Easy Valve Installation

Ponca City, Okla., installs valves without water service interruption or loss of fire protection

The Water Distribution Div. of the Environmental Services Department in Ponca City, Okla., is responsible for providing potable water to approximately 11,000 residential customers, six rural water districts, and many commercial and industrial customers, including a food processor and a refinery. In order to increase water conveyance reliability, as well as minimize service interruption during emergency situations, the city decided to install three 24-in. valves on one of its main feed pipelines immediately downstream of the water treatment plant. 

Several Options

Due to the critical role of this major pipeline, the city was concerned that the majority of the community would be without water service or fire protection should any situation arise during the valve installation. The city carefully and thoroughly explored several options. The first was a traditional installation with a service shutdown; however, this option would result in a large affected area. Notifying the public could be expensive, boil orders would have to be made and the lack of fire protection during the installation would be a potential hazard. 

The second option was to line-stop the main, but this option had proven to be costly and time-consuming, as the process would take at least a week. In addition, there still would be service interruption, and six excavations would be required, due to thrust restraint issues.

Ponca City then asked its main supplier of distribution products, HD Supply (formerly Water Products), if it knew of a solution for installing the three 24-in. valves without water service interruption or loss of fire protection. HD Supply is the exclusive distributor for the Advanced Valve Technologies Inc. (AVT) EZ Valve system. HD Supply sells and performs services for utilities and businesses in pipe sizes 4 to 12 in.

Because the city’s pipe size was larger than the supplier could provide, HD Supply recommended that the city hire AVT to perform this challenging service. 

An Effective Choice

“By using the EZ Valve Insertion system, the City saved a tremendous amount of time and labor,” said Darwin Haney, utility maintenance superintendent of Ponca City. “There were no press releases to issue to the public, no loss of fire protection and no loss of service at any time during the 24-in. EZ Valve Insertions.” 

Haney recommended city crews’ full participation in the installation process in order to achieve the satisfactory efficiency and speed. Installing three 24-in. EZ Valve insertions in three days was a new record for AVT. 

It was determined that if the city had lost the feed on this line, a large section of town would have been without water, so there could be no problems allowed in the process. 

“Installing the EZ Valves in Ponca City’s distribution system had no effect on the city’s day-to-day operations and the community’s day-to-day life,” said Chris Murphy, AVT field supervisor. “It was amazing, the speed and ease of installation achieved by the city maintenance personnel and the AVT crew working together.” 

The end product used in this project is an AWWA-material-specified valve, with the same number of turns as a standard valve, ductile iron castings, ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber gaskets and resilient wedge gate. Stainless steel fasteners are the standard with this valve.

Kevin Murphy is president of Advanced Valve Technologies. Murphy can be reached at avtkev@aol.com or 877.489.4909.

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