Apr 02, 2008

Pumps for Pipes

In Orlando, Fla., a nationwide construction firm with local offices was called upon to remove and replace a 24-in. sewer force main along busy Sand Lake Road. The construction work began at the intersection of International Drive and Sand Lake Road and went east to Universal Boulevard.

A temporary sewer bypass system, complete with air-release valves, was designed to handle the flow of the existing force main while the contractor made the necessary repairs. Along with the temporary bypass system, a wellpoint dewatering system would be required to remove the groundwater to install the new force main section. The construction firm chose to partner with Thompson Pump for the bypass and wellpointing because of the success experienced on past construction work.

The Jobsite

Local Thompson Pump representatives delivered two 12-in. rotary wellpoint pumps to the jobsite. They brought sound-deadening curtain systems as well in order to reduce the noise levels from the pumps, as they would be installed very close to businesses, hotels and condominiums. The wellpoint system ran along the 1,800 ft of the jobsite from International Drive to Universal Boulevard along Sand Lake Road.

While the wellpoint systems were removing the groundwater for excavation, Thompson Pump crews from the Orlando, Sarasota and Port Orange, Fla., branches fused 1,800 ft of 18-in. high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe that would be used to bypass the existing force main. The HDPE pipe would connect to a working force main and bypass the main in need of repair. Further down Sand Lake Road, four more operating force mains would also connect to the temporary HDPE pipe bypass. The fusing of the HDPE pipe took about two days to complete.

Pipe in Place

Each 50-ft. length of pipe was brought to the fusing machine using a backhoe with a hook attachment. A chain was placed around the pipe, and the backhoe lifted the pipe into position on the fusing machine.

Once the pipe was in place, the fusing machine operator used hydraulic controls to maneuver the new pipe closer to the pipe that had been already fused. The fusing machine was equipped with tractor-type wheels to move the machine around. With both sections of pipe in place, a cutting blade was inserted between the two pieces of pipe to ensure that both surfaces were completely smooth and would mate properly, preventing any leaks.

Once both faces of pipe were cut smooth, a heating disc was inserted between the pipes for the actual fusing. With each pipe face at the desired heat, the faces were held together by hydraulics applying 400 psi on the pipe connection. A lip rose on both ends of the pipe as they were joined together.

Once the HDPE pipe was in place to bypass the force main, the construction of the force main went rapidly. The project was a great success.

About the author

Kirsten Petersen is marketing director for Thompson Pump. Petersen can be reached at 386.944.4145 or by e-mail at [email protected].