By Miranda Landstra,
City of Lee’s Summit, Water Utilities
On Friday, August 18, 2017, Lee’s Summit Water Utilities contractor, SAK Construction rehabilitated the sewer main on SW Market Street from Second Street to First Street.
The rehabilitation was done utilizing the Cured In Place Pipe process (CIPP), which is used to repair about 50 percent of all water pipes in the United States and also used extensively to repair sanitary sewer and storm water pipes. Lee’s Summit has used this process for several years to rehabilitate more than 30 miles of sewer lines throughout the City to ensure residents have safe and reliable sanitary sewer services.
The CIPP process utilizes a styrene resin, which creates odor that can sometimes enter into a home if there are dry floor drains or other plumbing defects.
Per SAK Construction, “The CIPP process uses a styrene monomer resin to rehabilitate the pipes. Styrene is widely used and can be found in items such as consumer electronics, medical supplies, packaging, etc. In addition, foods such as coffee, strawberries and cinnamon naturally contain styrene.
“Styrene has a very distinct odor that is noticeable at a threshold of 0.1 parts per million (ppm). The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has established a safe exposure standard for styrene of 50 parts per million (ppm) over an eight hour day. Exposure levels from the CIPP process are significantly below this.”
On Friday, August 18, near the end of the material curing process, Water Utilities staff and SAK Construction were made aware of concerns by the residents.
In response to those concerns, the CIPP process was explained and a liquid solution, Eco-Sorb, was offered to pour down floor drains to minimize odors. The residents were advised to open windows and doors to ventilate their homes and MSDS sheets/information about the products used during the CIPP process was provided by the contractor.
Those residents advised the Water Utilities supervisors they were fine and that no medical attention was necessary.
Later in the afternoon, a team of Water Utilities staff went door to door to follow up with residents to address any outstanding concerns. All residents were contacted in person with the exception of 105 NW Market, who was not home at the time. During this process, odors were not detected by Water Utilities staff.
Friday evening the resident at 105 NW Market made contact with the Water Utilities Department and Fire Department. Both departments responded and confirmation was made that no toxic or hazardous materials were present.
“We responded twice to the area for calls to 911 complaining of an odor,” said Lee’s Summit Fire Department Assistant Chief Jim Eden. “Each time there were no hazards found. When anyone called the business number to complain about the odor or get information on who to contact, if they had any kind of physical complaint, they were asked if they needed an ambulance. Everyone declined.”
On Sunday morning, the resident of 1 NW Market was contacted by phone in follow-up to discussions held on Friday. The resident advised that they were fine but were primarily concerned about the notification processes.
Currently, the notification process involves a SAK door hanger placed on the home in advance of the project. This notification process will be augmented on Monday providing the attached informational sheet with the door hanger and expanding the notification area.
Information on this process is available on the City’s website and has been made available on Facebook in the past.
Additionally, there is an informational video on the CIPP process playing on LSTV and available on the City’s YouTube site, found here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxRxi87pqFE.