Collaboration in Amish Country Leads to Successful City Bypass

Collaboration in Amish Country Leads to Successful City Bypass
by Darrin Ruiz
Rental, Construction, Municipal Water & Wastewater

Recently, a Xylem team took part in a bypass-building project that felt a lot like a barn raising.

The feeling was generated a little by geography. Lancaster, Pennsylvania, is located in the heart of Amish Country where community members still come together to lend their labor and know-how to help their neighbors build a barn. But more of it was generated by the way we work on all bypass projects – teaming up with consulting engineers, contractors and customers to combine our skills, technologies, and expertise into the best possible bypass for the situation.

This was a complicated job, so it was essential to have a good team of professionals in place.  As part of a large-scale upgrade of its water and sewage system, Lancaster was rehabbing four pumping stations to reroute more stormwater away from a nearby river and into the City’s Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Our part of the job was to help build a bypass during the expansion of the North Sewage Pumping Station. This station receives influent from a 120-inch combined sewer and storm water line from the City, plus a 30-inch and another 24-inch sewer line coming from different municipal areas. The average daily flow running into the pumping station from these three lines is roughly 9 to 12 million gallons-per-day (MGD), and up to twice that flow during storm events. 

City officials hired CDM Smith as consulting engineers on the project.  Wickersham Construction & Engineering won the bid for the construction work, and Xylem was hired to design and implement the bypass.  For the duration of the six-month expansion, our local Lancaster branch team worked closely with these partners to provide a comprehensive and bypass and backup solution.

As part of any team – on any project – we always try to anticipate our partners’ needs and provide answers based on our years of expertise that lead to the best possible bypass. We’re also good listeners and are willing to make partner-suggested changes that will accelerate and improve the project.

In this case, our solution was six rental Godwin HL250 pumps sets: four electric pumps with Variable Frequency Drives and two diesel-driven pumps as redundant back-ups. Our suggested bypass design also included a back-up generator for the electric pumps, twin discharge pipes, flow meters that fed data into a PLC controller and the plant SCADA system, and high-level floats with auto-dialers to provide alerts and save money compared to 24/7 pump watch personnel.

The team trusted our expertise and during the expansion project, our bypass solution provided steadfast service while providing the City with significant cost savings on their rented equipment.  It was a “gut” collaboration – good collaboration in Amish – and another successful “barn raising” for Xylem and our partners.