace a 5,400-foot section of corroded concrete pipe that was only 20 years old. It was buried 12 feet deep and measured 18 inches in diameter. "Had the concrete pipe collapsed before we replaced it, the resulting spill would have been terribly harmful, and expensive to clean up," said Don Joyce Jr. of Pomona Supply. "Not only would it have been a threat to the surrounding area because of the serious environmental hazards created by such wastes, a sink hole could have developed."
Workers had to bypass the flow of the waste and replace the pipe in sections. The project was time consuming, but needed to be carried out in this manner to maintain continuous service.
"What may have happened," continued Joyce, "is that at the time of the original construction, concrete was used because it might have been less expensive. But in the long run, the consequences of using an inferior product are obvious. You get what you pay for.
"Vitrified clay is proven," stated Joyce. "We've seen numerous projects similar to this one, where concrete pipe have deteriorated from the elements and had to be replaced with clay. Even with other materials out there, like PVC, we are still strongly recommending clay because of its proven durability. PVC has a tendency to suffer from deflection, embrittlement, creep, sag, and it's vulnerable to chemical and hydrocarben attack. It has only been in the ground for 25 to 30 years, nobody really knows what to expect. It's an illusion that PVC is a money saver. You don't know how long it will last, you don't know what effluents may be introduced, and it requires more testing and bedding than clay. Clay has been doing the job for thousands of years."
"Today's Clay," said Richard Holl, president of The Logan Clay Products Company, "is a reliable, wise and economical choice for many reasons. You know its going to last for 100 years – we guarantee it!"
For thousands of years, clay has proven its value and longevity through a wide variety of uses. Sanford, N.C. is a prime example of one of those uses – one which just saved a city a great deal of time, money and grief.