The Oregon Department of Health put out an order for the town of Haines, Oregon, to redo their water meters and build a new water reservoir. The water meters hadn’t been refreshed since the 1990s and the town’s existing water tower had been built in 1910 — it was time for an update.
T BAILEY INC. was brought on as the project’s general contractor, tasked with replacing the community’s 269 water meters and fabricating and constructing a new 20’ wide, 156’ tall water reservoir. The job was an American Iron and Steel (AIS) project, so the new water reservoir was built from American-manufactured steel and iron.
To learn more about the challenges our crews encountered and how we solved them, read on.
Scope of the Haines Water Reservoir Project
The reservoir portion of the project was fairly standard in its scope, but the water meter portion of the project expanded in scope as we uncovered problems with Haines’ existing water system. By the end of the project, T BAILEY INC. had provided the following products and services:
- Design: While the client’s engineer, JUB, designed part of the project, T BAILEY, INC. provided engineering and detailing for the tank, to ensure that it met AWWA standards and met the client’s requested volume and size.
- Fabrication and construction: We fabricated, coated, delivered, and constructed a new water reservoir, 160’ tall and 20’ in diameter. The entire fabrication and construction process was done in-house.
- Testing: Our in-house testing crew tested welds per ASME section 8. We also worked with a 3rd party for X-ray RT testing. This tank was built to AWWA section 14 standards, and as a result, the testing was more stringent and included a lot of x-ray inspections.
- Piping system: We installed piping and connected the tank to the existing water system.
- Well house renovation: Retrofitted the existing well house, installing state-of-the-art controls and sensors, enabling town employees to monitor the reservoir remotely.
- Water meters: Installed 269 water meters, 1 per residence in Haines.
- Water valves: Repaired and replaced several of the town’s water valves.
Challenges We Encountered During This Project
Because Haines’ water system had not been updated in decades, our crews came up against a number of challenges while completing this project. Here are four of the challenges we encountered and the solutions we developed to resolve them.
Challenge #1: Buried and Broken Water Valves
In order to replace the town’s water meters, our crew had to shut down sections of Haines’ water system in turn, via control valves on the water mains.
Since decades had passed since the last time Haines updated their water system, the town had forgotten where some of the valves were located, or what we would discover once T BAILEY INC. crews began digging around.
Because most of the streets in town were gravel, many valve cover plates had been buried over the years. This meant we had to dig around in order to locate them. And when we had found them and dug the cover plates up, we discovered that a lot of the valves didn’t work.
We resolved this challenge by putting in a change order with the client and then having our crew replace all the broken valves and piping.
Challenge #2: Equipping Haines With High-Tech Water Meters
When it came to replacing the water meters, more challenges came up. Out of the 269 meters we replaced, a few couldn’t be located so we had to figure out where they were on the home’s property. The piping was also inconsistent as some had copper on the other side, while others had galvanized pipes.
We resolved this challenge by maintaining clear communication with our client, putting in change orders where necessary, and thinking outside of the box to connect the new meters to a variety of piping setups. T Bailey Inc was also able to add value engineering by consolidating the foot valves at each meter into the meter box, resulting in a credit back to the city.
The meters we put in were state-of-the-art electronic meters that could be read through a remote meter-reading system. Instead of having to physically walk up to a meter to read and record how much water a house was using, technicians could now stay in their car and read each meter remotely, from the road.
Challenge #3: Pouring the Water Reservoir’s Foundation
Due to Haines’ remote location and poor access to concrete suppliers, pouring the foundation became a massive logistical challenge. We needed to pour nearly 500 yards of concrete on the same day in order to create a foundation that was 45’ in diameter and 8’ deep.
To resolve this challenge we coordinated with multiple concrete suppliers from across the region, bringing concrete in from all over eastern Oregon. Thanks to detailed and careful planning, the operation was a huge success — despite a few delays caused by herds of cows crossing the road.
Challenge #4: Constructing the Water Reservoir
Due to the tank’s narrow width and height, our team decided to customize our fabrication process. We normally roll the plate, send it to the job site, and then erect the tank by stacking and welding the individual plates on top of each other — similar to building a brick house.
But for the Haines reservoir, we adapted our standard fabrication process for this project by fabricating a complete ring in our shop. We’d roll the plate and weld it together in-shop to create an 8’ tall, 20’ diameter ring. Then we’d ship the ring down to Oregon.
At the job site, we’d weld the vertical seams, and then use T BAILEY INC.’s own 60-ton rough-terrain crane to fly each ring up to its position on the reservoir. Then we would do the horizontal welds while the next ring was prepped on the ground.
Our access to in-house experience and technology-enabled us to quickly adapt our processes to this unique job. This improved our efficiency and got the job done quickly.
Why T BAILEY INC. Was Uniquely Equipped to Complete This Project
T BAILEY INC. is the only tank fabrication company in the Northwest who is able to complete projects of this scale as a general contractor. We’re the only tank fabrication and construction company in the Northwest with the capability to design and complete a water reservoir out of state, do repair work on a water system and install new water meters at this scale.
We are uniquely qualified to operate as the general contractor for water reservoir projects our in-house capabilities enable us to do the vast majority of the work, only occasionally bringing on subcontractors. T BAILEY INC.’s in-house capabilities include our very own:
- Detailing department
- Fabrication department
- Coating and prime shop
- Quality control and testing team
- Research and development team
- Concrete division
- Safety department
- Our own cranes
- Our own trucks
In addition to the expertise of our employees, T BAILEY INC. has a long history of working on American Iron and Steel projects. We have the resources and supplier network to stay compliant with AIS regulations and carefully track and inventory every material and product used during the duration of the project to ensure total AIS compliance.
A Trusted Water Reservoir General Contractor Near You
No fabrication and build job is perfect. Each one comes with a unique set of challenges and multiple layers of obstacles.
By working with a trusted, all-inclusive fabricator, like T BAILEY INC., you can remove the stress caused by these kinds of projects and look forward to receiving dependable, effective results.
To learn more about how we can help you with your water reservoir project, contact T BAILEY INC. today.