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PPI honors top pipe projects

By: Catherine Kavanaugh

June 12, 2014

A work crew installing a snow melt system at Sun Valley Ski Resort in Idaho peaked when they put in 14,800 feet of cross-linked polyethylene tubing in a single day.

That’s more than twice the typical amount but their job in the valley of Bald Mountain wasn’t all downhill from there. The workers were still on a slippery slope with timing and had to keep making tracks.

In all, they installed 32 miles of tubing and fittings made by Viega, LLC. Of McPherson, Kan., in 73 days and completed the fast-paced job on time.

The new system controls snow melt on a 60,000-square foot area, improving safety for resort guests and saving energy.

That’s something to pipe up about.

Both Viega and Sun Valley resort were honored recently by the Plastics Pipe Institute (PPI) as 2014 project-of-the-year recipients in the building and construction division.

The trade association recognized four other projects for significant achievements in the conduit, corrugated pipe, energy piping and municipal/industrial divisions as well as four individuals for exceptional service.

The other award recipients were:

• Southwire Co., of Carrolton, Ga., which manufactures cable-in conduit made of high-density polyethylene. The Columbia Basin Electric Cooperative in Oregon used 20 miles of the conduit to reduce maintenance and power failures in an area plagued by fog, ice and other severe weather.

• Advanced Drainage Systems Inc. of Hilliard, Ohio, for its 60-inch diameter polypropylene pipe being used in a field test along a 3,000-foot stretch of levees and canals that are part of the Everglades Restoration Plan. HD Supply Waterworks of Thomasville, Ga., also is involved in the prototype project where 10 runs of 100 linear feet of ADS pipe were installed with vertical lift gates to provide east-west drainage through the levee. A maximum combined flow of 750 cubic feet per second with velocities up to three centimeters a second allows for pulse releases.

• Flexpipe Systems Inc. of Calgary, Alberta, Canada for its  reinforced thermoplastic pipe (RTP) being used in Australia to transport light crude oil from Queensland to an oil processing facility about 106 miles away. The pipeline is the first of its kind in the area and was considered a better alternative to trucking the liquids. The four-inch diameter pipeline is able to meet the high-pressure requirement of 1,500 psi and temperature of 180 degrees F and it cost half as much as steel pipe.

• ISCO Industries of Louisville, Ky., and McElroy Manufacturing Inc, of Tulsa, Okla., for providing an emergency solution for a water reuse project in drought-stricken Wichita Falls, Texas. The city had lost more than 70 percent of its water supply in a two-year period, affecting more than 140,000 people. The solution was a high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipeline fused together with McElroy units. The project creates purified water from 7-10 million gallons of treated wastewater normally released into the Wichita River. The water is diverted and sent through a 12-mile HDPE pipeline constructed by ISCO. It ends up at the Cypress Water Treatment Plant for extensive filtration, reverse osmosis and clarification. It is mixed with raw surface water and then treated again before it is supplied to the public.

• The PPI also recognized members who gave their time and expertise to the advancement and technical documentation of thermoplastic pipe. The PPI members of the year are Greg Bohn of ADS; Dick Kraft of Endot Industries, Rockaway, N.J.; Allison Crabtree of Dura-Line Corp., Knoxville, Tenn.; and Steve Tappan of Lyonde/Bassell Industries, Houston.