- Company: Anchor Construction Corporation
- Industry: Water/Wastewater
- Location: Baltimore City, Maryland
- Expected Completion Date: November 15, 2016
- Project Website
Replacement/repair of approx. 12,000 L.F. of city water main lines (6″-10″). Project includes: (1) installing/testing PVC temporary bypass above ground (2) excavation of trench to remove existing water mainlines, (3) replacing/testing CIPP water mainline per specifications, (4) replacing corresponding fittings/valves/meters, (5) Installing/replacing fire hydrants.
What impact does this project have on America?
Projects such as the one mentioned have a positive impact in cities/municipalities around the country. With the work that it is comprised of, the project helps maintain and stabilize local water systems. The water used by people every day for consumption/recreational use is directly from the city water system found underground. Over time, and due to many factors such as the material of the pipe, these water systems need maintenance/replacement. It is within the municipalities best interest to supply their residents/business owners with clean and harmless water. Clean water thins the risk of hazardous/harmful material reaching our homes.
What interesting obstacles or unusual circumstances did you overcome to complete the project?
(1) ACC received the notice to proceed in this work November 2014. Shortly after receiving this notice, the City Department of Public Works began receiving complaints from residents all over the city concerning the halt of water supply in their homes/businesses. Immediately, it was found out that the reason for these water pressure issues was the temperature above ground. The freezing weather outdoors was freezing water meters across the city, even though they can be found a couple feet below ground. ACC was asked to stop all water-main replacement work and begin replacing/thawing hundreds of water meters across the city. Relocating our focus from one task to another was not the challenge, but the amount of less time we had to complete WC-1264 as it was not an emergency contract. Nonetheless, thorough planning and schedule adjustments allowed ACC and subcontractors to carry on the water contract and complete it in time.
(2) Repairing/replacing these systems requires major planning due to the fact that they are not the only systems underground (communication, sewer, storm, electricity, gas…etc.). Moreover, these systems have been around for centuries (at the minimum), unlike the structures you may find above ground. Working around and under these existing structures makes some repairs/jobs interesting to overcome, keeping in mind the safety and best interest of the community.
What dangers and risks did you encounter, and describe any extraordinary methods used to keep workers safe?
The completed work has consisted of numerous risks that a contractor should be prepared for when in a project like WC-1264. As mentioned, work in these type of systems must be done within current conditions above and below ground. The biggest below ground risk is the damage that can be done to other systems within the job range. Hitting an existing gas line or pressurized water line can result in major property damage, bodily injury and even death. Excavating below an above ground structure without first considering bearing loads and shoring accordingly can also lead to injury or death. It is important that a contractor removes the risks of trench caving/collapsing by shoring each trench per the OSHA guidelines.
How did you leverage new technologies to work faster and reduce waste?
In contracts such as WC-1264, waste is produced through the dirt/soil being removed from the ground and the sewer system itself. Repairs in the water system may require proper use of equipment that will allow the system to continue its use by a community. Through the use temporary water bypass pipe, a contractor has the ability to carry on large repairs without interrupting the flow of water into residential homes and businesses. Without the use of flow mitigation, water supply would be interrupted for the entire length of the project. On the other hand, it may also be necessary to use equipment that will allow for pipe installation without having to dispose of soil in areas with high traffic patterns. For a job like this, conventional tunneling, and microtunneling is best used. These trenchless processes require the use of heavy equipment designed to penetrate any type of soil.