Island Utility Lifts Tower to Improve Water Delivery
Water, water everywhere, and not enough pressure to run all the restaurant dishwashers at the same time.
Water, water everywhere, and not enough pressure to run all the restaurant dishwashers at the same time. That may be a bit of an exaggeration, but on South Bass Island in Lake Erie, about 21/2 acres of land surrounded by 9,910 square miles of water, the popular tourist village of Put-in-Bay didn’t have enough water pressure to serve the increasing demands of its approximately 700 residents and thousands of tourists.
In addition, the aging water system on the island was getting a thorough overhaul, in part sparked by an outbreak of gastrointestinal illness in 2005 that was tied to poor water quality.
As a final part of the village’s water system refurbishment, the increasing demand for water by island businesses was addressed by making changes to the village’s water tower, including raising the storage tank.
Put-in-Bay hired Phoenix/Pittsburg Elevated Tank, a water tank manufacturer and service provider, who sought the help of All Erection & Crane Rental Corp., based in Cleveland, OH, who supplied two cranes to do the heavy lifting—88,000 pounds, to be exact.
William Collins, Field Superintendent of Phoenix/Pittsburg, collaborated with All Erection to raise the 128-foot water tank to increase water pressure.
“The simplest and usually the most efficient way to increase pressure in a water delivery system is to add more height to the water column, as you gain one pound of pressure for every 2.4 feet of additional height,” Collins said.
Originally the village wanted to raise the tower by 35 feet, but because of restrictions by the FAA related to the island’s airport, the approved increase was set at 20 feet.
Collins had called All, the largest privately owned crane rental and sales company in North America, because he had worked successfully with the company on previous, similar water tank raises—but none as logistically complicated as this. He entrusted the job to two of the company’s seasoned crane experts, Eric Wegner and Rich Randell, and their knowledge of the right equipment to plan the perfect pick and their ability to keep the job moving and on schedule.
One catch. How do you move a 500-ton crane and its sidekick 80-ton crane 12 miles across a great lake to a small island? And how do you maneuver such large equipment once you get there?
You put the 500-ton crane on a barge and the 80-ton crane and the counterweights on a ferry. To accommodate the tight location, smaller turning radius, and infrastructure of the island, you use small daycab semi trailers instead of large sleeper cab trailers to move the equipment onto the site. All this takes careful planning and coordination between the contractor, the crane company, and even the ferry and barge companies that serve the island.
The complete job took four days, from April 14-17, 2008. Moving the equipment by barge and ferry went off with out a hitch, even though the barge was held up by too-windy conditions on the lake one day. The pick took two days: one to remove the sections of the water tower and add the new 20-foot extender section of the water column, and one day to reassemble the tower.
“All’s crane operator did a great job. All should be proud to have him and the knowledge he brings to the table,” Collins said.
The lift took two days: one to remove the sections of the water tower and add the new 20-foot extender section of the water column, and one day to reassemble the tower.
- Liebherr LTM 1400-7.1, 500 ton
- Seven-axle all-terrain mobile crane
- Main boom 118 ft., with guided telescopic boom attachment, 13-ft. insert, and 92-ft. luffer
- 220,500 lbs. total counterweight
- Total picking radius approximately 55 ft.
- Grove TMS-800, 80-ton hydraulic truck crane
The LTM 1400-7.1 was specified not only for its capacity but also for being one of the most compact cranes in its class, with exceptional maneuverability. The pick was planned by the two crane experts with the assistance of All’s Compu-Crane 3D lift simulation software. Lift simulation software recreates the environment of the lift to help the crane specialist specify the proper crane, outrigger load bearing pressures, crane capacities, and percentages of the crane’s capacity to be used, thereby increasing safety and reducing cost. WW
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