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AMERICAN Seizes Rare Opportunity in a Big Way

Aug 20 , 2013
Water and Wastewater

AMERICAN ductile iron pipe and valves came together in a big way during a water main upgrade at the historic Omohundro Water Treatment Plant in Nashville, Tenn.

Completed in late 2012, the upgrade required 5,760 feet of AMERICAN ductile iron pipe – mostly 60-inch Lok-Ring restrained joint pipe – for a key water line leading from the Omohundro plant toward downtown Nashville. The new 60-inch main replaced twin cast iron lines that were installed in 1889 and 1927. AMERICAN also supplied five 60-inch Series 2500 resilient wedge gate valves

The Omohundro treatment plant is among Nashville’s oldest landmarks and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987. Not only is it one of the nation’s oldest waterworks icons, but for much of Nashville’s history, it was the city’s only facility of its kind.

Settlers in Nashville pumped water from a spring as early as 1826 to a public square reservoir through a water main made from hollowed locust and cedar logs. After fire destroyed that system, a new one was completed in 1833 and used until what eventually became the Omohundro plant opened in 1889. Initially a pumping station, the Omohundro plant began treating water in 1928 and was the only such facility in Nashville until the K.R. Harrington plant opened in 1978.

The Omohundro Water Treatment Plant became a household name in Nashville during the 2010 flood that rocked parts of the city. Flood waters overran the K.R. Harrington facility, putting it out of service and leaving only the Omohundro plant operating. Buffeted with sandbags, the Omohundro plant narrowly escaped the flood waters and was able to continue producing water.

Following the flood, however, there were concerns about the Omohundro facility’s aging water mains, some of which were more than 120 years old. “The (water main) project was a very high-profile job within our industry, and there were numerous stories in the local papers about it,” said David Bridge, a salesman with Hayes Pipe and Supply, a regional waterworks distributor of AMERICAN valves and hydrants founded in Nashville in 1973.

“There is no question that it's a plus to have the AMERICAN Flow Control product line.”David Bridge

The opportunity for one company – AMERICAN – to supply both 60-inch pipe and 60-inch valves for such a project is rare. Bridge acknowledged that Hayes Pipe and Supply is grateful that AMERICAN even makes a valve as large as 60 inches in diameter. “There is no question that it’s a plus to have the AMERICAN Flow Control product line,” Bridge said. “We have a great relationship with AMERICAN, and we’ve had it for years and years.”

The AMERICAN Series 2500 60-inch resilient wedge gate valves were chosen for the job over butterfly valves and offered several basic advantages. Their unobstructed waterway allows better flow characteristics, which in turn provides a savings in pumping costs. The unobstructed waterway also allows for cleaning of the line with “pigging” devices.

The new 60-inch water main ends at a tie-in to two existing 36-inch lines near the intersection of Lebanon Pike and Fesslers Lane. AMERICAN Lok-Ring pipe features an essentially boltless restrained joint that incorporates the well-known Fastite gasket for sealing. Restraint is provided by an alloy steel welded-on retainer ring and split Lok-Ring, which is assembled behind the retainer ring.

In addition to Lok-Ring pipe, AMERICAN supplied ten 60-inch Lok-Ring bends; two 60-inch by 36-inch Lok-Ring/Flex-Ring reducers and eight welded-on outlets. Pipe products were sold to Kansas City-based Garney Companies, general contractor for the project.

Additional valves for the project included four 36-inch and one 24-inch Series 2500 resilient wedge gate valves with mechanical joint ends, as well as assorted valves in smaller diameters and one American-Darling Mark 73-5 fire hydrant. All valves and hydrants were sold through Hayes Pipe and Supply.

Garney Companies’ website notes that AMERICAN “jumped through hoops” to ensure that the large-diameter pipe and valves were made and delivered on schedule. Garney, begun in 1961, also has a long running relationship with AMERICAN. According to Steve Ford, a Garney vice president based in Nashville, “(We have) maintained a strong strategic partnering relationship with AMERICAN for almost 40 years, a relationship based on trust, respect, teamwork, and open and honest communication.”

The Omohundro plant is part of Metro Water Services, a department of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County. Metro Water Services has more than 176,000 water accounts and more than 189,000 sewer accounts in Davidson County and portions of Rutherford and Williamson counties. The distribution system consists of more than 2,800 miles of water main in diameters up to 60 inches. The system has a capacity of 180 million gallons a day, 140 million of it coming from the Omohundro plant.

AMERICAN is proud to provide services and sustainable energy-saving products that will allow this historic facility to continue providing essential water to the people of Nashville.

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