sustainability Archives - Infrastructure Digest

The Greening of Civil Infrastructure

Similar progress is being made by manufacturers such as Unilever, a global brand leader in food, personal healthcare and other consumer products. In 2013, 75 percent of the company’s manufacturing sites brought their delivery of nonhazardous waste to landfills down to zero. Included among Unilever’s wide array of global waste recovery, recycle and reuse initiatives is the use of overflow plant sludge in prefabricated construction products and as an alternative raw material in cement production.

Increasingly, the waste generated from the manufacturing processes of companies like these and others is also finding its way into major infrastructure projects throughout the nation. The byproducts from manufacturing, as well as other industrial processes such as energy generation, offer a valuable resource for use in civil infrastructure.

Why should you read this? May create some reuse opportunities for you. ASTM, February 2015


There’s gold in them thar sewers—tons and tons of it!

The study’s lead environmental engineer, Paul Westerhoff, told Science that the sewage treatment systems that collect and try to dispose of the waste could be losing a lot of  precious cargo in the process, citing a city in Japan that collected near 2 kg of gold in every metric ton of ash after burning sludge.

Why should you read this? That’s a lot of gold. Quartz, January 2015


Using Grout to Stop I/I

The Village of Ashley project resulted in the Central Ohio Wastewater Services crews in finding significant I/I at the manholes. Crews found 17 manholes next to a creek in the woods that were 16 to 26 ft deep with a very high water table. In looking into the cost for replacement for all the manholes, the cost totaled approximately $300,000.

“The Village of Ashley did a (cured-in-place pipe) CIPP liner project in 2007, removing half the peak flow from 1 million gal/day to 500,000 gal/day at a plant that was designed for 190,000 gal/day,” Howard explains. “We found the infiltration was coming between the CIPP liner and the original pipe releasing at the manholes. The acting engineer at the time had heard of Source One Environmental (S1E) LLC and its product so we gave it a try. Since the start of the project, our average dry time flows have went from 60,000 gal/day to 30,000 gal/day and heavy rain fall events have fallen from 500,000 gal/day to 250,000 gal/day making the plant more efficient.”

Why should you read this? The effectiveness and precise role of chemical grouting is too little understood by sewer network managers, IMNSHO. Trenchless Technology, November 2014


ATA Leaders Express Disappointment in President’s Infrastructure Message

“Just mentioning infrastructure is not a solution to our nation’s critical needs, and by simply bringing the topic up without details President Obama missed an opportunity to underscore the critical role our highway system plays in our economic well being,” said ATA President and CEO Bill Graves. “Now is the time, with the Highway Trust Fund set to go bankrupt in May, to show vision and leadership and most importantly, find funding, to keep that from happening. The trucking industry calls on the President and Congress to end this unnecessary uncertainty by funding our nation’s infrastructure and passing a new highway bill.”

Why should you read this? The SOTU is a good gauge of sentiment; is it anything more? PRN, January 2014


NJ Transportation Chief: Route 3 Cracks Widened Over Months

In October, inspectors checking the bridge found two 3-inch cracks in its steal beams, WCBS 880’s Levon Putney reported.
“The tests this week found the cracks had grown to 6 3/4 inches and 4 1/8 inches,” Transportation Commissioner Jamie Fox said. “That is what scared us.”

Why should you read this? Expect to inspect. CBS, January 2015


Contractors Get Reprieve At the Pump

As the price of crude oil bottoms out at its lowest market value in more than four years, the bottom-line fuel costs of many construction-fleet managers are lighter. But equipment managers are taking this market depreciation with a grain of salt, knowing from experience that the price will bounce back sooner rather than later.

“It’s very nice to have the dip right now,” says Arne Ruud, corporate equipment manager for Broomfield, Colo.-based Guy F. Atkinson Construction LLC. “But there’s no assurance it’s going to go on for any length of time.”

Why should you read this? News you can use. ENR, January 2015


BRIDGE RESCUE: S.C. acts on deficient bridge issue

“With any legislative program there are always some politics involved, and one of the things I tried to do is set up the packages starting in the northwest part of the state and I let packages going all the way down the coast,” Floyd, bridge maintenance engineer for SCDOT, told Roads & Bridges. “Now I am starting packages let in January in the upper part of the state and then I will work my way down again—that way everybody has something going on at the same time.

“Nobody can say, ‘Why are you working on the upper state and not the lower state.’”

Why should you read this? Interesting, proactive approach to an unglamorous issue. Roads & Bridges, November 2014


VIDEO: Bill Gates drinks processed wastewater

“Microsoft founder Bill Gates may be known for trying to reinvent the common toilet but now he’s setting out to reinvent the wastewater treatment plant.

This week he was seen sipping a glass of drinking water that only five minutes previously was human wastewater.

The technology used to generate the potable water is called the Omniprocessor, designed and built by Janicki Bioenergy, an engineering firm based north of Seattle.”

Why should you read this? Some headlines just cannot be resisted. Water World, January 2014


Sicily bridge collapses 10 days after opening

“A multi-million pound viaduct has collapsed in Sicily less than two weeks after it opened – provoking a political outcry.
The Scorciavacche viaduct is near Mezzojuso, 25 miles from Palermo on a stretch of highway that runs between the island capital and Agrigento.
It has buckled dramatically in the past few days. The construction company responsible for the project, Anas, said the collapse was due to “subsidence”.”

Why should you read this? Well, it’s the biggest infrastructure news of the day… The Telegraph, January 2015


A California Agency Creates A Brand For Its Recycled Water, Biogas Energy And Pelletized Biosolids

“Many clean-water plants create brand names for their biosolids. The Encina Wastewater Authority takes the concept further.

Its Class A biosolids pellets go to market under the PureGreen brand. Its electric power and heat from biogas, PureEnergy. Its recycled water, PureWater. Even staff resources and information get a brand name: PureKnowledge.

For the agency, headquartered in Carlsbad, Calif., the brands emphasize that its 67 team members are devoted to more than protecting the Pacific Ocean from pollution. The 40.5 mgd (design) Encina Water Pollution Control Facility recycles, in one way or another, nearly half its 23 mgd average flow.”

Why should you read this? Maybe it will work for you? Treatment Plant Operator, December 2014


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