CertainTeed pipe, horizontal directional drilling chosen for municipal water improvement project

A massive water infrastructure overhaul currently taking place in the Indiana city of Martinsville is using a winning combination -- horizontal directional drilling and CertainTeed® Certa-Lok C900/RJ PVC pipe -- to minimize disruption to residential areas and farmland...

VALLEY FORGE, PA, Nov. 6, 2008 -- A massive water infrastructure overhaul currently taking place in the Indiana city of Martinsville is using a winning combination -- horizontal directional drilling and CertainTeed® Certa-Lok™ C900/RJ PVC pipe -- to minimize disruption to residential areas and farmland.

The 21,000-foot project involves replacing old cast iron potable water pipes with 12-inch Certa-Lok C900/RJ, a restrained-joint PVC pipe, and connecting the community's rural homes with the City of Martinsville water supply. The City hired engineering firm Bonar Group, based in Fort Wayne, Ind., to design the new system, with on-site support from Holloway Engineering, of Mooresville, Ind. Though a large portion of the water lines goes through farmland, there were concerns that an open-trench pipe installation would disturb farmers' planting and harvesting, in addition to disrupting residential areas and local traffic. Because of this, Bonar Group called for the pipe to be installed via the trenchless method of directional drilling.

"It's pretty unusual for us to do such a large amount of directional drilling in one project," says Jeff DeWitt, P.E., Project Engineer for Bonar Group. "In this project, we decided to use it for the full 21,000 feet because we were in tight areas, and we didn't want to disturb roads or utilities."

Bonar Group had positive results using Certa-Lok C900/RJ pipe in a previous 29,400-foot award-winning project in Wheeler, Ind., and specified it again for the Martinsville project. The restrained-joint PVC pipe performs excellently in trenchless installations and is an ideal choice for municipalities that want the combined benefits of corrosion-resistant PVC pipe and an easy-to-assemble restrained joint system.

"The City was already familiar with PVC pipe, so this is an easy transition for them," DeWitt says. "With Certa-Lok pipe, they won't have to purchase and stock new equipment and fittings to service the new pipe system, as they would with other pipe materials."

Certa-Lok C900/RJ is a performance-proven PVC product, ideal for both water and wastewater applications. Its innovative joining system, which utilizes a high-strength spline to connect pipe lengths, reliably holds the pipe together during installation and pressurization, while elastomeric O-rings provide a dependable pressure seal.

"Certa-Lok provides outstanding leak resistance and is compatible with existing water systems," says Steve Gross, Director of Marketing for CertainTeed's Pipe business. "For the contractor, the pipe is easily assembled, without the need for time-consuming and expensive joint fusion. And, most importantly, Certa-Lok requires a much thinner wall than HDPE pipe for an equivalent pressure rating, which significantly cuts material, drilling and operating costs and makes Certa-Lok an ideal product for municipalities, such as Martinsville."

The City of Martinsville hired contractor Infrastructure Systems Inc. (ISI), of Orleans, Ind., to install the pipe, with a crew of four and a Vermeer 33x44 directional drill. ISI began work in April, after finishing a 4,500-foot potable water installation of 8-inch and 10-inch Certa-Lok C900/RJ pipe in downtown Martinsville. The job, expected to complete by the end of the year, has run fairly smooth, despite delays caused in March by a tornado and in June by flooding from the nearby White River.

"The job has been relatively easy, considering the weather-related obstacles," says Marty Goldman, Project Superintendent for ISI. "We've had good support from the City of Martinsville and our engineering firm. For what the city's been through in the past few months, they've been more than cooperative. They've been through enough natural disasters to last them a while."

The ease of working with the Certa-Lok C900/RJ pipe has helped the job to move along more quickly, too. Twenty-foot pipe lengths can be easily assembled as pullback continues or preassembled into a longer string of pipe, whenever space allows.

"Certa-Lok is a good product," Goldman says. "We just lay it on top of the ground and put it together by hand. Once you get an assembly line together, it moves pretty quickly."

CertainTeed® is a leading brand of exterior and interior building products, including roofing, siding, windows, fence, decking, railing, trim, foundations, pipe, insulation, gypsum, ceilings and access covers.

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