This article also appeared in Water Online.
Three more cities in South Dakota – Rapid City, Sisseton and Watertown – are now using the AMERICAN Flow Control® resilient wedge gate valves and fire hydrants with ALPHA™ restrained joint ends. The ALPHA joint restraint can quickly be installed by one person and uses only one single stainless steel bolt, saving time, labor and money.
Rapid City Utilities Maintenance Supervisor for Water Chip Petrik said the city has used ALPHA for trial purposes and found ALPHA’s ease of installation make it stand out from other products. “We have to get the water on as soon as possible,” said Petrik. “ALPHA has a single bolt or point of installation versus up to eight with a mechanical joint,” said Petrik. “With ALPHA, you don’t have to get underneath the joint, and it can be installed in tight spaces. ALPHA has also saved time during installation, from one hour to 15 minutes. It’s easier, and it works.”
For the city of Sisseton, with the majority of the city’s hydrants being Waterous, it made sense to try ALPHA, according to Water/Wastewater Superintendent Gary Spencer. He said the city had installed three ALPHA products in early July and others were planned for installation later in the year. “The greatest benefit I see with ALPHA is the speed and convenience of installation,” said Spencer. “The contractor likes them. They are much quicker and require less hardware to install.”
“Since the ALPHA is just one piece, you tighten a single bolt and you’re done.” – Mike McNamara, City of Watertown Municipal Utility Distribution & Maintenance Foreman
City of Watertown Municipal Utility Distribution and Maintenance Foreman Mike McNamara said the first time they saw ALPHA, they were impressed with it. “In Watertown, we do the maintenance work,” said McNamara. “When a valve needs replacing, we do it. When new mains are installed, contractors do the valve installation. Our employees and contractors like ALPHA. The time savings alone is a great thing.”
McNamara said Watertown now has more than 12 valves with the ALPHA restrained joint ends in the ground. “Since the ALPHA is just one piece, you tighten a single bolt and you’re done,” he said. “Time means so much to everyone. You come to the city shop, load what you need for the job, grab the ALPHA, and everything is there. No bolts or restrainers. The ALPHA is one complete unit.”
The ALPHA restrained joint was launched last year for use on AMERICAN’s Series 2500 4- to 12-inch Resilient Wedge Gate Valves and American-Darling and Waterous fire hydrants. Developed by Romac Industries, Inc. the ALPHA joint restraint is compatible with several pipe materials and uses only one stainless steel bolt, versus up to eight bolts on each end of a standard mechanical joint valve. A video featuring the installation of an AMERICAN Flow Control Series 2500 with ALPHA retrained joint ends, as well as technical information, is available on AMERICAN’s website.