The Villages of Eleva and Strum Save With Directional Drilling and Fusible PVC® Pipe

In 2011, the Wisconsin villages of Eleva and Strum joined forces to mitigate the costs of upgrading their aging wastewater infrastructure. About four miles apart, both communities had aging wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) in need of improvements. Both communities also faced significant financial investments in order to implement those repairs. By building a new, shared WWTP, Eleva and Strum reduced the overall capital and operating costs by 25 percent versus improving each existing plant separately. Davy Engineering of La Crosse, which designed and led the ambitious project to its successful completion, faced several challenges along the way.

Pipeline Details and Project Summary
Project: Eleva Strum Joint Sewerage Commission Project
Location: Eleva and Strum, WI
Quantity: 5,040 LF
Pipe Size: 8" DR18 FPVC® Green
Installation: Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD)
Owner: Villages of Eleva and Strum, WI
Engineer: Davy Engineering Co.
Contractor: Gerke Excavating Inc. (General), Ground Effects Directional Drilling (Trenchless)
UGSI Contact: Dan Christensen (715) 206-0518 dchristensen@undergroundsolutions.com

One challenge associated with the combined plant was the transportation of wastewater from each village to the new facility. The proposed alignment of the new force main ran along an existing state recreational trail corridor next to the Buffalo River, as well as 13 private easements. Several obstacles along the alignment compelled Davy to consider horizontal directional drilling (HDD). These obstacles included stream crossings, road crossings, narrow right-of-ways, existing trees, easement and recreational trail permit restrictions, and protected wetlands areas. In addition to the difficulty of open-cut construction through these obstacles, the cost and time delays associated with acquiring permits for the disturbance of these areas made HDD a logical choice.

When construction began, the force main alignment involved seven separate HDD sections, with one section totaling approximately 1,800 LF. Fusible PVC® pipe was selected by the winning contractor for its durability and applicability on long drills. The remaining portions of the force main were installed with bell-and-spigot PVC pipe. Jim Liss of Davy Engineering said, "Being able to maintain a material consistency between the open-cut and the directionally drilled sections was really a benefit to using Fusible PVC® pipe."

Ultimately, the skills of the engineers and contractors helped deliver a project ahead of schedule and under budget. The project has been nominated for recognition by the funding agency, USDA Rural Development.



General Project Location Map


Layout and Cold Weather (December) Fusion


Fusion Machine Inside Cold Weather Tent


Each Joint is Data Logged and Recorded