Reservoirs are an invaluable component of water availability for any locality, as they provide an abundant source of potable water during droughts and periods of limited water availability. While many reservoirs are natural or manmade lakes, some are also completely manmade, underground structures that are closed off from the outside. One such underground reservoir in Texas suffered minor damage in the aftermath of an earthquake, revealing a crack in the reservoir’s concrete and epoxy sealant. The city’s water department had hired a construction firm to grind down the crack and reseal the area, but they had one major issue that needed to be addressed: since the reservoir was a confined space, it would require significant ventilation for it to be safely occupied by construction workers. The scorching Texas heat would also make the space unbearably hot. Knowing they needed a reliable partner to provide ventilation, cooling, and other needs for the project, the construction firm contacted Mobile Air & Power Rentals for help.
The original request for equipment had started relatively small, only needing a few rental air conditioners and a generator to power the units, although the job quickly grew to including more generators, power distribution equipment, air movers, and even lights to facilitate the grinding and coating process. One dedicated member of our team spent a couple of days over the span of a few weeks installing all of the equipment, and it was not without its challenges. The reservoir was located inside the face of a mountain, and the only access was on a roof far up a rocky hill that lacked any real road. Two 40-ton air conditioners had to be brought up the hill by an all-terrain forklift, and since equipment could not be placed on the reservoir’s roof, the units had to be staged about 35 feet away on the hill itself. Additionally, the two existing openings on the roof were reserved for employee and equipment access, so a company was hired to make two holes in opposite corners of the roof for ducting. Since the grinding process produced hazardous particulates, inside air couldn’t be recycled, and the AC units could only cool outside air before being vented in.
The air conditioners weren’t the only problematic part of the install. The rental generators had to be staged at the bottom of the hill, so thousands of feet of cable had to be used to bring power up to the reservoir. Inside the reservoir, spider boxes were used to give construction workers flexibility with their power availability, and 7000 lumen LED lights were used to illuminate the work area. Lastly, several 4-foot air movers were placed to help circulate the air. Containments were also used around the generators to prevent any potential spillage from entering the soil and overall environment. Overall, three generators were used: a 220 kVA generator powered the air conditioners, a 150 kVA unit powered the construction firm’s grinding equipment, and a 45 kVA unit powered a nearby security building.
While the grinding process is complete, meaning that equipment is slowly being taken off the site, the coating will need time to cure. The air must be between 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit to properly cure, so the air conditioners and two of the generators will remain onsite until the job is completely finished. The rental cooling and ventilation solution is expected to be in place for a total of four months. Thanks to the help of Mobile Air & Power Rentals, this construction firm was able to perform critically important work on a Texas city’s reservoir.