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Infrastructure project to capture combined sewer overflows in tunnel system
Tsurumi Pump contributed several pumps to the D.C. Clean Rivers Project in Washington, an infrastructure project that will capture the combined sewer overflows (CSOs) that are hurting the region’s waterways. The project involves the construction of four tunnels that will divert the CSOs for wastewater treatment before they reach the city’s rivers.
The first phase of the program was the Blue Plains Tunnel Project. An excavation was needed to construct the 23,600 ft tunnel that measures 23 ft in diameter and runs more than 100 ft below the surface. The completed tunnel extends from the Blue Plains Wastewater Treatment Plant past Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling to a main pumping station on the north bank of the Anacostia River, just south of Nationals Park. Nine types of Tsurumi pumps removed water and moisture from the tunnel as crews constructed the piping system that now diverts the harmful CSOs.
J&K Equipment, based in Glenelg, Md., was the pump distributor responsible for supplying dewatering pumps and overseeing operations during the tunnel’s excavation.
“I find that Tsurumi pumps can handle higher head using less horsepower,” said Jeff McKissack, vice president of J&K. “The process of removing excess moisture from a shaft as its excavated is a rigorous job that requires non-stop pump usage. The LH311W submersible dewatering pump in particular can move nearly 200 gpm at the required 160 ft of head. When you consider that this pump can move that volume of water with a 15 hp motor and such a slim design, you can really appreciate the level of engineering Tsurumi has maintained throughout its product line.”
In addition to the LH311W three-phase portable dewatering pump, J&K also used a range of Tsurumi pump, including:
Tsurumi pumps removed groundwater from the tunnel shaft. Concrete slurry was poured behind concrete support segments to construct the 23-ft-wide pipe through which CSOs would eventually travel.
“While it’s never the intention, concrete slurry also gets removed through the pumps on a tunneling job like this,” McKissack said. “This typically results in the pump being scrapped fairly quickly, but we were able to wear out four sets of impellers on one of our LH311Ws before having to replace the internal seal. Since the impellers in the Tsurumi pumps are made using high-chrome cast iron, they could withstand the toll.”
McKissack added: “Space always matters when you’re dealing with tunneling applications. Because of Tsurumi’s slimline design, the pumps don’t take up a lot of room in a sump that only measures between 10 and 12 in of diameter. The 10-5/8-in.-wide LH311W was particularly handy for this project, as it was able to fit into these tight spaces and still move a significant amount of water.”
The Blue Plains Tunnel Project finished construction in July of 2015, but progress towards environmental conservation in Washington continues. Excavation of the Anacostia River Tunnel Project began in June of 2013 and is expected to finish in November of 2017. When completed, the tunnel will extend from Robert F. Kennedy Stadium in Northeast D.C. to the Poplar Point pumping station in Southeast D.C. It’s expected to reduce CSOs by 98% each year for the Anacostia River alone. It is the second of four proposed tunnels that will be constructed for the D.C. Clean Rivers Project.
Traylor Skanska Jay Dee (TSJD) was the joint venture contracting team in charge of operating the tunnel boring machine to construct the Blue Plains Tunnel. The team consisted of Traylor Brothers, an Evansville, Ind.-based heavy civil contractor; Skanska, a global construction group based in Stockholm, Sweden; and Jay Dee Contractors, a Livonia, Mich.-based firm that specializes in underground construction.
“We owe much of our success on the Blue Plains tunneling project to the suggestions made by Jeff and the rest of the team at J&K,” said Chet Simcoe, electrical superintendent for TSJD. “We found J&K Equipment to be the most responsive pump supplier and repair station we’ve used to date. All of the Tsurumi pumps performed well on the job, and Jeff’s willingness to guide us through every step of the engineering and design process really helped to ensure that solid performance.”