Pumps Help With Sewer Bypass Project

Sept. 19, 2008

About the author: Stephanie H. Morgan is technical writer for Godwin Pumps. Morgan can be reached at 856.467.3636 or by e-mail at [email protected].


In its 50-year history, the Clark County Water Reclamation District in Southern Nevada has grown to reclaim more than 100 million gal of water every day. As part of a massive pipeline rehabilitation project, the district moved east into the valley, where it uncovered a two-phase project that included rehabilitation of more than 44 miles of pipeline. This massive, $85-million emergency repair/replacement design-build project was steered by the local-based Las Vegas Paving.

“We are rehabilitating or replacing all of the pipelines within an area of four square miles,” said Bill Wellman, underground division manager for Las Vegas Paving. “But we couldn’t start on the replacement portion of the project until all flows into the reclamation plant were bypassed.”

Phase one of this 30-month project, the sewer bypass phase, involves 15 months of uninterrupted bypass using portable bypass pumps to temporarily re-route 127 million gal per day (mgd) of wastewater through an intricate network of 220,000 linear ft of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe. The goal of the bypass phase is to empty the pipes that normally discharge into the district’s central plant at Flamingo and Stephanie, so that crews can assess the condition of the underground lines and begin rehabilitation work that could involve relining or replacing existing lines. The bypass pumps need to reliably re-route the wastewater so that the district can continue normal operations while the rehabilitation or replacement proceeds.

Having worked with Godwin Pumps on various jobs, including a 112-mgd Phoenix bypass, Tom Foley, president of B & F Contracting, Inc., got the go-ahead from Wellman to reach out to Godwin.

Because of the length of the project, Wellman and the district made the decision to purchase the pumps instead of renting them. As a result, Godwin needed to manufacture an unprecedented 53 of its diesel-driven 12-in. and 18-in. critically silenced, automatic self-priming Dri-Prime pumps in 90 days, a narrow time window.

“A sales order of this magnitude is the manufacturing equivalent of a 100-year flood. We have worked very hard to make sure we would be prepared for something like this,” said Godwin President John Michael Paz. “But you can’t be certain until it comes…we understood the urgency expressed by Las Vegas Paving, and we did what we had to do to deliver our equipment on schedule.”

Godwin relied heavily on its alliance partnership with engine manufacturers Caterpillar and John Deere and its manufacturing facility in the United Kingdom to provide the pump end components. The pumps were manufactured in the U.S. and shipped to Las Vegas.

With the initial 53 pumps delivered in the timeframe, Las Vegas Paving has since ordered an additional 22 pumps, bringing the total to 75. The total pumping capacity of all machines combined exceeds 400 mgd, or 280,000 gal per minute.

Now working at 17 separate pumping locations, the pumps are operational and monitored 24 hours a day. The pumps are rated to handle an average daily flow of 127 mgd and a peak flow of 265 mgd of wastewater—more than doubling the capacity in Phoenix, compared with less than a decade earlier. Local Godwin distributor Water Movers, Inc., ensures pump reliability with its onsite assistance throughout the project.

“The primary suction pit at Desert Inn and Cabana has the largest concentration of pumps on this project,” said Water Mover’s Pete Martinez, Jr. “They have an excellent pump watch and maintenance schedule for the pumps, and I have been available to provide whatever support they need.”

Phase two of this project will involve the actual rehabilitation of existing lines, and the addition of three new, 84-in. lines intended to increase capacity in an effort to comfortably sustain future growth.

“Adding new lines while this project is already underway is a cost-effective and logical way to address future growth. The district did not want to tear up its roads and re-route traffic twice. Since we already need to get in to rehabilitate or replace existing pipe, we will be adding new lines that will help the district support new construction well into the future,” Wellman said.

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