Product demonstrations are one of the many ways ART can show our customers the power of OBIC’s customizable lining systems. We ask potential customers to provide a leaking manhole and our team comes out and demonstrates the rehabilitation process from start to finish. 

Rusty Hesselschwardt, business development at ART, has more than 26 years of experience working in underground construction and sewer rehabilitation services, but even he was surprised at the state of the manhole Altoona Water Authority selected for a product demonstration. “We can typically complete a manhole rehabilitation demonstration in a couple of hours, but this one took us a lot longer,” said Rusty. “They gave us a tough one, but we rose to the challenge.”

The sewer manhole that Ron Smith, resident project representative/I&I coordinator at Altoona Water Authority, selected for the product demonstration had severe infiltration issues, but it was not unique. As a matter of fact, the township’s entire wastewater system was made up of very old, brick manholes that were all suffering from heavy infiltration. 


Solutions for manholes with heavy infiltration issues

Altoona’s infrastructure is made up of brick sewer manholes that were installed in the 1930s and 1940s. According to Rusty, this meant that ART was faced with some of the most challenging manholes they had ever seen. “Similar to the one we used for our manhole lining demonstration, they all had severe infiltration issues, but were still in good shape overall,” said Rusty. “The craftsmanship that went into building these old brick manholes always amazes me.” 

In honor of that excellent craftsmanship, ART technicians arrived on the job with a mission to extend the life of these brick manholes for another 50-75 years. The first step was to stop the leaks long enough for the OBIC lining system to be applied. “In order for the manhole lining system to properly adhere, we need a dry surface,” said Rusty. “This was a challenge in Altoona, but one we were prepared to tackle.” 

After carefully considering the construction material, soil type and level of infiltration, ART technicians were able to choose from a complete line of OBIC grouts. Designed specifically to stop groundwater infiltration in water and wastewater systems, technicians were able to apply the manhole lining system to a completely dry surface. Ultimately ensuring protection against future leaks for the next several decades. 


Professionalism and customer service is a priority

At ART, we make customer service a priority. This begins with the planning stage when we work with township representatives, engineers and other contractors. It also extends to working with residents and community members. “A lot of times, people know they can turn the water on at the faucet and flush a toilet, but they don’t really understand how the infrastructure works,” said Rusty. “It is our job to help educate the community. That includes everything from presenting at board meetings to talking to residents who are concerned about the work we are doing in their backyard.” 

When asked about his experience working with ART, Ron’s response was, “very positive. Rusty Hesselschwardt was very informative, and all the ART crew members were skilled and professional. I would hire ART again if needed and would recommend them to others.” 

Sign up for a free product demonstration

If you are interested in learning more about Advanced Rehabilitation Technology or OBIC spray-applied manhole lining systems, we encourage you to sign up for a free product demonstration. These customized demonstrations take about an hour and can also be used to meet the CEU requirements for engineers. Did we mention that all professionally installed, multi-layer systems and OBIC Armor systems also include a 10-year manufacturing warranty? 

See first-hand how our manhole lining systems can stop infiltration and restore structural integrity. Sign up for a free product demonstration at or call 419-636-2684.