Welcome to the Avanti Blog: Grou•tol•o•gy

The Avanti Blog: Grou•tol•o•gy is where you can read stories and comments from a unique community of engineers, industry insiders, specialty contractors, municipalities, partners, and marketeers. Here you can share your thoughts, voice your opinion, give testimonials, and encourage others in their grouting endeavors. Your voice matters, and we want to hear from you.

29 April 2016

Dealer Profile: Georgia Underground Superstore

Posted in Industry News

by Don Rigby

Company: Georgia Underground Superstore
Location: Atlanta, GA
Website: www.georgiaunderground.net
Avanti Dealer Since: 2008
Customer Profile: Utility Contractors - Private and Public
Interview: Brenda Armbrust - Purchasing Manager
Regional Manager: Chris Hamilton

On April 28, Chris Hamilton and Don Rigby paid Georgia Underground a visit. Purpose? Part service, part exploratory, part wonderment.

In Q1 2016, Georgia Underground racked up a 256% increase in business. Darn right we were curious, but not surprised with the answer. According to Brenda Armbrust, "Projects - more injection grouting projects and our customers know two things: Controlling groundwater means Avanti, and Georgia Underground keeps it in stock.

"For us, the bread and butter product has always been cases of AV-202 Multigrout in cartridges" stated Brenda "and we're excited Chris will be working with our Counter and Outside Sales teams to expand their working knowledge of grouting while we expand our inventories."

About the Avanti clock: It's about time everybody recognizes the time is right for Avanti.

30 April 2015

Colorado School of Mines – A Reputation for Education

Posted in Geotechnical

by Jessica Williams

Throughout the year, the Colorado School of Mines (CSM) hosts many different short courses and conferences taught by experienced industry professionals who aim to educate owners, engineers, and contractors in specialty areas. These short courses provide concentrated instruction in areas such as Ground Improvement in Underground Construction and Mining and Grouting Fundamentals. These courses are intensive and provide comprehensive knowledge of the latest and greatest R&D. That’s why we choose to align with the CSM every year – because we believe that education is the way forward – and CSM has a reputation for impeccable education.

This May, Avanti’s Vice President of Sales, Britt Babcock, presents “Chemical Grouts” – a presentation on injection grouting to stop water, stabilize soil and rock strata and control groundwater in underground construction and mining. When asked why he attends CSM, Britt says “Having participated in the course for over five years, both as a student and instructor, I have learned new techniques and gained great understanding about grouting. The experts, with such vast knowledge and experience of grouting, collected in one place, is unparalleled to any other course. I recommend those at all levels of experience attend. I guarantee you will walk away with an experience far beyond your expectations!”

Britt Babcock will be presenting "Chemical Grouts" at 11:15 on Tuesday, May 19, 2015.

For more information about the Colorado School of Mines and its Short Courses and Conferences, click here.

20 January 2015

Sewer Leak Identification: Electro Scan Compliments CCTV for Inspection

Posted in Industry News

by Don Rigby

Public enemy #1 for managers of sanitary sewer collection systems is infiltration. Groundwater and soil fines enter into mainlines, manholes, laterals, and lateral connections through joints and defects. According to the EPA, nearly half the water entering treatment plant operations is clean groundwater - a direct result from lack of maintenance. CCTV has long been the most reliable technology for inspecting non-man entry underground assets, but experts agree, visual proof is not 100% conclusive. Enter: Electro Scan. As a diagnostic tool, Electro Scan is brilliant technology built on the theory that water conducts electricity, and is well proven to detect leaks whether or not infiltration is active at that time. At the very least, Electro Scan a complimentary technology to CCTV inspection.

In addition to locating and quantifying infiltration in old pipes, Electro Scan can be used to certify new and CIPP relined pipes. However, when it comes to grout, Electro Scan is currently not a recommended validation technology. Water is a vital component in the gel/soil matrix produced by acrylic grouts used to create a positive seal of joints and defects on the outside of the pipe structure. Electro Scan’s probe identifies the presence of water in a sealed joint and reports a false/positive reading. Discussions between Avanti and Electro Scan are underway to enhance the reporting so this technology can be utilized not only to identify, but also to validate with confidence.

