Farr West Engineering
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Case Study

City of Reno Sewer Rehabilitation

Sanitary sewer rehabilitation in downtown Reno
Reno, Nevada
Reno, Nevada
Construction Value

2014 Sewer Rehabilitation Project (Completed 2014 / $7,000,000)

The project included a new, large diameter SDR 35 sewer line along Valley Road; a connection to UNR via Evans Ave.; new lines to redirect flow on Giroux St., Kuenzli St., and Kietzke Lane; new and replacement lines on Colorado St., Kirman Ave., and Grand Canyon Blvd.; and new and replacement lines on Mt. Rose, Swan Cir., and Palisade Dr. Project challenges included a very short time frame, sewer capacity analysis for the university, storm water in the sewer system, NDOT permitting, ground water in the Kietzke Ln. area, difficult soil conditions, deep construction, limited space, corrosion coatings, railroad crossings, coordination with current construction at the lift station on Valley Road, easements from third parties, and coordination with other utilities including NV Energy and TMWA.

Farr West met these challenges and worked with limited historical records of existing utilities and planning for the unknowns in older areas of Reno. Farr West performed the replacement water line design for Truckee Meadows Water Authority to facilitate the project.

2016 Sewer Rehabilitation Project (Completed 2017 / $9,500,000)

The City of Reno 2016 Sanitary Sewer Rehabilitation Project included East 4th St., East 6th St., 7thSt. and Valley Rd., Wells Ave., West 4th St., Tahoe and St. Lawrence St., Taylor St., Mary and Martin St., and Virginia St. The city saw these as areas of critical need in need of rehabilitation ahead of near-term RTC projects. This project had a short design time frame and a siphon design under the Truckee River near Kietzke Ln., triggering compliance with US Army Corps of Engineers and Nevada Division of Environmental Permitting requirements. Deep trenches, TMWA water main relocations, railroad crossings, working within NDOT right-of-way and numerous existing utility crossings added to the challenges of this project. Farr West opened the project with a condition assessment of the existing sewer infrastructure, research of existing utilities in the area, and a survey of the project limits. Preliminary design alignments were prepared for review by the city and other utilities. A pothole phase to verify utility depth and a round of dye testing were performed to determine where and how to place the new sewer lines. Farr West performed an in-house peer review for quality control and a constructability review by our construction managers and provided inspection and construction services.

Central and South Reno Sewer System #5 & #6 Interceptor Capacity Project (Completed 2018 / $2,917,000)

The project included approximately 330 linear feet of 36” PVC SDR-35 and 2,400 linear feet of 24”PVC SDR-35 of sanitary sewer interceptor, as well as approximately 500 linear feet of sanitary sewer collection piping. The work also included the installation of 300 linear feet of 36” steel casing below I-580 to house the24” interceptor line. The casing was installed using the pilot tube guided auger boring method and successfully placed the pipe within the small space within the existing utilities on all sides. Polymer sanitary sewer manholes were utilized for the project to expedite the project schedule by eliminating the need to treat cementitious manholes with a coating material, also saving time and money. The sewer installation required restoration of approximately 7,100square yards of asphalt, including 3,250 square yards within Kietzke Lane, an NDOT roadway. Farr West coordinated with NDOT during design and construction to determine appropriate traffic control measures to be implemented during construction to minimize impacts to the traveling public. Groundwater and poor soils were another major concern of the project, mitigated with a comprehensive dewatering plan finalized with the contractor. Farr West Engineering provided design, geotechnical, surveying and construction management services.

Contribution to the Well-Being of People and Communities

The City of Reno Rehabilitation Projects replaced existing sewer mains that were cracked and had no bottoms, and involved blockages that eliminated sewer flows from entering the ground. These projects solved sewer capacity issues throughout the region. In particular the Central and South Reno Interceptor Project upsized an existing interceptor which allowed for continued growth throughout the Midtown and Park Lane Mall Developments.

Resourcefulness in Planning & Solving Design Challenges

The City of Reno and Farr West have developed an excellent working relationship that thrives on solving design challenges. One example with the Central and South Reno Interceptor Project involved many elevation and alignment issues that involved Farr West designing a 36” sewer main at minimum slope with a 24” interceptor line bored below I-580. To meet difficult grade requirements, Farr West reached out to various boring contractors and determined the best method for construction was using a guided auger boring method, allowing for greater horizontal and vertical accuracy.

Pioneering in Use of Materials and Methods

Farr West continuously researches new and advanced construction materials and methods, such as polymer sanitary sewer manholes that are corrosion resistant to hydrogen sulfide gases. The city has historically relied on manhole coatings to protect their interceptor manholes from corrosion, but the method for installing this coating is expensive and time intensive. Another example is the use of Pilot Tube Guided Auger Bore technology to bore large diameter pipes under roadways with little room for error. The city allowed this technology for the first time on the Central and South Reno Sewer System #5 & #6 project, ultimately leading to a successful project.

Innovations in Construction

Farr West worked with Silver State Boring to find and use a guided auger bore for a 24” interceptor line below I-580. Due to difficult grade requirements, a typical jack and bore did not have an acceptable level of accuracy. Through the use of a guided auger bore machine, the contractor was able to install a 300 linear foot interceptor line below the freeway within a tenth of the specified elevation.

Minimization of Impact on Physical Environment

In the 2016 Sewer Rehabilitation Project, Farr West designed a sewer siphon to go beneath the Truckee River. As the project team began work it was determined that it would be more efficient to use horizontal directional drilling technology to go below the river without trenching and impacting the river.

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