Cured-in-Place Pipe Lining

Cured-in-Place Pipe lining (CIPP) is a trenchless method used to replace damaged or deteriorated sewer pipe without digging up the existing pipe or disrupting roads, driveways, sidewalks, or landscaping. The process is an effective way to rehabilitate Springfield’s aging sewer system while reducing costs and impacts on citizens and businesses.

Springfield’s public sewer collection system includes more than 470 miles of vitrified clay pipe. As of 2021, the City has rehabilitated more than 120 miles of these through CIPP lining.

How CIPP Lining Works

The CIPP work is completed in three phases covering cleaning and inspection, liner installation and reinstating laterals.

Cleaning and Inspection:  Prior to lining, crews clean the existing sewer pipe using high pressure water hoses and then use video cameras to determine current pipe conditions .  

Liner Installation:   A separate work crew will return, typically several weeks after cleaning, to install the liner.  Crews place a flexible liner into the existing sewer. Steam is then forced into the liner, pushing the liner tightly against the existing sewer walls. The heat causes the liner material to cure and harden, creating a new pipe within the existing sewer that is free of cracks and holes. During the curing process, a steam cloud coming from a vent at a manhole may be visible in the air. This will dissipate quickly when the process is complete. 

Reinstating Laterals:   On the day of installation, once the new liner has been pushed against the existing sewer wall, flow from a home’s sewer lateral will be blocked until the installation process is complete.  Once the liner has cured and cooled, crews will use a remote operated cutter and video camera to cut an opening at each house/business connection to restore service.  

CIPP Lining
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What does it mean for nearby residents?

The City will make an effort to notify property owners and residents via postcard two weeks in advance of expected CIPP lining work potentially impacting their home. The City’s contractor will then notify residents of the upcoming work via door hanger 24 hours in advance, providing the anticipated date and time of the work, as well as specific instructions for residents. Contact information for a project manager who will be on-site during the work will also be provided.  

Residents are advised to follow these guidelines:

To prevent backups of sewer water into residences or businesses, impacted residences are asked to avoid using water for a period of time during the day. Please avoid washing clothes or dishes, taking showers or baths or flushing toilets.  Residents are also asked to turn off any sump pumps connected to the sewer. 

Pour several cups of water down all floor drains and any rarely-used sinks, bathtubs and flush any seldom-used toilets to ensure a water barrier is maintained in your plumbing’s P-traps. If you still smell odors like plastic or glue inside your home during installation, it may be the result of a dry or broken sewer trap in your home’s plumbing.

If you smell an odor in your home, ventilate the area by opening windows and doors and contact the on-site representative at the contact number provided on the door hanger.  You can also contact the City of Springfield at 864-1923 to ask questions or report any concerns.


What is Styrene?

Styrene is a clear, colorless liquid that is created for use in a variety of commercial uses, but is also naturally present in small concentrations of many commonly consumed foods and beverages. Styrene is also a chemical used in the creation and installation of CIPP lining and is released into the air in limited concentrations during the steam curing process. When released, the chemical quickly dissipates into the atmosphere.

Styrene has a very intense, distinctive odor and is detectable by the human nose at very low concentrations (less than 1 part per million). The presence of styrene odor does not necessarily indicate a hazard to human health.   However, should you begin to sense a strong odor or notice some initial effects of excessive styrene exposure, such as nausea, headache, or eye respiratory irritation, it may indicate an unusual amount of styrene vapor has entered your house.  In these cases, we recommend: 

  • Opening windows to promote ventilation of the structure.
  • Contacting the on-site representative at the phone number provided on the door hanger and/or call the city at 864-1923 to report the issue.
  • You may want to exit the house for a few hours while the smell dissipates.


On-going Safety Discussion

There are several on-going discussions surrounding safety in relation to styrene emissions released during the CIPP lining process. Various studies have been conducted providing evidence that, for the general population in normal circumstances, measured environmental styrene concentrations from CIPP in the air are at levels too low to cause health effects. However, short-term exposure may cause eye irritation, headache and general discomfort. In most cases, these effects go away quickly upon ventilation or leaving the area of exposure. The presence of a plastic or glue-like smell does not necessarily indicate a hazardous level but we encourage residents who detect this smell to report it to the on-site representative. View a National Association of Sewer Service Companies flyer on styrene safety. 

CIPP contract workers are required to follow industry best management practices to protect workers and keep styrene from entering homes during the CIPP installation process. If residents follow instructions and have a functioning p-trap in place, it is unlikely styrene smells and emissions can enter a home or business.  

Environmental Services continues to stay informed of developing study findings and updated industry best management practices. City project managers continue to work closely with the CIPP lining contractor to increase outreach measures to impacted properties during the pipe lining process.