Keeping Your Tap Water Clean: Environmental Considerations for Reservoir Pipeline Repairs

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Leaky pipes are never good news, but when the pipe in question supplies drinking water to thousands of people, the problem takes on a new level of seriousness. Thus, when a New England Water Authority identified a leak in one of their reservoir pipelines, it wasn’t just a simple fix for the local plumber. Inspecting and repairing such a leak necessitated the diversion of water from the pipe via the use of water pumps, which in turn required a temporary source of power.

With nine water pumps in place and ready to be powered, the reservoir’s pump contractor called upon American Spot Cooling & Power Rental to provide the necessary rental power supply. Since the reservoir must be free of any pollutants, the job required vital environmental considerations and had to comply with various regulations. ASCAPR’s gas powered rental generators needed to be at least 100 feet away from any water, and had to be contained within berms in order to contain any possible equipment leakage.

A team of four technicians spent three days on-site installing the rental equipment. Land had to be cleared and covered with pads to provide stable support for nine generators, each supplying up to 500 kilowatts. 10,000 feet of rental cable supplied power to the contractor’s variable frequency drive controllers, and additional cabling ran to the pumps. Since the generators had to be a significant distance away from the water and pumps, the power cables were run through 18 inch high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipes, partially buried underground.

Once American Spot Cooling & Power Rental had finished the installation, the water supply successfully bypassed the damaged pipe and the Water Authority could make their repairs over the next five months. During that time, the pump contractor hired 24/7 maintenance staff to monitor the site. The pumps operated during the winter, so part of that maintenance included freeze protection measures for all of the equipment. Additionally, American Spot Cooling & Power Rental provided 250 hours of maintenance service including oil changes, filter changes, and leak inspections, although with extreme care due to the environmental considerations of the job.