In Birmingham’s ACIPCO-Finley neighborhood, a 2-inch water pipe that services homes and a fire hydrant in the neighborhood was leaking, keeping the corner of 16th Street and 30th Avenue North wet year round. An upgrade was needed to improve water supply and pressure, and to fix the leak to conserve water resources and avoid damage to the road.
Eight-inch diameter zinc-coated AMERICAN Ductile Iron Pipe, a new product made here in Birmingham by AMERICAN Cast Iron Pipe Company (ACIPCO), was chosen for the replacement. “Zinc coating is the latest innovation in iron pipe,” said Maury D. Gaston, ACIPCO Marketing Services manager and 34-year iron industry veteran. “In the early 1900s, we made cast iron pipe, much of which is still in service today. Then, in the mid-1900s, we introduced ductile iron pipe, an advancement that allowed us to make stronger pipe with more flexibility. Now, we have brought zinc-coated ductile iron pipe to the market, which provides an additional layer of protection and makes a strong and reliable product even more resilient.”
“This country’s water infrastructure was built on iron pipe, most of which was made right here in Birmingham. It is most fitting that ductile iron zinc-coated pipe, made by ACIPCO, was chosen for this project, which borders ACIPCO’s headquarters”
Birmingham Water Works crews began project installation on 30th Avenue North near the interstate overpass and progressed west toward 16th Street North. Each evening to maintain traffic flow and ensure safety, the trench was closed and covered, and work resumed in the morning. At 16th Street North, the crew made a southward turn with a tee and installed a new American-Darling B-84-B 5 ¼ -inch fire hydrant. They proceeded further south to a tie-in with an existing 8-inch distribution main. Following completion of the 1,500-foot project, pressure was increased, fire protection was improved, and the leak was eliminated.
“This country’s water infrastructure was built on iron pipe, most of which was made right here in Birmingham,” Gaston said. “It is most fitting that ductile iron zinc-coated pipe, made by ACIPCO, was chosen for this project, which borders ACIPCO’s headquarters.”
In addition to its long service life, ductile iron pipe with a cement-mortar lining inside is known for its sustainability. “Iron pipe is made from recycled iron and steel; requires less energy for pumping, and therefore has a lower life-cycle cost than plastic pipe; and is the only pressure pipe to be SMaRT certified by the Institute for Market Transformation to Sustainability,” Gaston said.
AMERICAN Ductile Iron Pipe is a division of AMERICAN Cast Iron Pipe, headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama. In addition to ductile iron pipe, the company manufactures spiral-welded steel pipe, valves and hydrants for the water works industry and steel pipe for the oil and gas industries. Its diversified product line also includes static castings and high performance fire pumps.