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Case Study: 3800 Feet of Constricted Sanitary Lines


City of Bellwood, IL. Had 3800 feet of sanitary lines, catch basin and lift stations that had excessive build up in them.
Estimate cost to remove the lines and replace from several engineering firms at $1.1 million dollars.
Bellwood needed a different solution. WTUnited was asked to advise on the problem.


In Feb. of 2015 WTUnited was invited to walk the sanitary collection system and review the situation. After spending a couple days with Bellwood’s personnel. A sample of the hardened Soda Ash was pulled from the lines and put thru a bench test to determine if United had a solution.

Bellwood had a manufacturer that had been using their sanitary collection system to get rid of a by-product of their production for years. The end results was 3,800 feet of their sanitary collection system totally blocked. The blockages were causing out of system issues with rain events, creating situations where they had to report occurrences of outages to the E.P.A., and causing disruptions of services to customers.

What Bellwood had to determine:

  1. Cost in disruption of services to the City if they decided to replace the system
  2. How to pay the est. 1.1 million dollars of the replacement proposal
  3. Their collection system feed into another Cities treatment operations. Therefore there was the concern in regards to staying in compliance with that City.
  4. The amount of time, personnel and resources needed to replace 3,800 feet of sanitary collection lines


After on sight inspections with a licensed waste water operator from home office and the local waste water field rep, United had a solution.

Testing a special blended product of ESA on sight it was determined that we could clean up the system without the need to replace pipes, extensive time and expensive special equipment. Bellwood’s own personnel and two support personnel from WTUnited began the process around the middle of May 2015 and treatment continued for less than five months. The process was not operational everyday due to interference from routine tasks and weather. Total cost of material was less than $70,000.


The entire 3,800 feet of sanitary system was rid of Soda Ash before the 1st of October 2015.

The City of Bellwood was very pleased with the end results and they are working with WTUnited on several projects to help restore their sanitary and storm water collections systems to peak operational efficiency.