City of Joliet undergoes system upgrade

April 9, 2019

Metropolitan Ind. supplied the city of Joliet with prefabricated housed systems and custom services to upgrade water systems for residents and businesses


In conjunction with Joseph J. Henderson, general contractor and engineer of Baxter & Woodman, Metropolitan Ind. supplied the city of Joliet with a sanitary lift station to upgrade the existing service to residences and businesses on the west side of Joliet. The prefabricated housed system replaced the original infrastructure with a new, prefabricated valve station and control house designed to handle flow from a new four pump lift station.

A maximum of three pumps are expected to run while the fourth pump acts as a backup in the event that one pump is out-of-service. Heavy flow comes into the West Park site in Joliet, so it was important to have a fourth pump installed.

The Process

There was effort that went into completing the nearly 20 ft wide by 32 ft long building. The building is fully customized to fit the specifications from the City of Joliet Public Works Department.

Metropolitan Ind. supplied the building and the 12 in discharge piping inside, including connection to three existing force mains through a 24 in header assembly and electrically-actuated plug valves to direct the flow. Also updated were the valves and flow metering, which are now above ground, eliminating the need for confined space entry.

The off-load process was unique because the building had to be off-loaded at the street and reach the entire distance to the new station site. Proper communication between these systems and Public Works employees was required in assuring all pumps and controls throughout the city are working properly.

To give the city of Joliet comfort until the city’s SCADA communication system is upgraded and installed, Metropolitan installed MetroMail, an alarm and messaging system. The temporary communication system was installed within one day and by the afternoon the owner was receiving text messages.

According to Pete Bjerning, general contractor at Joseph J. Henderson, the biggest challenge was identifying the layout of the piping and matching it exactly to the site conditions.

“The whole process of installing a prefabricated building was new to us and we were very happy with how it turned out”, Bjerning said. “We were glad to see that everything came out well with the building when it was delivered and there were no major issues getting the piping to line up. It was a bonus to have the manufacturer (Metropolitan) local as well,” Bjerning said.

The Challenge

Jim Snell, engineer at Baxter & Woodman, agreed that getting the seven pipes to line up smoothly was the biggest challenge. Snell also said keeping the old lift station live while the project was going on was a major challenge that ended in success.

“We were very lucky to have a great client in the city of Joliet,” Snell said. “They are a great city to work with.”

The Solution

What these turnkey solutions mean to our customers is faster construction times and lower project costs.

The problem sometimes facing owners and engineers is a lack of usable indoor space at facilities. One of the only practical options available is to house the valves, meters and controls together in a massive facility similar to a house and ultimately mount the housed system outside. Other considerations that are taken into account is having the facility be able to handle the regions' harsh winter environment.

The System

The housed control/valve structure was manufactured at Metropolitan and then delivered to its site location where the roof was installed.

Prefabricating the system in-house provides the added benefit of having a controlled environment during the manufacturing process and allowing delivery on time and on budget. Prefabricating a system such as buildings like this benefits the customer by eliminating scheduling, logistics and varying site conditions.

We have the ability to help customers visualize finished products. Our knowledge and experience in pumping and mechanical equipment joined with our engineering and fabrication capabilities allow us to manufacture complete housed systems. We use control technologies to create custom solutions best suited to fit the applications of our customers.

Throughout design and manufacturing, we utilize the latest technologies and quality components with the goal of providing a reliable and long-lasting system. All steps of the fabrication process are conducted and tested at our manufacturing facility.

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