San Jacinto River Authority (SJRA) has spent the last eleven months working on rehabilitating the Bear Branch gravity main in The Woodlands. The Bear Branch Gravity Main Renewal Project is part of SJRA’s 10-Year Project Plan to reinvest in our community’s system and continue to provide the highest quality service to the residents of The Woodlands. The Bear Branch gravity main, consisting of over 2.5 miles of large diameter pipe and associated manholes, was identified for rehabilitation to prevent aquifer groundwater and storm water runoff from entering the wastewater collection system through possible leaking joints and manhole covers. The project runs from SJRA’s Wastewater Treatment Plant 2, near Bear Branch Park, to Kuykendahl, running through the Village of Cochran’s Crossing.

In addition to the infrastructure of The Woodlands being rehabilitated for long-lasting future use, the project is ahead of schedule and under budget. The project was also able to be executed in an environmentally friendly way that helped to maintain the community’s esthetics and landscape. The substantial completion was originally scheduled for early May 2021, but the project is currently ahead of schedule with completion anticipated before February 2021. The budget amount was $9,640,910, but the project is estimated to come in under budget. The pipes in this project were rehabilitated using trenchless methods, which reduced impacts to the community and environment, without requiring messy and time-consuming open excavation.

The primary trenchless method used was Cured-In-Place Pipe (CIPP) rehabilitation, which resulted in a tight-fitting, jointless, and corrosion-resistant structural liner within the existing pipe, or a “pipe-within-a-pipe.” Additionally, manholes were rehabilitated with new covers and a corrosion-resistant cementitious lining. SJRA was conscious about flooding sensitivities and worked with nearby residents and Montgomery County Precinct 3 to ensure that mitigation measures were in place.

“First, SAK and Tommy Schulz were true partners during this project and truly cared about the homeowner impact. Tommy was very responsive, went above and beyond to mitigate things we asked about, and is a great communicator. Second, we have a huge thanks to SJRA for having the filters added to the vent pipe. It is completely effective – significant issue resolved. Again, thanks!” –Local Resident

This project has been a successful first phase of our plan to rehab several gravity mains in The Woodlands to better the infrastructure for future long term use.

Featured in Dock Line Magazine.