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Equipment Training


Introduction


Regardless of the size of the collection system, maintenance is a critical aspect of utility operations to reduce SSO events. Without a well planned and executed cleaning program, a system will not operate to its full capacity and will result in overflows that affect the utility in several ways, from unanticipated costs of clean up and property replacement, to enforcement actions by regulators.


To just acquire pipe cleaning or inspection equipment is not enough, however, even with good local vendor support. Today’s collection system operations demand a higher level of training and continuing education in certificated programs. Our equipment training provides not only elements of cleaning basics and safe operation, they also include facets of data capture and recording, preventive maintenance planning and staying ahead of the program, equipment maintenance, and use in specific cleaning situations that are problematic to the utility.



Rodding Machines


Rodding machines remain the most versatile of the commonly found equipment used in collection system maintenance. These machines have been in existence for a half century or so, starting with hand rod turning machines and evolving into the high end automated rodding machines of today.


Though simple in appearance to use, these machines do require a higher degree of skill to operate than most any other type of equipment used in collection systems. These are machines of finesse, which require a good deal of operating time to master. With proper instruction and regular review of operation, these machines can be used for a wide number of cleaning problems that no other type of cleaning equipment can manage as effectively or efficiently, at less cost.


Primarily used in root removal, these machines can be applied very well to chronic fats, oils, and grease (FOG) deposits in sewer lines. These deposits can harden over time, sometimes a very short period of time, to the point flushing equipment has difficulty removing these deposits. With the proper tooling and technique, these machines can be used for FOG removal and root control at very low costs per hour to operate, saving flushing equipment for use in areas of operation the rodding machine can have trouble with, such as solids deposition and preventive maintenance inspection programs (see the Flushing Machine section for more information on these machines). Further, the use of rodding machines in pipe blockage emergencies can be a very effective tool to use as a first response, as the machine will remove most any blockage outside of a collapsed line with the proper techniques.


Tilson & Associates provides high end rodding machine training which has demonstrated results in reducing rod damage and increasing cleaning effectiveness to ultimately reduce SSO events. Our training classes typically include a day long workshop on operation, followed by field work with the machine and various crews which are being worked with. In some utilities, this can be a second day, in larger agencies this can be a week or more depending on the number of crews involved and their respective level of expertise.


Our training program focuses on how the machine is deployed, what specific tools are used for these assignments, and operational techniques for best cleaning and documented results. Our information delivery is fast paced and designed to provide both good basic education for new personnel and some operational tricks for more experienced personnel.



Flushing Machines


Flushing machines have become the staple of most collection system operations for line cleaning. Whether these machines are simple straight flushing machines, or combination flushing and vacuum machines, they are used in a wide number of maintenance tasks when outfitted with the proper tools.


These machines are deceptive in their apparent ease of operation and safety, however. Operators have to be well trained in how their particular machine operates, what tools to use and when, how to properly maintain the equipment, and what safety concerns are in play during use. Though these machines appear safe and easy to use, lack of knowledge of the dangers of this equipment has caused some very serious accidents, perhaps more so than any other type of cleaning equipment.


Primarily used in preventive maintenance programs as an exploration tool, these machines can be applied to specific cleaning tasks with the right tools and techniques. This ranges from static debris removal from pipes to chronic fats, oils, and grease (FOG) deposits in sewer lines. The use of special tools allow these machines to be used for root removal and hardened deposit removal, using specific techniques for each type of cleaning task. These machines specialize in removing static deposits in larger pipes which rodding machines can have difficulty with (see the Rodding Machine section for more information on these machines).


Tilson & Associates provides high end flushing machine training which has demonstrated results in increasing efficiency and cleaning effectiveness which reduces SSO events. Our training classes typically include a day long workshop on operation, followed by field work with the machine and various crews which are being worked with. In some utilities, this can be a second day, in larger agencies this can be a week or more depending on the number of crews involved and their respective level of expertise.


Our training program focuses on how the machine is deployed, what specific tools are used for these assignments, and operational techniques for best cleaning and documented results. Our information delivery is fast paced and designed to provide both good basic education for new personnel and some operational tricks for more experienced personnel.



Bucket Equipment


Once one of the more commonly seen equipment in operations, bucketing equipment today is used primarily in large line cleaning, from about 24” diameter pipe on up. Though many utilities moved away from this method of cleaning, contracting it out when necessary, there is a growing number of utilities who are re-engaging this type of work to save money in long run capacity assurance programs.


Sedimentary deposits come from a number of sources, from repairs and construction in the system itself to rain events that sweep debris from the streets into the sanitary mains, to flushing operations which do not trap materials in smaller lines which migrates to the larger diameter pipes. This material compacts over time under the tremendous weight of the water on top of it, to the point in many large pipes that flushing equipment is not able to penetrate it. In lines over 36” diameter, flushing equipment tends to bog down and put more material into suspension than it actually removes from the pipe, creating problems further downstream as it settles out, or worse, filling up sediment basins in pump stations or treatment plant head works.


Bucketing equipment requires a high degree of education to operate effectively, but once personnel are trained in their use, they can remove an impressive amount of debris from these large pipes. The operation pulls buckets into the pipe from a distant manhole, traps the material with the bucket, then removes it from the pipe, leaving the wastewater in place and removing only the solid material. This is dumped in an appropriate area or container for removal on the surface.


The emphasis of operators having to be well trained cannot be overstated. Set up of this equipment is critical to their operation along with knowledge of how rollers are set up in various manhole structures unique to large diameter pipes, what tools can be used and when, how to properly maintain the equipment, and what safety concerns exist in their use.


These machines are primarily used in project work in large pipes which can be several days to months in duration. Once the specific pipe is done, the machines are then used in other large pipe project or stored for a period of time until the next project is identified. It is in this process that training becomes important as experience is lost on this equipment through job transfers or retirements, or just inactivity.


Tilson & Associates provides high end bucket machine training which has demonstrated results in increasing efficiency and cleaning effectiveness which reduces SSO events, especially those related to wet weather events in large diameter pipes. Our training classes typically include a day long workshop on operation, followed by field work with the machine and various crews which are being worked with. In some utilities, this can be a three day process, in larger agencies this can be a week or more depending on the number of crews involved and their respective level of expertise or project oversight as many of our clients have us perform.


Our training program focuses on how the machines are deployed, what specific tools are used for these assignments, and operational techniques for best cleaning and documented results. Our information delivery is fast paced and designed to provide both good basic education for new personnel and some operational tricks for more experienced personnel.



Closed Circuit Television


In recent years, closed circuit television (CCTV) inspection systems have become a staple for most collection system operations. There is a wide variety of CCTV systems in the market, from large van systems with grouting capabilities, to very small portable systems that can be installed on the end of flushing machine sewer hose to propel the camera up down the line.


CCTV operation has three critical areas of operational expertise needed for a successful, low cost program. Set up and operation of the equipment itself, data capture and management, and maintenance. Though other equipment demands similar consideration, CCTV operations is highly sensitive to the operation and maintenance issues.


Tilson & Associates provides operational and maintenance training for CCTV equipment operations, along with the data management instruction using the Pipeline Assessment Certification Program (PACP) as developed by the National Association of Sewer Service Companies (NASSCO), or if a local standard is used, we can adapt to that standard of defects classification.


Our training program focuses on how the machine is deployed, what specific tools are used for these assignments, and operational techniques for best results. Our information delivery is fast paced and designed to provide both good basic education for new personnel and some operational tricks for more experienced personnel.


Copyright 2006-2011 Tilson & Associates LLC