Tuberculation Removal from a 20″ Sewer Main Tuberculation

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Removing tuberculation from a 20″ Ductile Iron Pipe that has suffered heavy degradation over 60 year.

“This pipe has been waiting for the right solution for a few years. Now that it’s complete we’re ready to move ahead with a good solid repair plan.” Wastewater Dist.

Pacific Sewer was successfully able to remove a heavy buildup of tuberculation, about 4″-6″ on both side of the pipe at the waterline, inside this 60 year-old Ductile Iron Pipe.

The sewer main travels under a very busy freeway which could not be closed to replace or repair the pipe. Rerouting would have called for more than a mile-and-a-half of new pipe and installation of a pump station.

The corrosion on the roof of the pipe over 60 years of service meant that the use of any kind of rotary cleaner could cause much more damage. The client determined that the safest method was to use a directed removal that would not harm the existing pipe but would still eliminate the buildup. Through the use of our robotic high-pressure system we were able to remove the tubercutaion and corrosion without causing any additional damage to the pipe. The removal of decades of tuberculation, scale, rust, and debris allowed the clients engineers to view the entire pipe and create a detailed action plan to re-line the pipe, keeping it in service for years to come.

Tuberculation is the byproduct of an iron oxidizing bacteria that metabolizes ferrous ions. The resulting buildup usually has a stronger bond to the pipe which makes it difficult to remove.

  • Obstruction Type Tuberculation
  • Pipe Type Ductile Iron
  • Year 2018
  • Region Northern California