Project Story: Firgrove Zone 2A Reservoir

Firgrove Mutual, a water utility company based out of Puyallup, requested bids for a reservoir and pumphouse project in Graham, Washington. We felt that our field erection crew was uniquely qualified to exceed Firgrove’s expectations on this project, so we submitted a competitive bid and got accepted. 

While T BAILEY INC. could have provided design and engineering for this project, Firgrove was basing this project, seam-for-seam, on a reservoir they had constructed in the past. This gave us the advantage of going into a project that already had all the engineering kinks worked out. 

That said, this job wasn’t an exact mirror of Firgrove’s previous tank construction. In contrast to the original reservoir job, this new construction needed to be built within the confines of an extremely tight job site. Overcoming the challenges posed by this small site was where the experience and skill of T BAILEY INC.’s crew really shone. 


Scope of the Firgrove Reservoir Project 

During the course of this project, we delivered the following products and services: 

  • tank assembly and foundation
  • fabricated steel for the reservoir
  • delivered materials to the site with our own trucking
  • wheeled and primed the fabricated steel
  • mechanical, plumbing, and concrete on the pump house
  • managed interior and exterior coatings
  • carried out site preparation and excavation 
  • created an extensive infiltration trench around the reservoir, 3’ in-depth and 20’ wide
  • poured permeable asphalt across the site
  • provided x-ray testing on the tank itself
  • hydro-testing for the tank and piping
  • installed four booster-pump systems
  • conducted performance tests on all the pumps
  • installed chlorination equipment and plumbing fixtures 

Project Video:

Challenges We Encountered During This Project

During the course of building the reservoir and pumphouse, we encountered construction challenges (like filling a 1000-yard foundation with concrete on a single pour) and more intense, logistical challenges — two of these were the harsh winter weather we experienced and the tight job site size. 

This section of the project story will examine these logistical challenges and explain how T BAILEY INC. provided unique solutions to ensure the reservoir was completed on schedule.  


Challenge #1: Harsh Weather Conditions

We erected this reservoir in the dead of winter, in icy conditions and around 10” of snowfall. This created a hazardous work environment for our crews who were 100’ feet up, standing on scaffolding, and trying to erect the tank in extreme cold. 

T BAILEY INC. overcame the weather by ensuring that our crew was properly clothed and insulated. We also brought in extra restraints and safety accessories to make sure that our professionals and their equipment were safely harnessed to their scaffolding. Doing this successfully mitigated the risk of slips and dropped equipment. 

Challenge #2: Working Inside a Tiny Job Site

The most difficult challenge we faced was getting the massive reservoir and its pumphouse built within the tiny job site. We were constrained within this tight boundary because the job site was surrounded by trees and the county insisted that we maintain a buffer between our work and the trees. This forced us to coordinate our equipment and materials in a confined job site that lacked lay-down areas. 

If Firgrove Mutual had tried to complete the project by bringing in several different contractors, then the job site would likely have devolved into a chaotic deadlock as different contractors competed for space. 

By working exclusively with T BAILEY INC. Firgrove received a well-managed site that was planned out and ran like clockwork. We self-performed the entire project and were able to quickly solve any space-based problems in-house. 

Even so, the tiny job site was still a challenge for us to operate within. For example, the reservoir was over 125’ tall and the pumphouse was just 35’ away, creating a situation where we were trying to hang sheets of steel at a great height, while other crew members were trying to work on a pumphouse that was well-within fall range of the tank. 

This was challenging, but since we were able to manipulate crew schedules in-house, we were able to rotate crews to ensure the safety of the pump house team and still get the reservoir done on schedule. Self-performing the project helped us provide the client with greater efficiency, clear communication, and completion by the project’s deadline. 

Why T BAILY INC. Was Uniquely Qualified to Complete This Project


There are many reasons why we were uniquely qualified to build this project. Two of them are: 

  1. When it comes to fabrication, T BAILEY INC. is a one-stop-shop. From civil to steel, site excavation to underground facilities, concrete to erection, we were able to complete every aspect of this project in-house. 
  2. We provide the client with a single point of contact. Firgrove Mutual didn’t want to coordinate and communicate with multiple contractors. We made things easy for them by providing a single point of contact for the entire project — no having to coordinate between multiple contractors. 

T BAILEY INC. absorbed all the problems of coordinating construction within a tight job site and enabled Firgrove to rest easy while our professionals planned and executed reservoir fabrication. We took a raw job site and returned it to them as a fully-functional water reservoir and pumphouse. 

A Start-to-Finish Reservoir Fabricator Near You

As demonstrated in this project story, T BAILEY INC. is a reliable fabricator that delivers turn-key results. We excel at finding solutions to difficult situations and working within challenging site environments. 

To learn more about what we can do to help your company, contact T BAILEY INC. today.