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Plastic Pipe Institute names Projects of the Year winners

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The awards recognize plastic pipe infrastructure projects in North America and abroad.

The Plastics Pipe Institute Inc. (PPI), the major North American trade association representing the plastic pipe industry, has announced the winners of its Projects and Members of the Year program.

The Irving, Tex.-based association said that this year it received the most submissions, and that it was also the first year in a decade of the program’s existence to have multiple project winners in two divisions.

Winning projects included the Florida installation of one of the largest horizontal directional drilling (HDD) of 54-inch diameter pipe, a new stormwater drainage system for a new soccer complex in Haiti, plus the underground installation of electrical conduit to protect hot air balloons. Two PPI company members shared the honours for a new pedestrian bridge in Utah, while two others were recognized for two separate oil field projects.

PPI members also recognized a Member of the Year in each division for what it calls “outstanding support and contributions” to the association and the industry.


PPI Building & Construction Division Projects of the Year (two winning projects):

The Utah Valley University pedestrian bridge snow and ice melting project; PPI member companies: Rehau, Leesburg, Va.; and Uponor Inc., Apple Valley, Minn.

Photo Credit: PPI

The new 970-foot pedestrian bridge at the Utah Valley University (UVU) campus was in need of a reliable snow and ice removal solution that didn’t include salting or sanding surfaces or moving equipment across the structure to eliminate the snow. The 305-foot-long, 17-foot-wide elevated bridge section suspended up to 35 feet in the air used some 35,000 feet of ⅝” Rehau Raupex O2 barrier PEX tubing for the snow melting loops embedded in the concrete pathway. The PEX tubing is supplied with heated antifreeze through 1,900 feet of 2 ½” to 4″ Uponor PP-RCT supply-and-return piping.  The bridge is the first large-scale use of Uponor PP-RCT in North America.

Texas Military Base, Training Center 5 and 6; PPI member company: Asahi/America, Lawrence, Mass.

Photo Credit: PPI

The large multi-storied facilities at this base required large diameter pipe and fittings to move water effectively throughout the campus. Installation locations included crawl spaces, underground, and in riser locations. The project’s piping ranged in size from four through 18 inches and consisted of both SDR 11 and SDR 17 wall thicknesses. More than 6,000 feet of Asahitec PP-RCT pipe was used for hot and cold potable water, non-potable and chilled water plus HVAC heating water and HVAC condenser water. Asahitec PP-RCT was used instead of carbon steel pipe because polypropylene piping (PP-RCT in this case) provides long-term performance and maintenance advantages over steel pipe. Due to its light weight, ease-of-maneuverability, and faster and safer welding methods than steel pipe, installing PP-RCT provided several benefits to the installers.


PPI Drainage Division Project of the Year:

Project Living Hope soccer complex — Camp Marie, Haiti; PPI member company: Pacific Corrugated Pipe Co., Hubbard, Ore.

Photo Credit: PPI

Project Living Hope, a charitable organization, has a vision to create a social center in rural Haiti supporting underprivileged youth in the area. This includes creating a massive sports facility with soccer fields, a housing complex, a vocational center and a large community hall. After the drainage requirements were identified for the soccer field, it was determined that the low material and installation costs associated with corrugated high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe provided the best solution compared to other piping alternatives, and allowed the Project Living Hope to complete the soccer field drainage improvements in its entirety, rather than in phases. Some 1,500 linear feet of Pacific Corrugated HDPE pipe was used in diameters ranging from six to 36 inches. Without this drainage system, the fields of Camp Marie would have standing water following storms that would take a week of clear weather to dry. Now, rainwater is effectively diverted, leaving the soccer fields clear and available for daily use.


