April 2020 Vol. 75 No. 4

Rehab Technology

RehabZone Updates Generate Increased, Diverse Participation

Jeff Griffin | Senior Editor


The RehabZone – the special “no selling” area co-located with the Underground Construction Technology International Conference & Exhibition (UCT) and dedicated to providing objective information about sewer infrastructure rehabilitation – has become a standard part of the annual UCT.

However, the familiar route of information stations was different at UCT 2020 in Fort Worth, and comments were overwhelmingly positive.

“The RehabZone this year had a much different look with the new floor plan,” said Clayton Muenchmeyer, 2020 RehabZone chairman. “Attendance was good, and we were busier than ever.

“I believe the open floor plan was more inviting. And, placing the demonstration area in the middle of the ’Zone enabled visitors to see the demos while walking through the RehabZone, and the new layout increased the flow of traffic.”

Varied crowd

There was a very good mix of people going through the ‘Zone, Muenchmeyer continued.

“I believe it was the best balance of attendees that I’ve seen in years,” he said. “We always have a lot of engineers and college engineering students, and they were here as usual. But there were more field personnel than in the past.

“Also attending were tour groups of local middle school and high school students, and I thought it was fantastic. It is very important to educate our students, who will be our future regarding technologies.”

The Cutter Challenge, where attendees can see how quickly they can reinstate a lateral compared to their peers, drew large crowds. Muenchmeyer estimated about five times as many people saw and participated with that event than compared to the previous year.

“We actually had to take names and phone numbers, so we could text the participants to let them know that a station was open for them,” he said.

Educational stations included the NASSCO Pipeline Assessment Certification Program (PACP) and Inspector Training Certification Program (ITCP), closed circuit television (CCTV), bypass pumping, sectional CIPP lining, joint and seal repairs, water main lining, lateral lining, grouting, root control, manhole linings and coatings, emerging technologies and a new safety station.

Stations were staffed at all times by industry professionals to provide generic information and answer questions.

“Volunteers were great,” Muenchmeyer said. “The committee members really stepped up and were a critical part of set up and breakdown, and also managing the Cutter Challenge. The non-committee volunteers did a great job as technical advisers.”


The RehabZone is sponsored by NASSCO (National Association of Sewer Service Companies) and Underground Construction magazine, in cooperation with the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Trenchless Installation of Pipelines and Pipeline Infrastructure Systems technical committee and the Water Environment Federation’s Collection System Committee. It is funded by participating companies.

A key to the RehabZone’s success continues to be its unique “no-sell” approach, whereby industry competitors cooperate in providing generic information without promoting individual brands or products.

The committee already is looking ahead to next year’s UCT and RehabZone. “It will be the RehabZone’s 20th anniversary,” Muenchmeyer said, “and we are planning a celebration to make it a very special event. We will continue with the new floor plan, as the feedback was very positive and it seemed to increase traffic flow.”

Opportunities and modifications are being considered to make the 2021 RehabZone even better.

“We will look at making some adjustments so we can run the Cutter Challenge while demonstrations are in progress,” he said. “This year, we had to stop the Cutter Challenge during demos because of the noise. That noise also attracted people, and many entered at the exit to see what was going on.”

The 2021 UCT and RehabZone will be held Jan. 26–28 at the Music City Convention Center in Nashville, Tenn. Muenchmeyer, who is a specialty equipment trainer at Michels, will serve again as RehabZone chairman. •

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