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Booming Alabama Cities Get Boost as Xylem Solutions Helps Pump Up the Pressure

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Booming Alabama Cities Get Boost as Xylem Solutions Helps Pump Up the Pressure

Booming Alabama Cities Get Boost as Xylem Solutions Helps Pump Up the Pressure

By: xylem

Challenge

From hosting a spacecraft launch service to catering for steel and chemical giants, the cities of Decatur and Hartselle in Alabama, U.S., are booming. As the industrial and local populations grow, so does the demand on local water services – something that was beginning to show as pressure levels dropped.

With a population of approximately 60,000, Decatur is a well-established manufacturing hub that is experiencing exceptional business growth due to its proximity to the Tennessee River and state policy encouraging manufacturing development in the town. Industrial giants including space launch company United Launch Alliance, Nucor Steel, chemical development company Daikin America, and chemical pharmaceutical business 3M are reference clients at the city’s industrial park. The local water utility operators needed a clean water-boosting upgrade to increase pressure during peak water usage.

With a growing population of 15,000, the nearby city of Hartselle also recognized the need for increased water pressure based on future population projections. The utility operates five tanks covering two districts in a single-loop water line and aims to always provide a minimum of 30 lbs. of water pressure through its 16-inch supply lines. Utility operators decided to build a booster station to keep up with current and future demand.

Solution

Morrow Water Technologies, Xylem’s partner based in Birmingham Alabama, managed both water-boosting upgrades with Sales Engineer Trey Blizzard leading the project. The Morrow team worked closely with Decatur Utilities and Garver Engineering, the firm responsible for designing plans for the upgrade in Decatur. They also worked closely with Hartselle Utilities and CDG Engineers & Associates for the upgrade in Hartselle.

Booming Alabama Cities Get Boost as Xylem Solutions Helps Pump Up the PressureIn Decatur, four Xylem e-XC Double Suction Centrifugal pumps run on efficient drives. These operate as demand requires under conditions including a baseline, minimum target water pressure of 60 lbs., and a full flow rate of 6000 gallons per minute (GPM).

Three Xylem e-XC Double Suction Centrifugal pumps run on efficient drives at the Hartselle project. They operate as demand requires under several conditions, such as a baseline, minimum target water pressure of 60 lbs., and a full flow rate of 1200 gallons per minute (GPM). Both pump systems can bypass the tanks and serve water demand directly when necessary and operate with generators for backup and custom-designed SCADA systems to maximize efficiency.

Decatur Utilities already operated Goulds Water Technology turbines at their water treatment plant – developing a solution using the same brand facilitated standardization, efficiency, and ease of use. Many
different models and material options are available to configure Xylem’s e-XC pumps to a variety of system requirements.

Booming Alabama Cities Get Boost as Xylem Solutions Helps Pump Up the PressureAt both locations, each of the pumps is paired with a high-efficiency Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) which optimizes power usage. This helps the facilities meet sustainability targets and prepares the utilities for future carbon-reduction regulations by maximizing pump efficiency.

Result

The clean water boosting pumps delivered increased pressure to the water systems for all users in both cities. In operation since December 2021, the project successfully boosted pressure for current and future population growth, as well as manufacturing expansion.

“Thanks to the utility operators’ cogent planning, the cities can comfortably cater for projected increases in demand. This is a great example of smart utility managers looking to the future and ensuring that local communities have the enhanced water pressure they need to thrive,” Blizzard said.

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