Cold Weather, Bright Solutions: UV Light Shines Through at FAA Tower

NuCure UV at FAA Tower in Nebraska

The FAA tower at a regional airport in Nebraska, faced an urgent issue. Staff members complained of persistent sewer smells permeating their workspace, leading to discomfort and even illness among some employees. The problem, if unresolved, not only threatened the health of the FAA staff, but also posed significant operational disruptions for the entire airport.

Initial Inspection and Discovery
The maintenance team enlisted a plumber to investigate the source of the unpleasant odor. The plumber’s inspection revealed a significant leak in the risers of the four-story building. A crack in a 90-degree fitting on the stack of the third floor had allowed sewage to seep into the second and first floors below, compromising the building’s plumbing integrity and creating a serious health hazard.
Recognizing the severity of the problem, the plumber provided a quote for replacing the damaged pipe. However, the solution was not only costly but would also require a multi-day shutdown of the building. This would disrupt not only the FAA staff but also the entire airport’s operations, leading to significant inconvenience and potential financial losses.

NuFlow Nebraska’s Involvement
Understanding the high stakes, the plumber reached out to NuFlow Nebraska, a certified NuFlow contractor, known for their expertise in non-invasive pipe rehabilitation. NuFlow Nebraska was tasked with providing a less disruptive and more cost-effective solution.

Initial Assessment
NuFlow Nebraska conducted a comprehensive inspection of the entire pipe system. The inspection revealed that approximately 45% of the system was compromised with heavy scale buildup and tuberculation. Moreover, the main sewer line beneath the building was found to be severely corroded. The findings underscored the need for immediate and extensive repairs to prevent further damage and operational disruptions.

Solution Implementation
NuFlow Nebraska proposed a plan to line the damaged pipe and the main sewer line using their advanced NuCure UV Cured-in-Place Pipe (CIPP) lining technology. This solution not only promised to restore the integrity of the pipes but also ensured minimal disruption to airport operations.

Access Points
The team accessed the riser using a toilet chase, allowing them to repair the pipe without breaking walls or floors. This innovative approach enabled them to address multiple bends in the system effectively. The repair included 4 feet of horizontal pipe, followed by a riser extending down three floors for a total of 42 feet. The main sewer line was accessed through an existing outdoor cleanout, which again required no additional property damage.

Extreme Weather Challenges
The project was executed in the dead of winter, with temperatures plunging to -10°F and wind chills reaching -28°F, posing a significant challenge for any construction activity. Even in the bone-chilling cold, the UV light curing process proved to be both efficient and effective. Once the liner was in place, the UV lights were activated, curing the resin in a rapid 10-minute cycle. This swift curing time was crucial for maintaining the structural integrity of the repair. Traditional CIPP methods that use ambient cure or heat assist systems require on-site preparation and are limited by time and environmental conditions. The resin in these systems begins curing as soon as it’s mixed, which restricts the window for installation and increases the risk of errors. Moreover, in extreme cold, the resin could either cure too slowly or inconsistently, jeopardizing the integrity of the repair. The UV method not only accelerated the project timeline but also ensured a consistent and high-quality cure from end to end, which is particularly challenging in extreme weather.
The NuCure UV system also allowed the contractor to prep the liners ahead of time in their workshop. This preparation ensured that the liners were ready and waiting when it was time for installation, enabling a more controlled and calm work environment, regardless of the weather conditions. This is critical in freezing temperatures, where timing and environmental control are crucial.

Project Timeline
The entire project was completed over just two days—one day dedicated to cleaning and the next to lining. The quick turnaround time was critical in minimizing disruptions to the airport’s operations.

Outcome and Benefits
The project’s successful completion provided immediate relief to the FAA staff by eliminating the sewer odors and restoring the integrity of the building’s plumbing system. The advanced NuCure UV CIPP lining offered a durable, long-lasting solution without invasive construction or extensive downtime.




Sewer smells and cracked risers


NuCure UV CiIPP repairs the pipes despite freezing weather conditions


NuCure UV CIPP lining with Precision Pull-in-place installation

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