You've identified 40 possible contaminated sites! Now what? - March 2003
DAYTON, Ohio – It happened to Bill Horst, chief engineer of the Sanitary Engineering Department for Montgomery County, Ohio. His Phase I environmental assessment records for the Northridge Sanitary Sewer Interceptor revealed approximately forty different possible contaminated sites.
This was a $6.9 million, two-year project including 22,000 feet of replacement sanitary pipe and 3,000 feet of service laterals. The line was running along the Dixie Highway, a major north-south traffic route between Toledo and Cincinnati since the 1930s. Over the years it had become a major commercial corridor, so the site included several old gas stations, dry cleaners and a variety of industrial facilities.
Possible contaminants that concerned Montgomery County included toluene, benzene ethylene and acetate solvents, typically associated with fuels. So a combination of vitrified clay pipe and reinforced concrete pipe were selected for this challenge. In what could be described as a "hostile environment," it is critical that the pipe material selected be able to stand up to chemicals over the long term.
"I'm not a loyalist to any one type of pipe," said Horst. "I just want to use the best material for the job, so I evaluate the specific needs of a given project and determine the appropriate material accordingly. In this case, vitrified clay pipe was the best choice, because of its chemical resistance."
" Bill is one of the best-informed engineers around," according to Dan DeFillipi, sales representative for Logan Clay Products. "He (Horst) tries to educate himself about all of the materials available to him. That's why he knows about the advancements that have resulted in Today's Clay."
Mike VanDine, PE, corporate engineer for the National Clay Pipe Institute, echoed Horst's sentiment. "Clay is inert. It's just that simple," said VanDine. "Especially in any environment where you're concerned that petroleum-based products may be present, or may be introduced, clay is the most cost-effective, longest-term solution to the challenge."