Sep 28, 2010

Texas Fish Hatchery Replaces Pipes After Collapse

Pipe failure caused yearlong project delay

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) recently replaced 2 miles of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe with reinforced concrete pipe (RCP) after portions of the drainage system collapsed at the new John D. Parker East Texas Fish Hatchery near Jasper. Another 11,000 ft of pipe was determined to have questionable structural integrity.

The failure was discovered in April 2009 when inspectors found two sections of 60-in.- and 48-in.-diameter HDPE pipe that had collapsed under 10 to 17 ft of earth fill.

The project was delayed while legal issues over the damage were settled. It was determined that fish hatchery design firm HDR/FishPro would pay $3.2 million of the $3.3 million repair bill. Project completion is now scheduled for Spring 2011.

The $27 million hatchery, funded by the sale of freshwater fishing stamps, was designed to raise roughly five million Florida bass, blue catfish and bluegill every year.

“We came out of this deal with a drainage system that is much more rigid and robust than what we originally had, and that’s a good thing,” said Todd Engeling, TPWD’s chief of inland hatcheries.