We’ll keep you posted on progress, but in the meantime if you have personal experience with Electro Scan, please volunteer your thoughts and we’ll keep the open dialog flowing…

10 December 2014

Investing in Empowerment for the Injection Grouting Community

Posted in Industry News

by Chris Hamilton

Many aspects distinguish Avanti as an industry Leader. One is our commitment to be a resource to the customer through teaching and training. Educational events can be lunch and learns, seminars, webinars, grout schools, and informal group discussions—all aimed at developing a better understanding of injection grouts and their target applications. Often, we support customers through site training and technical consult. Whether classroom or field, online or off line, empowering the customer is a core value of Avanti. Through greater understanding of grouting products and practices, we help organizations become more effective, more efficient and solve more problems.

These training events require a great deal of coordination, but I view them as investments. It is a privilege to be part of the development process and make it my top priority. Frankly, it’s gratifying for me as a grouting professional to teach what I know and mentor those that care to know more. Empowerment—this is service beyond sales, and that is who we are.

17 November 2014

Hablamos Espanol

Posted in Industry News

by Jessica Williams

Video translation: It is very important to understand that the majority of our grouts are designed specifically to eliminate leaks, but at the same time, it's important to note that we have grouts for soil stabilization and slab lifting as well.

09 September 2014

Chemical Grouting is for Life-Long Learners

Posted in Water & Wastewater

by Chris Hamilton

Since becoming part of the Avanti family, I have met with dozens of grouting contractors and municipal crews with years of experience rehabbing underground structures. Most feel confident in their quality of work, and with balancing efficiency, effectiveness, and safety. As someone who served as an infrastructure restoration contractor for a decade, I know from personal experience how difficult it is to make procedure adjustments, modify processes, and implement subtle improvements. When on a job site with a customer observing quietly, I see things more objectively and I am afforded an opportunity to make a difference. One of my greatest joys today is to mentor, to coach, to be a resource to municipal clients and contracting partners. When introducing new ideas, light bulbs turn on and the response is often, “Can’t believe I didn’t think of that.” Learning is a reiterative process. To grow personally and professionally, we all must become life-long learners.


02 September 2014

CIPP Lining and Protective Coatings Need Infiltration-Free Environments

Posted in Water & Wastewater

by Don Rigby

The original trenchless technology, chemical grout, is also complimentary to all other technologies. What do we mean be that? CIPP lining and protective coating are important technologies to sustaining our underground infrastructure. To realize maximum value of these structural repairs, active leaks must be stopped first. View this 3-minute, Cole Publishing interview with Don Rigby on how chemical grout stops leaks and provides an infiltration-free environment in manholes, mainlines, and laterals so structural repairs can realize their full life-expectancy.

28 August 2014

Direct from Municipal Contractor: Manhole Rehab with AV-100 Outsmarts Water Intrusion

Posted in Water & Wastewater

by Don Rigby

Customer call backs can be painful. And for one contracting company in Florida their call-backs were just that. It started seven years ago when they chose to align themselves with Brand X (who shall remain nameless) because of a lower price point. After high volumes of call-backs, they moved to Brand Y and then Brand Z, but continued to have unacceptable call-backs. Let’s be real – the manhole rehab business is tricky. In fact, the contractor had to call upon a competing resource to fix problems, and sure enough, this contractor was aligned with Brand A – A for Avanti.

Avanti understood their story. After a day on-site with Avanti’s Field Service team, the contractor and employees were properly trained and understood how to mix a batch of AV-100 Acrylamide, how to modify the mix to adjust with field conditions, and how to pump, inject and outsmart water intrusion.

CUSTOMER SPEAK IS LOUDER THAN WORDS. First unsolicited comment “I wanted to thank you both for the training that you provided our company. Your knowledge and enthusiasm was both welcome and greatly appreciated by everybody involved”. One week later: “I really like the grout and am kicking myself for not chasing this technology down 7 years ago when we got into injection grouting”. The hero in this case is Avanti Field Services.

Have questions or would like to schedule field service training and demonstrations? Give us a call at 800-877-2570. Want to request a field service session? Click here.


24 September 2013

Safety, not just some of the time!

Posted in Industry News

Anyone who has spent time in the military understands and accepts you may have to give your life at some point. No one should be ready or need to give their life rehabilitating a sewer. Sadly and unintentionally, this is what happened here.


