Wide Array of Equipment Increases Contractor’s Job Capabilities

PowerVac prides itself on being able to provide a solution to customers and handle all facets of the job without relying on subcontractors

Wide Array of Equipment Increases Contractor’s Job Capabilities

Jon Korotko, a field superintendent for PowerVac

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PowerVac wants to be a company that can handle all aspects of the infrastructure emergencies its customers face on a daily basis. A good example is a project the company tackled about five years ago at a Detroit-area high school, says Jon Korotko, a field superintendent for the company.

The problem: Chronic flooding in a utility service tunnel that runs under the high school and houses its mechanical systems.

“They tried other solutions before we got there,” Korotko says. “They basically spent years Band-Aiding the problem.”

So when PowerVac finally got the call, it solved the problem by deploying what’s become the company’s calling card after 20 years in business: years of infrastructure repair experience backed up by a large array of equipment that allows technicians to do all the work — no subcontractors required.

The problem centered on drain tiles located about 5 feet under the service tunnel. A camera inspection revealed that the 6-inch-diameter cast-iron drain tiles were failing, which caused flooding in the service tunnel and adjacent branch tunnels.

“We tried to clear obstructions in the pipe with our water jetter and one of our Vactor vacuum trucks, but the pipe was too far gone for that to work,” Korotko says.

The only viable alternative was to replace about 500 feet of drain tile — no easy task in a cramped tunnel.

The first step was cutting the tunnel’s concrete floor into roughly 2- by 3-foot slabs. Those were then moved on a dolly to an air shaft that keeps the tunnel well-ventilated and full of clean air. From there, the slabs were removed by a hoist via the shaft, Korotko says.

A micro-mini-excavator was lowered through the shaft and into the tunnel, where it was used to expose the drain tiles. In areas where the excavator wouldn’t fit, the Vactor hydroexcavation trucks did the excavating. PowerVac technicians then installed new PVC pipe, backfilled the trench and poured new concrete for the floor. The job took about three months to complete.

“We still service that school district to this day and the people there still talk about it when we go there. That project really exemplified our capabilities,” Korotko says.

Read more about PowerVac in the May 2022 issue of Cleaner magazine.


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