Daytona Beach Races Ahead With HDD Solutions

September 2011, Vol. 66 No. 9

In June 2008, a 16-inch-diameter cast iron water main ruptured in Daytona Beach, FL. The main, one of three that service nearby barrier islands and beaches, was 61 years old.

The city of Daytona Beach’s Utilities Department sought a speedy solution to the faulty main that put additional stress on two remaining water mains, both of which are also 50 to 60-years old. Only three months were needed to get from mobilization to activation of a new replacement line.

Since the repairs were critical in nature, an Agenda Summary available through the city stated that “considerable additional stress” was placed on the remaining two mains and that because of the age of the mains crossing the Halifax River, there was “considerable uncertainty as to how long the two currently serviceable water mains would be able to sustain the increased stress levels of an extended emergency.”

City officials decided to enlarge the main to approximately 24-inches inner diameter to accommodate anticipated growth and redevelopment on the beach side and barrier island. The new line crossing was placed 1,500 feet south of the existing line that ruptured due to constraints on space available for layout.


Utility Services Authority LLC (USA) won a bid for the $1.5 million Earl Street Water Main Replacement project that included directional drilling and pipe installation underneath the Halifax River. The bidding process included multiple pipe material options, with high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe getting the winning nod.

“We will always bid multiple materials to be good stewards of the public’s money,” said Frank Van Pelt, project manager for the Daytona Beach’s Utilities Department Engineering Division. “We chose HDPE because it has a better bend radius for our layout area.”

The bend radius of the pipe was important as the city allocated a very small footprint in a city park adjacent to the Main Street Bridge out to the barrier island. As the 50-foot sticks of HDPE were fused together, they were pulled along a street running parallel to the Halifax River, almost at a 90-degree angle to the insertion pit. Pipe rollers kept the pipeline from being pulled along the porous asphalt of the street.

Fusing process
To join the approximately 2,900 feet of JM Eagle 30-inch IPS DR 9 HDPE, USA used a McElroy TracStar 900, MegaMc PolyHorse and DataLogger to perform the pipe fusion operations.

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