City’s sewer maintenance group finds a cost-effective, long-term solution to broken adjusting rings

Three years after installing IPEX LifeSaver Manhole Adjusting Rings on a busy city street, The City of Windsor, Ontario, in Canada, believes it has found the answer an effective solution to the expensive and labour-intensive replacement of broken adjusting rings. Since 1997, Windsor’s Sewer Maintenance Division has used Lifesaver Rings for the construction and reconstruction of almost 200 manholes.


The LifeSaver Ring is a new concept. It is a lightweight, 100% recycled polyethylene ring built to withstand the rigors of heavy traffic loading, freeze/thaw cycles and corrosive sewer gas.


Pete Matheson, Sewer Superintendent, explains. “Windsor has to deal with the highest volume of truck traffic on their streets of any municipality in Canada. Combine this loading with the high frequency of freeze/thaw cycles and the traditional adjusting rings and mortar simply cannot stand up. There is a manhole on a main road located in the wheel track of the truck lane that had to be rebuilt every three to four years using concrete adjusting rings. We installed LifeSaver Rings three years ago and there has been absolutely no deterioration of the rings to date. We purposely installed LifeSavers in this demanding location to determine if they would stand up to the severe loading.”


Pete also recognizes the reduction in potential liability due to the ease of installing LifeSaver Rings. “Using concrete adjusting rings and mortar, the traffic lane could be closed for as much as three days,” he says, “resulting in major inconvenience to the motorists and the potential for accidents due to the detour. We have found that we can install the rings much more quickly since they are lighter and don’t rely on mortar or shims to set the casting accurately to grade. The completed installation can be backfilled, paved immediately and reopened to traffic.”

“We have found that we can install the rings much more quickly since they are lighter and don’t rely on mortar or shims to set the casting accurately to grade.”

– Pete Matheson, Sewer Superintendent


Another big advantage of the LifeSaver Adjusting Ring system is that it is watertight when installed properly. The system incorporates a sealant between the manhole, individual rings and the casting to provide a waterproof installation.


Windsor’s Sewer Maintenance Supervisor, Charlie Armstrong, oversees the crews using the rings. Charlie comments, “The weight and durability of the LifeSaver Rings is a big advantage. When using concrete rings, heavy equipment is needed to handle the bundles and breakage is common. And we know that if we ever damaged a LifeSaver Ring, which is unlikely. it would be replaced by IPEX, no questions asked. The rings, using a combination of flat and sloped, provide a very accurate final grade for the casting. We don’t need shims or frost-susceptible mortar to adjust the casting.”


So if you’re frustrated with having to continually dig up relics from the past, use LifeSaver Manhole Adjusting Rings. You will soon realize the benefits that progressive municipalities like Windsor are enjoying.