Fire, water and polyethylene pipes: Moscow utility lines upgraded under the programme My Street

Fire, water and polyethylene pipes: Moscow utility lines upgraded under the programme My Street
Over 16 kilometres of gas networks and 5.5 kilometres of sewer lines will be replaced in Moscow under the My Street programme. The article will tell you what the city has done and what it still has yet to do.

Despite a 4.7 increase nationwide in the wear and tear of utility lines, Moscow has seen this figure decrease 2.9 percent over the last six years.

“We are making a systemic effort to replace old utilities and we routinely upgrade hundreds of kilometres of heat, electric power, and water supply lines every year,” Deputy Mayor of Moscow for Utilities and Amenities Pyotr Biryukov said. “Last year we began building underground pipe collectors.”

Over 16 kilometres of gas networks, and 5.5 kilometres of sewer lines will be upgraded in Moscow under the My Street programme this year alone.

Gas network system

Gas distribution engineers began work even before the official start of the My Street programme in order to finish the upgrade in time for the overall street-level improvement effort.

Mosgaz, a gas company, has already replaced the bulk of the 16 kilometres of networks at 17 gas-supply facilities in downtown Moscow. Cutting-edge technology allows for gas to be still supplied to households despite on-going works to upgrade the network.

Trenchless technology, in turn, is used to avoid digging up streets and major thoroughfares so that Muscovites can still enjoy stroll along city streets. Gas pipelines that are nearing the end of their service life are being replaced with polyethylene ones following a diagnostics test. The replacements are corrosion-proof and can serve for 50 years.

The upgrade has been completed in Smolensky Bulvar, Glazovsky Pereulok, Plotnikov Pereulok, and the Bakhrushin, Tatarskaya and Zatsepsky Val streets. The work will soon be finished in Prechistenka Street, Kropotkinsky Pereulok, and Yeropkinsky Pereulok. Eleven facilities are being finished and about 30 more are being readied for an upgrade.

Water supply and sewers

The city has upgraded around 25 kilometres of water supply and 5.5 kilometres of sewer lines in the three months of 2017. By the end of the year, Mosvodokanal plans to bring the figures to 50 kilometres, and 6.5 kilometres, respectively. Moscow State University and the National Exhibition of Economic Achievements is the focus of a very energetic effort. Work on Tverskaya-Yamskaya Street has been finished.

Last year, Mosvodokanal upgraded 23.5 kilometres of water supply pipelines and 0.98 kilometres of sewer lines under the My Street programme. Just like Mosgaz specialists, Mosvodokanal has been using the same trenchless technology. In 2015-2016, 18.8 kilometres of water supply pipelines were upgraded under the Garden Ring, and no further upgrades will be made in the area this year.

Mosvodokanal staff who have been working round the clock in Bogoyavlensky Pereulok, have recently been assisted by robots.  Specialists release a wheeled device with a camera into a pipe to travel up and down inside the pipe and send back images of its inner status to an aboveground computer monitor. By manipulating the robot, engineers can check distinct parts of the pipe for corrosion and leaks. The robot can also help check welding seams. Then the pipe-in-pipe technology is used to drag new polyethylene pipes with a service life of 50 years into the existing steel structure.  The upgrade is set to be completed by early May.

Drainage system

Compared to the second half of the 20th century, Moscow has seen far fewer floods. The last such occurrence was in the early 70s, when the city centre plunged nearly a metre under water during the summer. However, the construction of a new underground drain water collector for the Neglinnaya River to repalce the old stone one has brought the likelihood of a new disaster to zero.

Still, several Moscow districts have been using a drainage system built in the 17th century. Building a completely new drainage system from scratch is not economically feasible, experts say.  A one-time replacement of all drainage pipelines makes just as little sense. It is better to upgrade them one after another, as it is done in all old cities of Europe.

Mosvodostok will upgrade drainage systems at 22 facilities that are part of the My Street programme. It has already completed the task in eight streets including the Prechistenka, Tverskaya-Yamskaya, Gogolvesky Bulvar, Sretensky Bulvar streets.  As of now, Moscow has upgraded almost four kilometres of its drainage system and we will see to it that this scope will drastically expand. A total of 11.4 new pipes will be laid at sites where previously there had been no drainage at all.

In 2017, the My Street programme will cover over 80 city areas. Courtyards as well as streets, squares and by-streets will all be improved under the programme. Road coverings will be replaced, additional streetlamps and bins will be installed, and grass, trees and bushes will be planted. Entrances at several buildings will receive a facelift: doors will be replaced, and canopies will be repaired.