Team Donates Equipment, Time to Boy Scout Camp

A group of manufacturers, engineers, contractors and suppliers in Oklahoma recently donated time, equipment and services to build a water distribution system and waste treatment facility for a Boy Scout camp serving Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana.

A group of manufacturers, engineers, contractors and suppliers in Oklahoma recently donated time, equipment and services to build a water distribution system and waste treatment facility for a Boy Scout camp serving Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana.

The crew included members from McElroy Manufacturing, Horizon Engineering of Tulsa, Cooper Wholesale of Pryor, and H. Armstrong of Talihina. The system was needed to accommodate new buildings and a new swimming pool. It was constructed almost entirely of polyethylene pipe (PE).

The concept for new camp facilities began last year when Camp Tom Hale was designated as the one resident camp for eighteen counties in the Indian Nations Council of Boy Scouts of America service area. To accommodate the growth in scout membership, the council approved a $1.2 million remodeling and construction project to support the 3,000-plus Boy Scouts expected over a period of eight one-week sessions by the year 2000.

The council’s building committee planned several improvements and additions to the campground, including an 8,000-square-foot dining hall, a swimming pool, nine shower and bathroom buildings, and a new dual-feed water distribution and sewer disposal system.

The complete rehabilitation and expansion of the camp’s infrastructure included PE water mains, service lines, force main sanitary services, and gravity/force main sewers. Since the camp’s aging galvanized steel pipe system could not accommodate the new facilities, 3.5 miles of new pipe was required.

The first challenge was working within restrictive parameters. The goal was to find the most cost-effective solution for the project, while using available resources to meet the 60-day deadline. The project coordinator said they chose to install a PE system because it is virtually leak free and requires little to no maintenance.

Traditional methods would have required the use of rigid pipe, manholes, and gravity lines which require larger pipe sizes, additional fittings, cleanouts, and grades which are time consuming and expensive to install. Using traditional methods would also require more labor and time, which was not a suitable option for the volunteer crew.

The poor working conditions were another obstacle. The camp’s terrain, which consisted of rocky hills with acidic soil, had limited space for trucks and large equipment. There was only one two-lane road to accommodate traffic, which made it a challenge to dig the trenches and road-cuts, fuse and lay the pipe, and connect the water and sewer services.

To keep costs down, the engineer chose to install small diameter PE pipe donated by Cooper Wholesale. The chosen PE fittings were 6-inch and 2-inch ball valves, and 2-inch and 3/4-inch corporate stops. Another unique dimension of the project was the use of American Pipeline Accessories’ Philmac Fuse-A-Corps, a fused in place corp stop.

To help speed construction, the installation crew pulled the pipe into position up the steep hills and alongside the road while waiting for the trenches to be dug in inaccessible areas. They fused the pipe above ground before the 36-inch-by-42-inch deep trenches were completely constructed to save downtime.

The 4-inch sanitary sewer lines served as gravity lines. Each restroom facility has a small lift station with a grinder pump that feeds into the gravity line. The sewer lines for the restrooms and dining hall were installed down a large hill and collected at a central location. A central lift station pumps the waste to a nearby lagoon.
The 6-inch PE water distribution system was used as an underground storage system in conjunction with an existing water tower built at the camp’s highest point. This will allow for increased storage during the summer months without the added cost of a second water tower.

PE pipe was chosen to keep the water from becoming stale in the water main during the summer, and to eliminate corrosion during the seven months when the pipe is not in use. PE material eliminates any rusting caused by pipe leaks and a pro-longed absence of use. Since Oklahoma’s building codes require the installation of PVC directly under buildings, 2-inch PVC and 2-inch HDPE transitions were used to attach the gravity lines to the lift stations.

The crew created a dual-feed system by encircling the camp with the PE water line. The installation of seven 6-inch ball valves will keep the water pressure constant throughout the camp, and will allow crews the ability to isolate different sections of the main for new construction or maintenance.

Despite the constant setbacks from traffic congestion and adverse weather, the four-to-eight person crew successfully completed the installation of an average of 850 feet of 6-inch, and 1,000 feet of 4-inch PE pipe each day. It took 32 working days to complete the entire 3.5-mile project, allowing the crew to successfully complete its portion of the project 24 hours before the first campers arrived.

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