This article also appeared in Water Online.
Running under the lights and sounds of the Las Vegas Strip are miles and miles of water pipelines. Managing and maintaining the main supply of water to this area is a Rate of Flow Control Station (ROFCS) operated by the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA). This ROFCS alone has the ability to deliver up to 180 million gallons of water a day.
When it came time for the SNWA to install new gate valves at the station as part of an overall upgrade, the water authority had a choice – continue using the large diameter rubber seated butterfly valves that had been in its system for years or move to AMERICAN Flow Control’s resilient wedge gate valves. With its high pressure rating, three moving parts, zero allowable leakage, lower operating torques and a resilient seat that is more durable to line debris, the AFC Series 2500 was SNWA’s valve of choice. The water authority installed three 48-inch AFC resilient wedge gate valves at the ROFCS in late 2018.
“It is important that we have the ability to quickly isolate the line, change out a seal and be back in business supplying water to the Las Vegas Strip.” – SNWA In-Valley Mechanical Supervisor Ray McElroy
One benefit of this project is it gives the SNWA flexibility to isolate the water flow at the ROFCS station as needed. Previously for work to be performed in the station, the line had to be drained, which led to water loss. With the AMERICAN resilient wedge gate valves, the line can quickly and easily be isolated. In addition, the resilient wedge gate valves give the water authority flexibility and ease when it comes to repairs. “It is important that we have the ability to quickly isolate the line, change out a seal and be back in business supplying water to the Las Vegas Strip,” said Ray McElroy, SNWA In-Valley mechanical supervisor.
A challenge of the project was the height restrictions of the ROFCS, which was built around the equipment installed within it about 40 years ago. AMERICAN was the only manufacturer that met this height requirement for the valves. “Access to the station was tight,” McElroy said. “We had to cut some of the piping in order to get the valves into the flow station and installed.”
This was SNWA’s first use of AMERICAN’s large resilient wedge gate valves. “We received the valves ahead of time,” McElroy said. “The whole job was estimated to take 14 days, but we ended up completing it in seven.”
The SNWA was formed in 1991 by seven local water and wastewater agencies to address water issues on a regional – rather than individual – basis. The water authority manages treatment and delivery for Las Vegas and the surrounding areas, and currently serves more than 2.2 million residents in Southern Nevada and has the ability to treat and deliver 900 MGD.