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Dr. Martin Bureau

Dr. Martin Bureau

Vice President, Innovation, SANEXEN

Benoit Côté

Benoit Côté


If there’s one thing the experts and scientists at SANEXEN are known for, it’s their unrelenting focus on ensuring safe, clean drinking water for generations to come. So when they developed their next generation of Aqua-Pipe water technology, they designed a game-changing, resilient solution that would not only fulfil this mission but also provide additional critical protection against water main rupture during earthquake-induced ground deformation.

Two men wearing hard hats at Cornell

Effectiveness proven through rigorous testing

To prove their water technology’s resilience to extreme seismic events, the team at SANEXEN knew they had to go big. SANEXEN partnered with several of North America’s leading environmental public and municipal utility services and the world-renowned research team at Cornell University’s Geotechnical Lifelines Large-Scale Testing Facility to see just how far it could push its technology before it would rupture.

The tests confirmed conclusively that the pipe with SANEXEN’s next-generation water technology was easily able to withstand large degrees of ground deformation and abrupt ground rupture. It would have even kept its integrity during the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, which caused extensive and long-lasting damage to the city’s water distribution system. 

With the results of the tests published, the experts weighed in. “The resilience achieved by the Aqua-Pipe water technology has surpassed everything we’ve tested so far. This is the best result we’ve seen and we actually achieved the maximum we could test. This new generation of water technology performed extremely well under extreme seismic forces,” says Dr. Thomas Denis O’Rourke, the Thomas R. Briggs Professor of Engineering in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Cornell University. 

“This is a game-changer for cities near fault lines along the west coast and earthquake-sensitive regions throughout the US and Canada. Aqua-Pipe can transform our water main and gas lines’ infrastructure from being a liability during an earthquake, to a utility that can be counted upon during a time of need,” adds Benoit Côté, President of SANEXEN WATER.

The right technology for our time

The timing couldn’t be better for the arrival of this new water technology. Right now, cities and communities around the globe are facing rapidly-deteriorating water infrastructure while experiencing increasingly complex and severe environmental conditions that threaten critical underground lifelines. On top of these challenges, lead in drinking water has become a global concern and communities are demanding that the problem be fixed. Luckily, this next generation of water technology is here to stay and to provide the peace of mind municipalities are looking for to ensure safe, clean, and protected drinking water for generations to come.

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