Are You Ready for the Big One?

Are you ready for your next catastrophic water main break?

All utilities are ready for typical water main breaks with the proper equipment; backhoes, pumps, hand tools and repair clamps. But are you ready for that once (hopefully never) in a lifetime water main break? You know? The one where the main blows apart and once the line is shut down ditch water floods back into the line, contaminating it well beyond the section break. You know you will have to replace a section of pipe, which can be done without problems because your crews understand what to do. But how are you going to chlorinate the repaired section and the contaminated pipe stretching well beyond both ends of the section break to get it ready to go back in service?

Spraying/Swabbing of the replacement sections is nothing new to your crew. However, when it comes to super chlorinating not only the replacement section of the line but a sizable stretch of the existing water main as well, you face a whole different set of questions.

So what will be needed? When you inventory your current equipment, you find that you have everything to repair the pipe. It’s getting the line back into service where you will find that your available equipment falls a little short.

You may wonder what I mean by getting the line back into service. There is a big difference between being able to chlorinate a small replacement section of line and the complete stretch of pipe between insolation valves with the repaired section within this section.

In an extreme pipe line failure, the full section of repair should be treated the same as a newly installed main; you make your repair, fill the section and pressure test, flush the section, chlorinate the section, discharge and dechlorinate the section. Proper Bac-T testing should then be followed.

It would be nice to have special equipment for that kind of repair that hopefully doesn’t happen, but that would mean buying equipment that you may use every few years, if at all. So how do justify the cost?

Your answer? A piece of equipment that can be used for a range of large and small jobs under normal and all special conditions. Equipment that can meet your needs on a daily basis while still handling that catastrophic once every so many years’ event that would have a special purpose device collecting dust in the back room. A piece of equipment like the 3M H2O Neutralizer, the only device available that chlorinates and dechlorinates at flow rates ranging from 9 – 1250+ GPM while maintaining a full vacuum throughout the entire range of flow. The H2O Neutralizer can be used on service lines as small as ¾”, allowing you to handle small repairs as well as large. And in cases where you don’t have service lines readily available all you have to do is tap into the water main, within 10 feet of the isolation valves, to give you access to a supply of water for handling repair section flushing and chlorinating. A standalone device for just chlorinating isn’t practical; however, one that covers all the bases to address field chlorination and dechlorination will fit the bill.

How do you justify the equipment to handle this type of repair?

Having a piece of equipment that only gets used for catastrophic line failures that happen only every few years if at all just doesn't make sense. Equipment that is only used occasionally can corrode, breakdown or even worse get misplaced. The most cost-effective answer to this question is equipment you can use daily, and still handle the flow rates required in repairing a catastrophic line failure. So how can you justify such a purchase?

Do you have a flushing program?

If you have a flushing program, we have the answer for you. Switching from equipment & chemical that you currently use to a combination that works for regular flushing maintenance, while still being able to handle big, catastrophic breaks, and you reduce your overall flushing cost. By using the lowest costing chemical, which is also safest for the environment, with the most efficient device in the market today you lower your overall cost of regular flushing while still being fully prepared for that once every now and then catastrophic water main failure.

The chemical you should consider switching to, No-Chlor Calcium Thiosulfate Solution (CTS), costs less than $8.00 to neutralize one pound of chlorine; while ascorbic acid granular cost approximately $30.00 and ascorbic acid tablets costing over $55.00 to neutralize that same pound of chlorine.

Okay, first why do I say switch your chemical; after all Vitamin “C” is great for the environment and fish are not harmed. True, but it’s costly because it’s imported and expensive. If you are using ascorbic acid tablets your cost doubles over using granular ascorbic acid. By switching to No-Chlor (CTS) you are purchasing a product manufactured right here in the United States and is safe for the environment and fish. Best of all it’s 1/3 the price of granular ascorbic acid and about 1/7 the cost of tablets. This is how you pay for the H2O Neutralizer; by saving on your chemical cost.

Okay, you can reduce in chemical cost BUT how does the device handle your high volume flushing program and still be able to handle a repair situation requiring both high-volume chlorinating and dechlorinating.

The H2O Neutralizer’s patented venturi induction design and insertable orifice rings are what gives the device its outstanding range of performance. Constructed of materials resistant to high levels of chlorine, the H2O Neutralizer gives you two ways to manage chemical use in both chlorination and dechlorination. By adjusting chemical concentration and device draw rate, you have two practical ways of compensating for varying chemical concentrations needed in a wide range of field situations.

Weather you purchase the 3M or 5M model you will be able to connect the device to service lines as small as 1” and get full performance while chlorinating and dechlorinating, as well as being able to set the device up to handle high volume flushing needed for catastrophic breaks. One device for all your needs: high volume flushing, low flow chlorination and flushing using any size of line connection. See our video ‘How the Device Works’ (hot link to web site) which explains how the insert orifices change the flow range of your device.

How Gresham, Oregon Lowered their cost of chemical 90% over using Ascorbic Acid.

Gresham Oregon made the change to the H2O Neutralizer back in October 2009, replacing their LPD-250 and ascorbic acid tablet method of flushing. At the time Gresham was spending over $8,000.00 per year on ascorbic acid tablets. Purchasing the 5M H2O Neutralizer with a custom set up of hoses and diffuser and 55 gallons of No-Chlor Calcium Thiosulfate cost them about $9,000.00. They paid for this set up in the first year with their cost savings that resulted from switching from ascorbic acid to CTS. Hear Rick Hill talk about his utility’s flushing program and see the H2O Neutralizer working in Gresham’s Flushing video (hot link The 5M device increased the amount of water flushed, and reduced Gresham's chemical cost from over $8,000.00 per year to under $800.00. This system worked so well Gresham purchased a 3M device in April 2011, with their cost for chemicals now approximately $1,400.00 with one - three man crew and a large increase in flushed water every year.

One device for all your needs.

Give us a call and to discuss how to set-up your utility with the proper equipment