Ductile Iron the Product of Choice for Birmingham Water Works’ 4,000 Miles of Pipe

AMERICAN provided 7,160 feet of 36-inch cement-lined ductile iron pipe and three 36-inch resilient wedge gate valves for Carson Loop Phase 6B.

Owner: The Birmingham Water Works Board (BWWB)

Project Summary: The Birmingham Water Works Board is the largest water utility in the state of Alabama, providing water to approximately 600,000 people across the Greater Birmingham area. Its service area is about 759 square miles and contains about 4,000 miles of pipe.

The BWWB has an aggressive capital improvement program to support growth, maintain and repair infrastructure, meet government regulations, increase the safety of its facilities, and maintain performance/efficiency. When pipe needs to be added or replaced, the Water Board’s material of choice is ductile iron cement-lined pipe, according to Douglass Stockham, BWWB manager of system development.

Two recent BWWB projects aimed at supporting growth and improving efficiency involve the use of AMERICAN Ductile Iron Pipe and AMERICAN Flow Control products. Read more about these projects below.

Coalburg Road Widening

Construction on the network of roads, ramps and bridges that will connect Birmingham, Alabama, and Memphis, Tennessee, began several years ago and is estimated to be complete in spring 2016. The $168 million Interstate-22/Corridor X is expected to bring new industry and business to the northwest portions of the Greater Birmingham area once it connects to Interstate-65.

One of the last phases of the project involved widening Coalburg Road from Daniel Payne Blvd. to the I-22 interchange, which required the BWWB to relocate existing infrastructure. Because of the anticipated economic growth north of and at the I-22 interchange, the BWWB replaced the existing 12-inch water main with a 20-inch main to meet future demand. The project was completed July 2015.

Installed on the project were 9,000 feet of 20-inch AMERICAN cement-lined ductile iron pipe and several 20-inch AMERICAN Flow Control resilient wedge gate valves. BWWB designed the project, and B&H Contracting Inc. was the pipeline contractor.

“AMERICAN employees ensured all aspects of the BWWB’s dealings with AMERICAN were satisfactory – from the ordering to delivery/pickup and during installation,” said Stockham. “Our customer service representative is great to work with and makes sure our orders are made and received in a timely manner.”

Carson Loop Phase 6B

The Carson Loop Project is an initiative to link all parts of the water system and provide a backup supply when demand is high or sources are down. Once complete, the pipeline will be able to deliver up to 8 million gallons a day (MGD) from Carson Filter Plant to southern portions of the BWWB service area.

The multi-year project is being completed in phases, and the most recent, Phase 6B, was completed in January 2015. For this phase, AMERICAN Ductile Iron Pipe provided 7,160 feet of 36-inch cement-lined ductile iron pipe, and AMERICAN Flow Control provided three 36-inch resilient wedge gate valves. The consulting engineer for Phase 6B was Volkert Inc. in Birmingham, and the pipeline contractor was Rast Construction Inc. of Birmingham.

“The Carson Loop Project started several years ago and is about 70-75 percent complete,” said Stockham. “The overall goal of the pipeline project is to reduce the raw water withdrawal at Lake Purdy during periods of high demand and drought, and to provide operational flexibility in the distribution system.”

Once complete, the Carson Loop Project will link all parts of the water system and provide a backup supply when demand is high or sources are down.