From the outside, it’s easy to look at new housing developments and not think twice about the planning involved. After all, by the time most people take notice of these new developments, groundbreaking has already taken place and houses are beginning to pop up. However, those of us working behind the scenes know there’s more to it than simply building a series of new houses and propping a “For Sale” sign in the lawn.
At Metropolitan Industries, we understand the demands, challenges, and opportunities that every new construction project brings. When we began working on the Stratford Farms project in upstate New York with Emmons Metro (formerly Emmons Pump & Control) in Albany in 2005, due to a slowdown in the housing market, the project did not proceed until recently.
Where Convenience Meets Tranquility
Stratford Farms is a residential development project in Poughkeepsie, NY, and the homebuilder, ABD Stratford, is an award-winning developer with over 30 years of homebuilding experience. When the development is complete, it will include 160 quality-crafted residential units: 134 single-family homes and 26 townhomes. Just minutes from downtown Poughkeepsie and the Metro North train line, Stratford Farms offers the rare combination of convenience and country living in New York.
To ensure this convenience is delivered in full, a number of considerations must be made. In addition to a flurry of new homes, new developments bring the need for new schools, new commercial buildings and, of course, increased demands on existing municipal infrastructure. Early in the development process, it was determined that a booster pump system would be required to increase the city’s available domestic drinking water pressure to the development. ABD Stratford, together with Delaware Engineering of Albany, NY and the City of Poughkeepsie, established requirements for the system, and Delaware Engineering contacted Emmons Metro to provide expertise.
Patience Prevails at Stratford Farms
We understand the demands placed on municipalities because we’ve been working with them for decades to help them move forward with confidence. Similarly, we know the onus is on the developer when it comes to building out infrastructure such as sewer lift stations and water booster systems because we’ve been helping these teams meet local codes and develop systems that will work for their needs.
At Stratford Farms, the primary challenge was designing a fully packaged system that could handle both domestic and fire flow in the same station while meeting local codes. More specifically, it was a challenge designing a system that can fluctuate from high fire flow rates to low domestic flow rates without losing pump functionality. Understandably, the design process to get this right was iterative. The water pressure system would need to be configured to supply up to 500 gallons per minute while boosting the available city water pressure by 35 PSIG. Together with Metropolitan, Emmons Metro initially designed a five-pump system: Two small pumps, two intermediate pumps, and one to handle fire flow. However, we knew we would be able to create a more efficient design, and, with continued effort and collaboration, we did exactly that by reducing the total number of pumps down to only three.
Triplex Booster System for Stratford Farms.
Metropolitan fabricated the booster system—three endsuction type booster pumps driven by three 15 horsepower close-coupled motors—in our Romeoville, IL factory. Each of these pumps is capable of 350 gallons per minute, creating a margin of safety and redundancy, meaning the flow can be met at the hydrants if one pump is out of service. Each pump also includes isolation butterfly valves on the inlet and outlet to facilitate service and inline, center-guided, spring-assisted check valves on each discharge line to minimize the risk of water hammer. Finally, the Metropolitan-installed, MetroTech III PLC-based controller eases operator use with an intuitive touchscreen interface.
Clearly it doesn’t take 15 years to simply reduce the number of pumps in a design, but there were several factors to consider as we worked together with the development team to ensure the system would be compliant at delivery. And, because we fully test and certify everything before it leaves our facility, we knew it would be operational when it arrived at Stratford Farms.
Though Delaware Engineering could have contracted this project with multiple sources to acquire the various components needed for a successful system, working with Emmons Metro allowed them to take advantage of decades of expertise. And, just as important, it means they’ll enjoy the benefit of single source responsibility. With our engineering
expertise and our extensive experience designing systems to meet all sorts of custom situations, the developer—and eventually the municipality—can count on our field service technicians if any issues arise.
As our companies continue to work together and Emmons Metro settles in as part of the family, there are likely many challenging projects on the horizon. While most stations are designed and installed much faster than 15 years, one thing is certain: We’ll see it through to the end just like we did with Stratford Farms thanks to the steadfast dedication of the developer, the engineer, and everyone in between.