Wastewater Force Main

City of Reading Reading, PA



With the City of Reading’s wastewater force main pipeline nearly 50 years old, it was in need of replacement. We worked with the City of Reading’s Public Works Department in a widespread effort to design and install a new parallel 42-inch ductile-iron force main, which extends from the 6th and Canal Street pumping station to the Fritz Island wastewater treatment plant. The new force main included both a creek and river crossing, utilizing different construction techniques.

Solution Details

Phase 1 of the project involved the installation of magnetic flow meters at both the plant and pumping station, replacing the flow metering equipment for the existing mains to the 28.5 MGD plant, and providing a second flow meter for a proposed 2,000 foot force main, to extend the length of Fritz Island treatment plant from Angelica Creek to the flow meters. We provided associated valves and vaults design, demolition of existing equipment, and bypass of the existing main to facilitate construction while maintaining flow to the plant.

Phase 2 of the project centered on the replacement of approximately 7,000 feet of 42-inch main along the Schuylkill River, from the 6th and Canal Street pumping station to the farthest extent of the Phase 1 installation at the northern tip of the Fritz Island plant. A waterway crossing at the Schuylkill River utilized micro-tunneling; an open-cut strategy was used to cross Angelica Creek. We provided engineering services from design through bidding and award, as well as assistance in PENNVEST document preparation.

Other team members included PULS, Inc. (underground line locating; soft digs), TRC Solutions, Inc. (geotechnical engineering), Barry Isett & Associates (survey), and Buchart Horn, Inc. (microtunneling and jacking/boring).

Additionally, during Phase 2, we provided emergency services to bypass approximately 1,500 feet of existing 42-inch steel pipe that failed during the hurricane and earthquake that hit the Reading area in late summer. Design included wet tapping the active main, installing line stops and bypass, and incorporating the bypass line into the future permanent force main. Throughout the design phase, We participated in a cooperative effort of design meetings, value engineering studies, constructability reviews, and permitting issues, with not only the staff for the City of Reading, but also with the City’s Program Manager, Hill International, and the City’s Construction Manager, Weston Solutions.

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42 inch force main

9,000 lf of piping

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