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30" Fusible C-905® Pipe Installed in Utah's Spanish Fork Canyon in Harsh Winter Conditions

In March 2010, Whitaker Construction completed pressure testing on 1,600 LF of 30" Fusible PVC® pipe in Spanish Fork Canyon, UT. This completed a challenging, direct-bury winter installation in Utah's rugged Wasatch Mountains.

A prominent share of Utah's Colorado River allotment is delivered via the Central Utah Project which is managed by the Central Utah Water Conservancy District (CUWCD). There are several projects that convey water from the Colorado River drainage basin to Utah, including the Spanish Fork Canyon - Reach 2 Project, which required construction of a new 96" welded steel pipeline traveling from Strawberry Reservoir to Diamond Fork to Spanish Fork Canyon. As part of this massive water line construction project, an existing 30" steel line that feeds the City of Spanish Fork was slated for replacement since it was in the same right-of-way as the new 96" line and had reached the end of its useful life.

Pipeline Details and Project Summary
  • Project:
  • Owner:
  • General Contractor:
  • Length:
  • Installation:
  • UGSI Contact:
  • Spanish Fork Canyon Pipeline - Reach 2
  • City of Spanish Fork & Ctrl UT Water Conservancy Dist.
  • Whitaker Construction, Brigham City, UT
  • 1,600 LF 30" DR25 Fusible C-905®
  • Direct Bury
  • Patrick Laidlaw, P.E. (801) 699-2804 plaidlaw@undergroundsolutions.com

Spanish Fork Canyon is a steep, mountainous, narrow canyon with a history of landslides. Given the instability of the ground, nearby location of a mountain stream, and proximity to the new steel line and the winding canyon road, a pipe with fused, restrained joints was preferred. The original design called for 30" HDPE pipe. Due to thermal expansion considerations (PVC is 1/4 HDPE) and ease of standard connections back into valves, both the City and contractor determined that Fusible PVC® pipe provided a better technical solution. In addition, 30" DIPS DR25 Fusible C-905® pipe provided a higher pressure rating (165 psi versus 100 psi) and more flow area (29.4" ID versus 26.3" ID) than the originally specified 30" DR17 IPS HDPE alternative.

In order to construct the 30" line in advance of the 96" steel line, winter construction (December through February) was required. High winds, snow, and subzero temperatures were encountered throughout the project. In order to protect the pipe fusion process from the elements, UGSI and Whitaker Construction enclosed the fusion machine in a canvas tent and pre-conditioned the pipe in a pair of trench boxes covered in canvas with a heater inside.

Ken Hamson, Project Manager with Whitaker Construction, commented: "The two major factors for us in using Fusible PVC® pipe on this project were the ease of using standard D.I. fittings for connections and bends, and knowing thermal expansion would be greatly reduced. Having used Fusible PVC® pipe in the past, we knew it was the only product we felt comfortable using in this application."

Winter Fusion

Pipe Layout

Trench Insertion