Big Sandy Water District Uses Fusible PVC® Pipe for Six Miles of New Water Line in Catlettsburg, Kentucky

In a coal producing region of the United States, where the Big Sandy River feeds into one of the country’s great water arteries, the Ohio River, sits the town of Catlettsburg, Kentucky. Catlettsburg is located on the Kentucky side of the Ohio River at the point where West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky meet. For the last several years, the Kentucky Division of Water has been encouraging the Big Sandy Water District (BSWD) to create a backup water system using a separate water source. This request was made as a direct result of a large coal slurry spill that occurred in 2000. The spill occurred about an hour south of BSWD, in Martin County, Kentucky, contaminating a large section of the Big Sandy River. At that time, BSWD was only able to secure enough water to supply residential customers from the smaller Cannonsburg, Kentucky District, about 15 miles away.

Pipeline Details and Project Summary
Project: Big Sandy Water District Contract D1 Water Transmission Line
Location: Catlettsburg, Kentucky
Length: 31,500 LF
Pipe Size: 10” & 12” DR25 Fusible C-900®
Pressure Test: 150 psi
Installation: Open-Cut, Jack & Bore, Directional Drill
Owner: Big Sandy Water District
Engineer: Sisler-Maggard Engineering

In 2013, BSWD secured funding for nearly six miles of new water line. Funding also covered a new pump station at England Hill, where the system would connect with the City of Ashland, Kentucky. The new line would provide 4,600 customers in Boyd, Lawrence, Carter, and Johnson counties with an alternative water source.

Funding for the project came from USDA Rural Development and a Kentucky Infrastructure Authority (KIA) coal severance grant. Because of the very real threat of water contamination from the local coal industry (as well as the nearby Marathon refinery), BSWD had a significant decision to make regarding pipe material selection, ultimately choosing Fusible PVC® pipe for the project. Fusible PVC® pipe proved to be a good fit because of its superior resistance to hydrocarbon-contaminated soils and its gasket-less, fused joint.

BSWD selected Sisler-Maggard Engineering of Lexington, Kentucky to design the project. G&W Construction was hired to construct the project. Darrell Alderman, of G&W Construction, decided to get his crew fusion certified so they could self-perform fusion services for the project.

Alderman commented: “The Fusible PVC® pipe was fused and assembled in cold weather as well as warm weather, and was very easy to work with. The other thing that made using Fusible PVC® pipe so easy was the fact that we were able to use Mega Lugs to reconnect back to our MJ fittings and solid sleeves. The true test of the pipe was after installation. When we pressure tested the system, the Fusible PVC® pipe pegged the pressure gauge at 150 psi every time, without budging!”



Fusion with Pipe Bench


Jack & Bore


Tough Terrain


Open-Cut Installation


Jack & Bore