PPI Energy Piping Systems Division Projects of the Year (two winning projects):

Crestwood Equity Partners: Delaware Basin saltwater network buildout, West Texas; PPI member companies: Dow Chemical Co. and Performance Pipe

Photo Credit: PPI

This project brought a high temperature saltwater disposal system to the Delaware basin that used more than 88,000 feet of 12-, 18-, and 20-inch PE-RT HDPE. Because of the lack of infrastructure and a boom in drilling, a high number of trucks were required to transport the saltwater to the disposal units. The pipe network provided the way to move the salt water, typically between 140-180 °F. The high temperatures left the engineers with expensive options to cool the produced water, or to find a corrosion resistant pipe that could handle the temperatures. They identified Performance Pipe’s PlatinumStripe 1800 series piping products, manufactured using Dow Intrpid 2499 polyethylene raised yemperature (PE-RT & PE4710), as a viable solution.

Crestwood Midstream Partners LP: Gondor Saltwater Disposal Facility, McKenzie County, North Dakota; PPI member company: Victaulic, Easton, Pa.

Photo Credit: PPI

Permitted to accept up to 50,000 barrels per day of produced water, the Crestwood Gondor Saltwater Disposal Facility features two wells, two separators, two oil storage tanks, and 10 produced water storage tanks across nearly three acres. The project, which was constructed using both onsite installation and in shop fabrication, consisted of 12-inch and smaller HDPE pipe. Selecting HDPE over metallic piping systems allowed Crestwood to complete the Gondor Saltwater Disposal Facility on time and within budget. Victaulic assisted with the design and fabrication of the Gondor project, cutting weeks off of the original construction estimate. The HDPE couplings were installed with minimal effort, and onsite assembly required only simple hand tools, without the risk of weather delays. The Victaulic couplings eliminated challenging fitting-to-fitting connections, and vertical and overhead installation was quickly and easily accomplished.


PPI Municipal & Industrial Division Project of the Year:

City of Fort Lauderdale’s redundant force main project, Ft. Lauderdale, FL; PPI member companies: JM Eagle, Los Angeles, Calif.; and Agru America Inc., Georgetown, S.C.

Photo Credit: PPI

Construction of a new 7.5-mile redundant forced main sewer required two contractors using horizontal directional drilling (HDD) to install the 54-inch diameter HDPE pipe. Murphy Pipeline Contractors Inc., of Jacksonville, Fla., ran from the north while David Mancini and Sons, of Pompano Beach, Fla., came from the south. Both companies are contractor members of the Municipal Advisory Board, an independent, non-commercial adviser to the Municipal & Industrial Division of the PPI. This US$65-million wastewater transmission line from the G.T. Lohmeyer Wastewater Treatment Plant to the wastewater lift station was completed in February 2021, months before it was expected. The project was undertaken due to the city’s existing 50-year-old force main, which has experienced frequent breaks during the past several years.


PPI Power & Communications Division Project of the Year:

Pacific Gas & Electric — Napa Valley Balloons Installation (Napa, Calif.); PPI member company: Southwire Co., Carrollton, Ga.

Photo Credit: PPI

The Napa Hot Air Balloon Company wanted to underground existing overhead conductors primarily for safety at the launch location of its balloons. To address the customer’s concerns, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) turned to cable-in-conduit (CIC). The goal was to get the trench dug, CIC installed, and filled again with little traffic interruption for a nearby winery. The use of 13,000 feet of Southwire cable-in-conduit by PG&E for this unique need was an overwhelming success. In addition to time and cost savings, PG&E now has a permanent raceway available in case a need arises to replace or upgrade the cables. PG&E is now considering CIC as a solution for future grid hardening, safety, and fire mitigation projects.


PPI also announced its Members of the Year, one for each division. They are:

  • PPI Building & Construction Division Member of the Year: Rick Stock, Uponor Inc., Apple Valley, Minn.
  • PPI Drainage Division Member of the Year: Joe Babcanec, P.E. Advanced Drainage Systems Inc., Hilliard, Ohio
  • PPI Energy Piping Systems Division Member of the Year: Chris Ampfer, WL Plastics, Ft. Worth, Tex.
  • PPI Municipal & Industrial Division Member of the Year: Barb Donaldson, WL Plastics, Ft. Worth, Tex.
  • PPI Power & Communications Division Member of the Year: Randy Kummer, Southwire Co., Carrollton, Ga.


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