Potomac Pumping Station Rehabilitation Phase 3
The Potomac Pumping Station Rehab Phase 3 was one of the most challenging projects ACE has encountered. This project was located at a massive 460 MGD pump station and required the phased replacement of major equipment in the basement and wet wells of the pump station. Equipment to be replaced included eight each 54" cast iron motor operated gate valves, four each 35' tall mechanical bar screens, and fourteen each large stainless steel motor-operated sluice gates, along with supporting electrical and control equipment. There was no crane access to the work areas so all hoisting had to be custom engineered and constructed in place. This job required the most complicated and difficult rigging that ACE has had to perform.
The ACE team brought two essential characteristics to this project: planning and perseverance. The great majority of the work on this project was performed during limited outage periods. This meant that it was critical that our work during these periods be performed efficiently and correctly. If we demolished existing equipment and then were unable to return the new equipment to service, that would create significant problems for the client, DC Water. Our superintendent, Russell Chunn, spent countless hours planning the work and then performing numerous test operations to insure the plan would work. We custom-designed rigging frames for hoisting valves and carts for moving valves around the pump station, and we performed a variety of test rigging operations. This enabled us to work efficiently and productively during the outage periods. All of Russ' plans worked to perfection and the equipment was installed flawlessly.
Unfortunately, this project was subject to a variety of delays throughout the project. The most significant was due to the requirement to clean the 108" sewer main coming into the pump station under a separate contract. This required our project to be shut down for 6 months while another contractor performed the line cleaning. Other delays were due to force main repairs and pump failures. In the end, the project was delayed nearly 700 days. Our team persevered through these delays and stayed focused and ready to perform work when available. In the end, the same project team stayed on the job for nearly four years, an impressive display of dedication.