HOW CROSS-TRAINING MECHANICAL PIPING TECHS CUTS COSTS ON THE BLACKBURN & UNION PROJECT

Piping Systems, Inc. recently completed the installation of mechanical piping, HVAC, fire suppression, and plumbing systems at the Blackburn & Union Privileges Superfund site in Walpole, Massachusetts. The former industrial site is currently being remediated due to chemical contamination. Located in a predominately residential area, the town received a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to remediate the site. The town plans to reuse the site for future municipal, age-restricted housing, or commercial / industrial use.

The EPA Superfund Program was established in the 1980s to protect human health and the environment by cleaning up polluted sites, holding responsible parties accountable, involving local communities in the cleanup process, and returning the sites to productive use. The Blackburn & Union Privileges site was added to the Superfund National Priorities List in 1994 when the EPA discovered that on-site soils, groundwater, and sediment in the nearby Lewis Pond and Neponset River were contaminated with volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds, and inorganic chemicals, including asbestos, arsenic, lead, and nickel. The site was originally used for manufacturing of rubber goods, cotton, fabric, and insulating materials.

Our team was selected by Weston Solutionsto assist in the remediation of the site. Weston Solutions specializes in environmental and infrastructure support services for federal, state and local government, industrial, utility, and commercial clients. Weston was tasked with overseeing the extensive short- and long-term cleanup phases of the 22-acre site.

A new 3,600-square-foot water treatment building was constructed on the property to house processing equipment to treat and monitor the clean-up of on-site groundwater. Our team was responsible for the installation of mechanical piping and plumbingfire protection, and HVAC units in the water treatment building.

ONE OF THE MORE IMMEDIATE CHALLENGES OF THE INSTALLATION WAS THE CONTAMINATION ITSELF.

Our team received asbestos safety training on-site, including proper handling, required safety equipment, and worker decontamination procedures. Additionally, the small footprint of the water treatment building meant traditional booms and hoists could not be utilized during the installation. Low ceiling heights required delicately maneuvering materials and extensive communication between all trades. Despite these challenges, the Weston superintendent’s field coordination ensured job site safety and meeting their tight project deadlines.

Our relationship with Weston Solutions was first established in 2011, when we assisted in the remediation of the Re-Solve Inc. Superfund site in North Dartmouth, Massachusetts. Much like the Blackburn & Union site, Re-Solve was once the location of a chemical reclamation facility. Solvents, waste oils, acids, and inorganic liquids and solids were all separated and recycled. During processing, distillation residue, liquid sludge waste, and impure solvents were dumped into four unlined lagoons, seeping directly into the site’s groundwater. The site was added to the EPA Superfund list in 1983 and our team joined the clean-up efforts in 1996. Weston Solutions constructed a water treatment facility for which we installed process piping, HVAC, fire protection, and plumbing components.

THE IMPORTANCE WE PLACE ON CONTINUING EDUCATION AND CROSS-TRAINING AMONGST OUR TECHNICIANS ALLOWED US TO COMPLETE THE INSTALLATION WITH A SINGLE TEAM.

Because our technicians are typically licensed in more than one trade and we have an on-site fabrication shop, we are able to perform more services in-house with fewer technicians, ultimately saving time and money for our clients. Plus, we offer a two-year warranty on all process piping, plumbing, heating and gas-fitting, and a five-year warranty on all wet and dry fire sprinkler systems. Add to that our Piping Systems Inc. Perfection Promise and you will never be short of 100% guaranteed, or the work is free. Check it out here.