"Briceno…had removed his harness to reach a confined space and was carried away by the rushing water, according to police officials at the scene. The other worker was strapped into his harness and was pulled to safety,” the officials said.

Practicing safety 99% of the time in not enough. This could have been a safety success story with both workers strapped in their harnesses and pulled to safety. Remember: safety 100% of the time, not just when it is convenient. Unfortunately, all we can do now as an industry is learn from his death as an example to raise awareness and prevent future injuries or fatalities.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mr. Briceno’s family and colleagues.

To read the full story from the Chicago Tribune, click HERE.

30 July 2013

Save These Dates!

Posted in Industry News

by Jessica Williams


If your calendar is full, we have a lot in common. Avanti’s Calendar of Events is stocked full for the better part of 2013! We believe that education is the way forward, which is why we offer webinars, seminars, hands-on-learning events, tradeshows and speaking engagements across the country that you can be a part of. If you’re near a PC or in the neighborhood for any of these events, stop by and see us! Below is a list of Avanti events in your area:

August 14 - "Preserving Underground Infrastructure at Miami-Dade" hosted by Trenchless Technology
September 18 – "Control Infiltration and Sustain Existing Sewer Collection System Assets with Chemical Grouting" Hosted with Water Environment Federation and NASSCO/ICGA (Registration coming soon)

Tradeshows & Speaking Engagements:
August 25-27 – American Public Works Association – Chicago, IL
August 25-28 – COPRI Ports Conference – Seattle, WA
October 7-9 – WEFTEC: The Water Quality Event – Chicago, IL

October 6 from 1:00 PM-5:00 PM- "Fighting Infiltration for Engineers and Municipalities" - Hilton Chicago - Lake Michigan Room, 8th Floor (Registration coming soon)

Live Learning Events:
September 10-11 – Aries Grout Boot Camp #13 – Atlanta, GA
October 15-16 – Avanti’s Urethane Injection School – Webster, TX

For more information regarding any of these learning opportunities, visit our Calendar of Events or call me directly for personal assistance. Online, Onsite, On Demand, and On the Road – Avanti is there.

26 July 2013

Ultrafine Cement Grout Excels at Colorado School of Mines Field Day

Posted in Geotechnical

by Britt N. Babcock, PE

It happens only once a year. Colorado School of Mines (Golden, CO) hosts a week long short-course on grouting. It’s attended by Who’s Who in the geotechnical grouting industry.

On the afternoon of June 19, 2013, the school hosted a Field Day and participants were able to view a live demonstration of the permeability of different grouts through Sand Column Testing. I’m pleased to announce, US Grout’s Ultrafine Cement excelled over other cement grouts by reaching the top of the sand column (60 inches) in just 80 seconds. No other cement grout came close.

The team at US Grout of Brian Jeppeson and Brad Hess are always researching ways to improve their products. What specifically improved the performance this year for US Grout? Two factors: Ultrafine is the only pumice-based cement grout; a new Polycarboxylate super-plasticizer to be released soon. Innovation is alive and well at US Grout and Avanti excited to be their exclusive partner for technical support, estimating and product delivery.


29 July 2013

Preserving the Underground Infrastructure at Miami-Dade

Posted in Water & Wastewater

by Don Rigby

Communities large and small face a delicate balance of improving their underground sanitary sewer collection system and reducing flow to their treatment plant while being good stewards of the rate-payer and protecting quality of life. The intrusion of groundwater and soil files are sabotaging system efficiencies causing the plant to treat twice the volume, increasing sanitary sewer overflows, and polluting our clean water systems.

No city better understands these challenges than Miami, Florida:

“Any world-class city has good infrastructure, and the most important infrastructure in any city is its water and sewer. Without water, we can’t live. Without getting rid of wastewater, then we’re susceptible to disease.”

  --Mayor Carlos Gimenez (Miami Herald, May 21, 2013)

miami-dadeJoin us for an Avanti Educational Webinar with Miami-Dade’s Chief of Wastewater Collection and Transmission, Rod Lovett, along with Stuart Rome of Cues, Inc. and Daniel Magill of Avanti in a conversation about Preserving the Underground Infrastructure at Miami-Dade. Chemical Grout is their low-cost, high-reward practice that has helped reduce flow to their treatment operations by 127 MGD (million gallons per day).

