Warren County Water Emergency

ISCO's quick action averts Warren County water emergency

(Warren County, Kentucky) - When a barge pulled its moorings loose on a swollen Barren River in February, engineers from  Kentucky's Warren County Water District had no way of knowing that the heavy concrete moorings had ruptured the 16-inch ductile iron supply line of potable water line submerged under the river. Water pressure north of the river began to drop, and the county issued a water shortage emergency - knowing they were just hours away from a critical water shortage for the thousands of Bowling Green homes, factories and businesses served by the single line.

Warren County Water District Engineer Allen Vilines quickly considered his options and made the decision to make a creative aboveground emergency repair using high density polyethylene pipe (HDPE), although the District had not used HDPE before. Vilines knew the properties of HDPE - durability, flexibility, and ease of installation - and made the call to Rick Hart, Regional Sales Manager for ISCO Industries.

In a late night Sunday phone call, Vilines explained the extent and timeliness of the emergency to Hart, who quickly offered his and ISCO's assistance to solve the problem. Hart immediately contacted ISCO's Louisville headquarters, and within a matter of hours a truckload of 2,500 feet of twelve inch HDPE pipe, fittings, two McElroy fusion machines and a fusion technician was rolling south down I-65.

Under frigid conditions, butt fusion of the pipe began around 3:00 a.m. with a fusion machine on both sides of the river. The plan called for the two sections of pipe to meet in the middle of a bridge over the river, fusing them as one continuous section to complete the line. By 8:00 p.m. on Monday evening, just 17 hours after fusing began, the job was completed and water flowed through the temporary line to the delight of anxious engineers - and customers who were just hours away from running out of potable water.

HDPE pipe and ISCO's involvement proved to be the perfect combination to complete the emergency repair. The pipe's flexibility and leak-proof fused joints allowed it to be laid directly over the bridge, allowing the water to bypass the damaged ductile iron pipe.

And, ISCO's willingness to "go the extra" mile helped avert a major catastrophe for the Warren County Water District and the citizens of Bowling Green.