Water with no place to go
Project Manager Tommy McChargue took out his notes from a 2019 project for a data center client. Here’s his story from the field.
This was a challenge we hadn’t seen before – basically, what to do with a half-million gallons of water.
As with so many data center projects, the client was hard-pressed to get up and running quickly. The point of the project where we fill, flush and drain the process piping was looming.
But the problem was, the civil engineering contractor wouldn’t be able to finish building the sewer line from the facility to the local utility in time.
The project could … not … delay. That was the reality.
And yet, all the water needed to prep the system had nowhere to go. We’re talking water for a system that’s in three buildings plus a large trestle piping system.
We needed a flush skid with a large footprint. So, we designed it, built components and sourced equipment for it to meet the specifications of the flush.
But when some of the equipment arrived, it wasn’t what we specified. The takeout of the pumps wasn’t what was promised — and it would take many weeks for the suppliers to re-issue the equipment to get it right.
So, we turned to our CAD professionals to model the equipment that had been supplied, and our crews in the field made the modifications to make the puzzle come together. (They did an awesome job.)
We got the flush skid built, but there was still the matter of what to do with the water. Per the client’s specifications, we had to hit a flow rate of 4.5 feet a second in every section of the pipe – and a flush for 24 hours.
So, it was fill, flush, drain, then repeat with a chemical added … then feed and bleed, i.e., drain and fill at the same time. We calculated the process required 546,000 gallons of water.