Macon, GA Water Authority Installs Region's Longest HDD Force Main 4,250 LF of 24" Fusible PVC® Pipe under Rocky Creek Wetlands

With origins dating back to the early 1800's, Macon Water Authority provides the citizens of the City of Macon and surrounding areas with water and sewerage services. Presently, the Authority maintains more than 1,400 miles of water distribution and 1,200 miles of sewage collection pipelines.

Macon Water Authority utilizes innovative technologies to maximize performance and economic benefits for ratepayers. The Allen Road Force Main project is an example of the application of the latest in horizontal directional drilling (HDD) technology, materials, and experience to install just under a mile of 24" monolithic Fusible PVC® force main 65 feet under the Rocky Creek wetlands.

Pipeline Details and Project Summary
Owner: Macon Water Authority
Project: Allen Road Force Main & Pump Station
Location: Macon, GA
Engineer: Carter & Sloope, Inc.
General Contractor: Astra Grading & Pipe, LLC
HDD Contractor: Mears Group, Inc.
Pipe Size & Length: 4,250 LF 24" DR18 Fusible PVC®
Installation: Horizontal Directional Drill

"The difficulties resulting from location and required pipe alignment for this project necessitated a high level of HDD contractor experience and demonstrated pipe material performance," stated Trey Gavin, P.E., of Carter & Sloope, Inc.

In the summer of 2011, Underground Solutions, Inc. (UGSI) contracted with Astra Grading & Pipe, LLC of Woodstock, GA to supply 4,250 LF of 24" DR18 Fusible PVC® pipe and fusion services. Astra selected Mears Group, Inc. of Rosebush, MI to perform the HDD installation. Pipe layout limitations required five pipe string segments of approximately 850 LF each with four intermediate fusions during the pull-in. Astra recognized the importance of proper pipe handling and layout for the long pull with intermediate fusions and therefore provided proper site preparation, support and equipment during the project. The pipe was ballasted during installation to minimize the required pull force. Requiring 21 hours to install, the pull-in was completed in November 2011. The line was successfully pressure tested at 150 psi. "Underground Solutions' technical, construction, and fusion support provides a very high level of risk mitigation and probability of smooth project execution," said Ben Whisler, Mears Group Project Manager. The professional execution of all aspects of this project by the respective contributors resulted in the successful installation of one of the longest, monolithic, 24" diameter sewer force mains in North America.

Starting to Put the Pipe Strings Together

Pipe Fusion

First Pipe String

Drill Rig

Pipe Strings Ready to Install

Pipe, Pull Head and Reamer at Entrance

Loading Next Pipe Segment for Intermediate Fusion

Intermediate Fusion

Pipe and Pull Head at Exit Side