Customized, Pre-Fab Booster Station Key to Successful Upgrade

Water system management in Brownsburg, IN, reports a successful upgrade for pressure and flow reliability through installation of a customized, pre-fab booster station that was deployed simultaneously with increased water storage capacity.

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Water system management in Brownsburg, IN, reports a successful upgrade for pressure and flow reliability through installation of a customized, pre-fab booster station that was deployed simultaneously with increased water storage capacity.

The upgrade was needed to meet increasing demand for residential, commercial and industrial use that is continuing to develop, primarily at higher elevations. The resulting reliability gain includes use for fire protection, with a consequent improved rating expected to offer users further benefit by helping to control their insurance costs.

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A custom "bell" adapter provides connection from the booster station to the system's discharge line. The system serves about 7600 metered customers, 85% residential and the rest business, commercial, and industrial. Peak daily consumption is 2.8 mgd, with average at 1.6 mgd.
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The customized pre-fab booster station, including factory-assembled and tested controls, was manufactured by Flowtronex PSI Inc., an ITT Industries company, at its Dallas, TX, plant, and installed within a new storage tank that had been built concurrently at the site. Engineering services for the upgrade project were provided by Robert E. Curry & Associates of Danville, IN.

“We’ve been in full operation since November and have had great flow and pressure without any downtime,” reported Kevin Lee Servies, Brownsburg’s water superintendent. “Flowtronex came out three times to help us investigate pressure spikes, and we found the cause in each case to be just spikes in the power supply.

“We are now confident in our ability to reliably meet increasing demand from new residential and industrial development to the north, and also expect to gain an improved rating from the state Insurance Service Organization, which should offer our customers further benefit by helping to control their insurance costs.”

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To provide 24/7 storage for residential service at both higher and lower elevations, as well as industrial fire suppression up to 2400 gpm @72 psi for three hours, engineers specified that a three-pump booster station be installed within the base of the new storage tank.
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The Brownsburg system serves about 7600 metered customers, 85% residential and the rest business, commercial and industrial. Peak daily consumption is 2.8 mgd, with the average at 1.6 mgd. The town’s two water plants provide a total of 1,725 gpm and an additional 575 gpm is purchased.

Previously, the system relied only on a 120’ hydropillar storage tank to provide 56 psi at peak demand. But by 2003, with demand growing in higher elevations of the northern area, typical pressure had lowered to 38-42 psi. In new two-story homes, some with as many as five baths, upstairs pressure was as low as 32-34 psi. Meanwhile, an industrial park that had started in 2001 required fire flow capability of 1,800-2,200 gpm @ 20 psi min., and it was not yet half built out.

“We began to be concerned about approaching the 20 psi minimum mandated by the Indiana Deptartment of Environmental Management,” Servies said. “We increased our main sizes from 6", 8" and 10" to 12", 16" and 20", and now needed to isolate eight main feed valves to allow for steady 56 psi for the southern part of the service area, and also decided we needed a boost to 72 psi for the northern demand to create capability for the fire flows potentially needed there. We needed enough capacity for the largest building in the park and still provide for residential needs if we had to deploy it. Increasing our purchased flow wasn’t going to help enough.”

In response to the challenge of providing 24/7 storage need for residential service as well as fire suppression up to 2,400 gpm @ 72 psi for three hours, Curry & Associates specified a three-pump booster station, including in-line variable frequency drives (VFDs), to be installed within the base of a new storage tank in the north end of the service area that matched the height of the existing tank in the south.

Bob Curry, the engineering firm’s president, said a key feature of the booster station was its pre-assembled, pre-programmed, calibrated and tested automatic controls.

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A key feature of the pre-fab, skid-mounted, custom booster station is its pre-assembled, pre-programmed, calibrated and tested automatic controls, including pump panel (right) and SCADA telemetry panel (left).
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“The composite tank - steel on top of concrete to minimize painting maintenance - gave us a large diameter cylinder that was empty except for piping, providing an ideal place to install the booster station and take suction from the new tank,” he said. “Having the pump station is like having a second tank for the north end. And with the station’s controls already assembled, all we had to do was drop it into place and connect the piping and wiring. The VFDs give the system’s management the capability to adjust and maintain constant pressure, including at the higher elevation locations, as flow rates change.

“And with the pump station being custom pre-built in Texas, we were able to concurrently fabricate the booster station and the elevated water tank. This prevented having two different contractors working on the site at the same time, which would have been an invitation to damage.”

The firm hired Maddox Industrial Contractors of Indianapolis, IN, for installation with B.L. Anderson Company of West Lafayette, IN, subcontracting for equipment, which included modification of the existing SCADA system. The 20' x 10' pump station was provided skid-mounted for installation within the 60 foot diameter concrete section of the tank.

The Flowtronex station was selected in April 2004 and delivered in September 2004. Startup began during October and full operation was reached in November. The Insurance Service Organization is expected to visit for rating evaluation by the end of 2005 or in early 2006.

For further information on ITT Flowtronex pump systems, visit the company’s website at www.flowtronex.com. WW

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