For more information and to register for this free Trenchless Technology webcast, click here.

05 July 2013

Preparation--Key Critical for Chemical Grout Repair Projects

Posted in Industry News

questionsPlanning for repair work is more than setting a date. Just like a good paint job is all about the preparation, so is chemical grouting. With work often in confined spaces, after hours, and sometimes requiring equipment shut down, it is vital to have everything ready to facilitate starting on time so you can finish as planned.

Little things can be big headaches. Did you test the pump to see if it runs after sitting in the warehouse for 4 months? Does the site have electrical power or do you have a working generator? Has the confined space been ventilated adequately beforehand, or is this going to delay the start by an hour? Drill and drill bits operational? Don’t forget to verify the sizing of your drill bits. Are there electrical conduits or post tension reinforcement that need to be identified by radar before drilling? These issues are all harder to address while working during a holiday shutdown, so address them beforehand.

"By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail." --Benjamin Franklin

Pick a date, prepare for the unknowns, and think safety first. Never get in line to have your butt kicked.

03 June 2013

How to Choose a Grout for Sealing Mainlines and Laterals

Posted in Water & Wastewater

by Daniel Magill


Below are some questions to consider when choosing a grout for sealing mainlines and laterals--before, after, or independent of lining:

  1. Cost: Cost should only be one factor. What is more important is that you are using the appropriate product for the job and the grout is applied correctly (in accordance with the 2012 NASSCO recommendation is a good start - click here to download).
  2. Cost vs. Cure Time: Grouts have different cure times. Be sure to check tech data sheets to determine how much control over cure time you will have in the field. Better yet, you can do a more thorough investigation by performing your own tests. The more catalyst you need to reach the desired goal, the more money you'll spend on product.
  3. Viscosity: The thinner the grout, the better it will permeate the soil outside the pipe. Remember, the joints are sealed by creating a gel/soil matrix outside the pipe. You want the grout to permeate.
  4. Longevity: How long will the grout last? Be sure to look up case studies and third party testing.
  5. Packaging: Some contractors prefer to keep liquid product on hand (drums), while others prefer to use granular materials (bags) in order to save on shipping costs and space in the truck.
  6. Training and Support: Be sure that you have a mentor or team of people who can teach as well as answer questions for you "after the sale has been made" and when you are facing challenges out in the field.
  7. Safety: Safety is important ANY time you are working with chemicals. When it comes to personal protective equipment (PPE), know what you should wear and when you should wear it. Grouting mainlines and laterals is done via remote control so the only time you need to wear chemical PPE is when you are mixing or physically handling the chemical elements, which only takes a few minutes. We sell acrylamide, acrylic, and acrylate grouts. All three require an oxidizer (hazardous), the same catalyst, and the same PPE. Some chemical grout suppliers will tell you that their grout is safe because you don't need PPE...that is not true. Any time you are working with a chemical that could splash onto your body or clothes, you should wear PPE. Read the MSDS which should be readily available for download.
  8. Easy Clean-Up: What additional chemicals does it take to clean your hoses/packers, etc., if any? Do you have to pump acetone through the pump beforehand to remove moisture from the hoses?
  9. Pump/Pump Ratio: Are you set up to pump 1:1 or 8:1? The type of pump you have may impact which grout product you'll use.

If you have any questions on any or all of the above grout attributes, let us know and we'll be glad to get you the info you need. After all, that's what we do!

03 June 2013

Joint Failure Not Always Obvious--Test Every Joint

Posted in Water & Wastewater

by Daniel Magill

I visited a job site a few weeks ago and talked with the grouting operator. I found three things very cool:

  1. It was nice to visit a grout truck that was kept clean and orderly. This was a Grout Truck municipality that only has one crew responsible for each grout truck, so they treat it like their own.
  2. They air tested every joint. There is no point in grouting only the visible leaking joints and ignoring the ones that are not noticeable. The joints must pass an air test or should otherwise be grouted. If not, once you grout the leaking joints, the groundwater simply migrates to the next joint and enters there.
  3. Looking into the manhole, it was very apparent that the line they were grouting had a lot of infiltration (leaks) as the water flowing through the bottom of the manhole was clear and not murky from sewage.
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