Dr. Mohammad Najafi, Director of the Center of Underground Infrastructure Research and Education (CUIRE) at UT Arlington and Dr. Firat Sever of Benton Associates received a major competitive research grant from the Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's program on "Innovation and Research for Water Infrastructure for the 21st Century." The specific project title is "Structural Capabilities of No-Dig Manhole Rehabilitation." It is estimated that more than 21,000,000 sanitary sewer manholes exists in the U.S. alone. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) studies, about 4 million manholes are at least 50 years old and another 3 to 5 million are 30 to 50 years old. The EPA further estimates that 3.5 million manholes are suffering from serious structural and/or inflow/infiltration problems, and are in need of immediate rehabilitation or replacement.
Backed by the EPA's Infrastructure for the 21st Century program, this project is comprised of the following tasks:
- Literature search
- Industry expert workshop (on 10/1/2012 at WEFTEC 2012 -- open to utilities and service providers)
- Experiments on current and emerging manhole rehabilitation materials
- Computational modeling
- Report preparation