Fort Benning Brings in the Big Guns: AMERICAN Zinc and American-Darling

Owner: Columbus Water Works in Columbus, Georgia

Project Summary: Columbus Water Works (CWW) provides drinking water and wastewater services to more than 250,000 residents in the Columbus, Georgia, area. In 2004, Fort Benning and Columbus Water Works signed an agreement that said CWW would provide water and wastewater services for the military base for 50 years, requiring a connection of the two systems and several large upgrades.

The Fort Benning military base covers 182,000 acres, and is home to the U.S. Army’s Maneuver Center of Excellence, which includes its Armor and Infantry Schools. The variable population of Fort Benning, including military and civilian employees as well as their dependents, is at times more than 107,000.

Earlier this year, CWW began adding water lines to the Malone Ranges at the base. These water lines will provide water services to an area of the base where it was previously unavailable, and increase system reliability by adding another feed point from CWW. According to design engineers, once the project is complete, army infantry trainees will have access to drinking water at these remote firing ranges and will no longer have to travel up to three miles carrying water and firing equipment.

“This project provides much needed water to troops in training at this remote area of firing ranges,” said Ben Adams, a project manager with Barge Waggoner Sumner & Cannon, Inc., which was the engineer of record for the North phase of the project. “Once all phases of this project are complete, the water main extensions will create a loop that is fed from two different Columbus Water Works lines.”

“We have a partnership with AMERICAN that dates back many years. As with previous projects, AMERICAN provided product expertise and advice throughout the design, shipment and ongoing construction.”
Columbus Water Works President Steve Davis

The Malone Ranges Water Supply project is being divided into three phases – North, South and East/West. The entire project is estimated to be complete in 9-11 months and includes installation of more than 72,000 feet of 8-inch zinc-coated AMERICAN Fastite pipe. CWW was one of the first U.S. water and wastewater utilities to use AMERICAN Zinc, an advancement in corrosion control for iron pipe. AMERICAN Ductile Iron Pipe began applying a zinc coating to its international orders in the early 1980s, and due to interest from domestic utilities, is now making it available to the U.S. market. Zinc has been used for more than 50 years to extend the life of iron pipe, and protects millions of feet of cast and ductile iron pipe in corrosive environments.

The Malone Ranges Water Supply Project included the installation of 8-inch zinc-coated AMERICAN Fastite pipe. Columbus Water Works was one of the first U.S. water utilities to use AMERICAN Zinc, an advancement in corrosion control for iron pipe.

“Columbus Water Works is excited about the opportunity to use zinc-coated ductile iron pipe on this project,” said Columbus Water Works President Steve Davis. “We recognize that zinc is the latest in a long line of innovations made to iron pipe over the years. From our discussions with AMERICAN, we understand that zinc coating will further extend the life of ductile iron. It’s a win-win for customers and the utility. These lines will provide valuable water services to Fort Benning for years to come.”

Work on the North Malone Range began this summer and is now complete. Work on the South Malone Range is under way, and the East/West Malone Range will begin once the South phase is complete.

The CWW Fort Benning project also includes the installation of AMERICAN Flow Control American-Darling B-84-B hydrants with the STORZ pumper connection. The STORZ pumper nozzle is a non-threaded outlet connection that allows a faster quarter-turn connection to the fire hydrant pumper nozzle, helping to eliminate cross threading and other potential hose connection problems.

“The American-Darling B-84-B is the hydrant of choice in the Columbus area,” said Drew Clayton, a sales representative with AMERICAN Flow Control. “The American-Darling hydrant with a STORZ connection provides firefighters with a faster option when connecting to their pumper trucks. The STORZ nozzle saves time, and when it comes to fighting fires, time is everything.”

Key Players: Barge Waggoner Sumner & Cannon, Inc. was the engineer of record for the North Malone Range. The project manager was Ben Adams and lead design engineer was David Bishop. Barge Waggoner Sumner & Cannon’s scope of work included routing analysis, topographic survey, environmental surveys, detailed design including project plans and specifications, advertisement and bidding services, and construction administration services.

For the South Malone Range, Krebs Engineering was the design consultant, developing project plans and specifications for the installation of the water mains as well as acquiring all regulatory permits on behalf of Columbus Water Works. Project managers were Jason Dearing and Kris Macon. Also included in the design was the installation of canteen filling stations with freeze proof fixtures and steel bollards surrounding them to protect from military equipment damage.

Another challenge faced during project design was protecting the habitat of the endangered red cockaded woodpecker. “We adjusted our alignment so the pipeline was installed outside of the 200-feet radius of the birds’ pine tree habitats and scheduled installation outside of the breeding season,” said Dearing.

What They Used: Installed on the Malone Ranges Water Supply Project is more than 72,000 feet of 8-inch zinc-coated AMERICAN Fastite pipe. AMERICAN Flow Control American-Darling B-84-B hydrants with the STORZ pumper connection are also being installed as part of the Malone Ranges Water Supply project.

What They Said: “We have a partnership with AMERICAN that dates back many years. As with previous projects, AMERICAN provided product expertise and advice throughout the design, shipment and ongoing construction,” said Davis. “Jeff McCullough and Drew Clayton were responsive to our questions, provided on-site help and coordinated work between our staff and AMERICAN Customer Service to ensure on time deliveries and coordinated shipments.”