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Michels Canada rehabilitates Vancouver manholes

Michels completed a pilot project for Metro Vancouver Liquid Waste Services to show customers how a geopolymer spray can be an efficient and effective way to permanently rehabilitate manholes and other structures. The pilot project included completion of a request for proposal (RFP), design, QA/QC and construction phases, all completed by Michels.

This project consisted of the rehabilitation of six manholes in Surrey, British Columbia. The manholes and chambers were 1,200 mm in circular diameter and square shapes, and ranged in depth from 1.55 meters to 2.45 meters.

Michels mobilized in mid-March. Initial inspections showed significant hydrogen sulfide corrosion and debris buildup. A high-pressure washer was used to clean the manholes and remove any loose debris. Following cleaning, the existing rungs were removed and the structure was inspected for leaks. Upon determination that there were no leaks, a 1-inch thick layer of geopolymer mortar was hand-sprayed by a worker who was lowered into the manhole by tripod and winch. After a cure time of 24 hours, new manhole rungs were installed and an anti-microbial sealant was applied to protect the product from future deterioration. The rehabilitation work was completed in seven days, three days ahead of schedule.

Because the work was done on a four-lane arterial road, construction activities needed to have minimal impact on traffic conditions and work was limited to the hours of 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. To work efficiently in the tight time window, Michels assembled a self-contained geopolymer application system that was mounted within a tandem truck. Within the spray unit was a water tank, generator, compressor, pressure washer and a D150 mixer. The self-contained unit allowed a regular flow of traffic; pedestrian traffic was maintained at all times.

Watch this video to learn more about how geopolymer spray can rehabilitate deteriorating manholes. 

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