AMERICAN Flow Control Answers the Call

Builds and Delivers Valves in 36 Hours

In late March 2016, an estimated 60-foot wide by 35-foot deep sinkhole developed in Tarpon Springs, Florida, leading to the evacuation of several homes. The sinkhole engulfed part of a nearby road and damaged two sewer lines and a water line.

One of the first calls made was to AMERICAN Flow Control, a provider of valves and hydrants for the waterworks industry. Within 36 hours, AMERICAN had built and delivered two 30-inch and two 24-inch Series 2500 resilient wedge gate valves to help repair the impacted sewer line. Ferguson Waterworks-Tampa was the distributor for the project and Rowland, Inc. was the contractor.

“It’s difficult for delivery to happen that quickly, especially for a 30-inch valve,” said Dennis Simpson, a unit supervisor with Pinellas County. “It was unbelievable. We really appreciated it.”

“It’s difficult for delivery to happen that quickly, especially for a 30-inch valve. It was unbelievable. We really appreciated it.”
Pinellas County Unit Supervisor Dennis Simpson

The two 30-inch valves will be used when the sewer line is permanently fixed later this year, while the two 24-inch valves are being used in the temporary by-pass on the sewer line. AMERICAN’s 30-inch Flex-Ring® ductile iron pipe will be used in the repair of the sewer line, which is scheduled for July.

“The key to our success has often been our ability to respond in these types of situations,” said Rick Ratcliffe, territory manager for AMERICAN Flow Control. “At AMERICAN, our customers always come first.”

Sinkholes are fairly common in this area and are caused when the lime rock below the ground deteriorates. The city of Tarpon Springs was in the process of plugging the sinkhole when it caved in. The sinkhole has now been filled, and when possible, Tarpon Springs will stabilize the ground by injecting concrete grout into the plugged sinkhole to solidify the dirt in the hole. Once the ground is determined to be stable, the permanent pipe will be installed.

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