Source: American Society of Civil Engineers 2009 Report Card for America's Infrastructure

Despite the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009's $6 billion infusion, our buried assets are in worse shape — at least in terms of financial need — than a decade ago. In 2001, water and wastewater infrastructure earned a D from the American Society of Civil Engineers; in 2009, a D-.

Given the public's general lack of concern until confronted with a sewage-filled basement or geyser of water blocking a street, work's never boring for those of you eking more life out of collection and distribution systems without endangering community health and safety. Associations representing all types of pipeline materials and installation methodologies want to help. Many offer credit-bestowing educational programs and services, such as the:

  • North American Society for Trenchless Technology Good Practices Courses on cured-in-place pipe (CIPP); horizontal directional drilling (HDD); pipe bursting; laterals; auger boring, pipe-ramming, pipe-jacking, and the pilot tube method, which are held several times at various locations nationwide throughout the year.
  • American Concrete Pipe Association Pipe School, which wrapped earlier this month just before the 2012 Precast Show in Orlando, Fla. Attendees saw demonstrations on reinforced pipe crack evaluation and post-installation inspection with laser video profiling at Rinker Materials and Hanson Pipe & Precast and became QCast-accredited. Next year's Pipe School is Jan. 28 through Feb. 1 in Indianapolis.