United States Marine Corps Calls on Fusible PVC® Pipe for MCAGCTC 29 Palms Infrastructure Upgrade and Expansion Mission

The remote Mojave Desert of Southern California is home to the U.S. Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Training Center. Commonly referred to as 29 Palms, the Base has undergone many transitions since its inception in 1952 as a Marine Corps training center. In the 1970's, an airfield was added and the Base was renamed Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center. In early 2000, the Base was re-designated as Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Command. 29 Palms is home to the largest military training area in the nation and plays a critical role in preparing our fighting forces for deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Early 2011 marked the start of yet another expansion project to expand and improve the Base's aging infrastructure. One aspect of this expansion was to bring a new potable water transmission and distribution system to the Base's North Mainside area. Because the alignments of the new transmission and distribution lines run beneath what will be thick concrete roadways designed for the movement of tanks and other heavily armored combat equipment, it was determined that a restrained pipe system should be installed to withstand the vibration and settling of the roadway over time. Due to the corrosive nature of the soils in the area, restraining the pipeline with traditional bell-and-spigot PVC restraint hardware would have required extensive and costly corrosion protection and on-going maintenance. To eliminate the need for traditional restraining hardware, the Marine Corps and its designer, RBF Consultants, turned to Fusible PVC® pipe.

Pipeline Details and Project Summary
Project: North Mainside Infrastructure Upgrade and Expansion
Location: 29 Palms, CA
Length: 9,209 LF
Pipe Size: 14", 12", 10", 8", 6" - DR18
Installation: Open Cut / Direct Bury
Owner: United States Marine Corps
Engineer: RBF Consultants
Contractor: Granite Construction

Fusible PVC® pipe, with its non-metallic, monolithic, gasket/leak-free, integrally restrained fused joint, provided the Marine Corps with a pipe material that combines the ease of maintenance and resistance to water disinfectant oxidation and hydrocarbon permeation of standard bell-and-spigot PVC, without the need for expensive and labor intensive restraining hardware. Additionally, Fusible PVC® pipe utilizes standard DI valves and fittings which further simplify installation.

Prior to commencing fusion services, UGSI met with personnel from contractor Granite Construction to determine the placement of the various lengths and diameters of fused pipe. Because the majority of the work took place in an undeveloped portion of the base, UGSI's fusion technicians were able to fuse and stage the majority of pipe sections with assistance from Granite Construction prior to the start of excavation. This allowed Granite Construction to continuously excavate, lay, and backfill the pre-fused strings of pipe. With support from Granite's crews, fusion services were completed well ahead of schedule. According to Granite Construction superintendent Matt Adams: "UGSI's internal and field support were excellent. Their fusion technicians are very professional and were great to team with to get the job done. We were very satisfied with the level of high quality production we were able to maintain on this project."

Pipe Fusion Wind & Dust Shield

Fused Pipe Staged for Installation

Pipe Fusion in the Mojave Desert

Fusing Pipe String Prior to Installation

Wrapped & Bagged Di Valve Cluster

Pre-fused Pipe Strings Staged for Installation