Water Transmission Main Rehabilitation


Built in 1927, the City of Amarillo’s original water transmission system was leaking from bad lead joints, leaving the city with daunting task of rehabilitating 2,100 linear feet of 30” cast iron water pipeline. Further complicating the situation: the pipeline run beneath a high-traffic residential neighborhood.


How could the City stop the leaks and ensure a safe, reliable supply of drinking water without digging up and replacing the original, 85-year old pipeline? Located beneath a high-traffic residential neighborhood, the 2,100-foot-long cast iron pipeline called for an innovative approach to minimize disruption to area residents.


In a joint venture with Murphy Pipeline Contractors, SAK renewed the water main using the trenchless SwageliningTM system in which new high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe is installed inside the existing pipeline. Starting with 50-foot lengths of 32-inch diameter HDPE pipe, the SAK/Murphy crews fused the segments into one continuous pipeline the length of each section of pipeline being renewed. Using a hydraulic static ram, the team pulled the sections of pipe through a reduction die to temporarily compress the pipe from 32 inches to 29.5 inches in diameter. Keeping tension on the compressed HDPE pipe, crews pulled it into the original 30-inch pipeline. Once the liner was in place, crews released the tension allowing the pipe to expand to fit snuggly inside the host pipe, repairing the leaks and renewing the old pipeline for decades to come.