The Kettle Creek Flow Control Valve Design-Build project in Colorado was established to replace a 30-inch plug valve and to create a redundant flow train between two major potable water pipelines. The original plug valve was installed in 1984 to allow operational flexibility for moving water around Colorado Springs. A large amount of Colorado Springs Utilities’ potable water flows through the pipelines during the summer to meet water needs in those areas.
In 2015, the plug valve failed, creating a blockage of flow trying to reach different areas of the city. Upgrading the valve became the utility’s highest priority and the most critical valve replacement in recent history for its public water system.
The Kettle Creek project was carried out in three phases, including design and project development, critical and international material procurement, and final design and construction. The project team planned and procured materials for 11 months prior to a planned shutdown. The 72-hour shutdown was broken down into three phases, all 24-hours long. (The 72-hour shutdown was completed ahead of schedule, and the city’s water supply was not interrupted throughout the planning, design or construction phases.)
Phase one consisted of preparing the water system for shutdown. This included setup of four portable pumps to move nearly 10 million gallons of water per day to different pressure zones. Crews then needed to drain more than three miles of 60-inch pipe and four miles of 48-inch pipe to 42-inch pipe in order to install eight new isolation valves around the Kettle Creek site. That installation would facilitate replacement of the 30-inch plug valve and the creation of the new valve vault for system redundancy.
Phase two consisted of installing seven critical isolation valves ranging from 48 inches to 12 inches in diameter. Phase three consisted of crews putting the system back into service.
Image credit: Colorado Springs Utilities