Potable Water Pump Upgrade Continues to Push Through Unforeseen Setbacks

Potable Water Pump Station Upgrade at West Averell Harriman State Office Building Campus

Completed upgraded potable water pump station at W. Averell Harriman State Office Building Campus.

The surge of office campuses began in the 1950’s. Post World War II era, many people were fleeing what was considered the overly populated and polluted city to find solace in the suburbs. In an effort to follow the white collar employees that companies were searching for, corporate campuses were born.

One such visionary to follow suit in New York was Governor W. Averell Harriman. His vision included a campus that would be more accessible for the state employees that were increasing by number as well as provide more space for parking. The campus eventually included the State University of New York at Albany (SUNYA) and now boasts over three million square feet of office space for over 7,000 state employees and 13,000 students of the university.

As one can imagine, the critical potable water and wastewater management needs and designs have changed dramatically from over 60 years ago. Keeping up with the demands is costly, ongoing, and crucial. But progress is fluid, always moving, just like the water.

Emmons Metro, a division of Metropolitan Industries, was first approached by MJ Engineering and Land Surveying, P.C. in 2016 about upgrading the campus’ potable water pump station. Based on conversations between Emmons and MJ Engineering and an understanding of the preliminary specifications, a pump selection along with the custom control panel theory of operation was made and brought to bid in 2018.

Unfortunately, issues with the building specified to house the equipment were identified and all bids were rejected. After a bigger building was selected, the job went back out to bid in June 2019 which brought with it new challenges.

Crew Members of Potable Water Pump Station Upgrade for Harriman State Office Building Project

Crew and Subs responsible for making this project a success.

The volume of water that was being calculated for the new pump system was very high, even at resting hours. The original vertical in-line pumps that Emmons specified for the low flow service were discontinued due to new hydraulic efficiency standards by the Department of Energy. Unfortunately, the new replacement pumps from the same manufacturer met all criteria except for the minimum continuous stable flow (MCSF) requirement. Replacement pumps at a price level that was acceptable to all parties needed to be found.

With Emmons Metro’s commitment to continuous collaboration with the engineers to identify what is needed for each project and the manufacturers to make it happen, Grundfos Paco VL series vertical in-line pumps were approved and furnished for this project.

Another challenge according to Hal Bayly with Kingsley Arms Inc, the general contractor, was the pilings. The estimated depth for the project was 100’ but for other projects on the campus, they had to go deeper. Luckily, the specifications were met and the 5,000 feet of pipe was laid efficiently.

When asking Hal what his most valuable resource on the project was, he noted “the crews and the subs” without missing a beat.

Despite harsh winters, geological unknowns, Department of Energy changes, and a pandemic, the project was a success and finished ahead of schedule.

Kim Emmons, General Manager of Emmons Metro LLC in Albany, N.Y.

Team leader Kim Emmons next to one of the newly installed pumps.

At Emmons Metro, we know the key for successful projects is found in the planning and the collaboration between all project partners. Kim Emmons, general manager of Emmons Metro, adds that one of our most valuable attributes is the ability to overcome and adapt. This mantra has served Emmons Metro and the rest of the Metropolitan Industries family well during our time in the industry. Project partners and end-users will benefit greatly from Emmons Metro’s years of experience.

To provide the best hydraulic solution to the various challenges that each project presents, we review several pump manufacturers’ offerings to ensure the most state-of-the-art mechanical equipment, i.e., pumps and motors, is being used. Customers will also have the added benefit of a well-versed controls provider and expert design team with Emmons’ parent company, Metropolitan Industries.

System owners will have peace of mind knowing the years of experience and the 24/7 field service capabilities of Emmons Metro were ingrained from the project’s very beginnings for their water, wastewater, and stormwater pumping needs.

And while equipment and technology will no doubt change again, the potable water is now flowing without issue and ready for the SUNYA campus to fill up again as well as the New York State office buildings.

Six Pump Variable Speed Control Panel with Double Door Enclosure

New six-pump variable speed control panel with double door enclosure.

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