AMERICAN works to meets seismic standards in Oregon

AFS Corporate Member AMERICAN Cast Iron Pipe Company (Birmingham, Alabama) and Oregon’s Joint Water Commission (JWC)—owned in partnership by the cities of Hillsboro, Forest Grove, Beaverton, and the Tualatin Valley Water District —worked together to design a water-delivery pipeline for an area that has averaged nearly one earthquake per week during the past year.

The JWC treats, transmits and stores drinking water for more than 365,000 customers and operates the largest conventional water treatment plant in Oregon.

However, due to population growth, the JWC needed to strengthen the water plant infrastructure and increase capacity from 75 MGD (million gallons per day) to 85 MGD while factoring in a potential future capacity of 105.

To meet the challenge, AMERICAN sales engineers worked closely with project engineering firm Jacobs (formerly CH2M), general contractor Slayden Constructors Inc. (a subsidiary of MWH Constructors) and the JWC to design a ductile iron pipe system to achieve the JWC’s aggressive goals.

Because the state of Oregon requires new and retrofitted construction to meet rigorous seismic safety standards, this project sets a precedent for earthquake-resistant treatment plants in the Pacific Northwest.

“We provided a variety of 24-in. to 48-in. Flex-Ring pipe and fittings,” said Jeff Blakely, AMERICAN senior sales engineer. “The design we helped develop is capable of withstanding 22 in. of permanent ground deformation due to liquefaction (a destabilization that occurs when saturated soil loses its firmness) during a seismic event.”

Robert Montgomery, senior project manager for Slayden Constructors Inc. said, “AMERICAN worked with the engineering team (from Jacobs) even before the project went out to bid. Then, AMERICAN came out and did a class for our installation people because the earthquake-resistant system is such a new thing. That was very helpful.”

The project will be completed via an alternative delivery model known as Construction Manager/General Contractor (CM/GC). This method allows the owner to engage a construction manager during the design process to provide constructability input.

Completion is scheduled for October.