Fusible PVC Meets Challenge of Restricted Right-of-Way

Like many small municipal water authorities, the Beech Creek Borough Authority in Clinton County, Pennsylvania, is always looking for ways to increase their revenues.

Th 280592

by Mark Garlick and Brian McDowell

Like many small municipal water authorities, the Beech Creek Borough Authority in Clinton County, Pennsylvania, is always looking for ways to increase their revenues. Since the simplest way to do so is to enlarge their customer base (provided there is sufficient capacity), the authority was very willing to accommodate a developer’s request to extend service to a proposed six-lot residential subdivision.

Th 280592
Underground Solution Inc. provided the PVC pipe and its fusion services for the project.
Click here to enlarge image

However, with no existing water lines in the immediate area of the proposed development, the developer was required to design and construct approximately 600 linear feet of water line to provide service to the development. He also was required to meet all the authority’s design requirements since he was intending to dedicate the new water line to the authority after construction.

Th 280593
Horizontal directional drilling was used to limit earth disturbance to the launch and receiving pits.
Click here to enlarge image

To extend water service to the proposed development, the water line had to either cross private property or be installed within the right-of-way of State Route 150, which was owned by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PENNDOT). In early discussions with the property owner, it was clear that receiving an easement was unlikely. Thus, the developer decided it was best to avoid private property and apply for a Highway Occupancy Permit to install the water line within PENNDOT’s right-of-way. Although PENNDOT was receptive, a temporary construction easement was needed from the property owner to install the water line using traditional methods and open-cut excavation. When an agreement could not be reached with the property owner to grant an easement, the developer began looking at alternative materials and means of installation.

Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) was selected as the installation method because areas of earth disturbance could be limited to the launch and receiving pits. High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) pipe was initially selected because it could be thermally fused and installed via HDD, but the authority would not accept the use of HDPE pipe because they wished to maintain material consistency within their system. Additionally, HDPE was not compatible with the standard service saddles, valves and fittings that the authority currently uses and stocks.

Still wishing to perform the installation via HDD, the developer proposed the use of Fusible C-900® PVC by Underground Solutions, Inc. (UGSI) of Cranberry Township, PA, and Poway, CA. UGSI’s Fusible PVC™ products, including C-900®, C-905® and FPVC™, provide a monolithic, fully restrained, gasket-free, leak-free, PVC piping system. This PVC system was accepted by the authority because it conformed to their standard, which calls for AWWA C900 PVC, DR 18, and was consistent with the authority’s standard repair clamps, fittings and accessories.

UGSI provided the pipe and its services to fuse the entire length of pipe prior to installation. The drilling and pipe installation was performed by Harger Utility Contractors, of Lock Haven, PA. The entire waterline was installed over a three-day period in August 2007.

As the Beech Creek Borough Authority’s engineer, Herbert, Rowland & Grubic, Inc. (HRG) reviewed the design plans and specifications provided by the developer and advised the authority on how to serve the community’s long-term best interests (including the use of consistent materials for the water system). HRG also field viewed the fusing/HDD operations.

About the Authors:

Mark Garlick, P.E., and Brian McDowell, E.I.T., design water and wastewater systems for public and private sector clients throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region as part of the Water and Energy Group of Herbert, Rowland & Grubic, Inc. They can be reached by phone at (814) 238-7117.

More in Infrastructure Funding