Navigating New Waters at Brillhart Pumping Station

Completed Projects, Featured, Industrial
Jun 2, 2021

by Kinsley,

Over 200,000 residents rely on the York Water Company to provide them with fresh, clean water. When their Brillhart Pumping Station needed upgrades to keep operations running smoothly, this repeat client called on our Industrial team to install three new pumps, restore structural concrete, construct a new mezzanine and install upgraded electrical distribution equipment for the entire station. 


Before we could begin making upgrades to the pumping station, we needed to remove one large diesel-powered pump engine and several existing pipes, as well as enlarge floor openings in various locations to accommodate the new equipment. Because the existing building is older and has experienced multiple expansions, we found unknowns that weren’t included in the initial drawings while opening up the floor. When we discovered a large chunk of concrete under the floor, we worked with the engineer and design team to come up with a plan to rectify this issue and keep the project moving on schedule.

Once we were able to begin installing the new pumps and piping, the existing space caused another challenge for us. Located in close proximity to our workspace was a historic steam engine, which is listed on the National Historic Register. This limited our access to the area where we needed to install one of the pumps, as we were unable to move any equipment over the engine. Typically, pumps arrive on site already assembled. However, because of the limited space, we had to order the pump disassembled and assemble it on site as it was installed. 


Our work also included dewatering and refurbishing a wet well. In order to dewater the well, we brought in a diver to install pipe plugs. During the installation, incoming well water needed to be sealed off and the pumping station required a five-hour shut down to keep the diver safe. We carefully coordinated this with York Water Company, as they needed to ensure their customers were still supplied with water during the shutdown. They were able to utilize water supply from another plant to service customers during that time and the installation was completed safely.

Another challenge we faced came when we installed the pump support in this existing well. Since the pump supports are horizontal concrete columns, we had to build modular support shoring to create forms for the concrete. After the concrete was poured and set in the forms, we could remove the support shoring.

Coordination with the York Water Company was crucial to ensuring their power and pumping capabilities were maintained throughout the duration of our work. For example, part of our work included demolishing their existing electrical substation and installing a new 17,500-pound transformer in its place. Switching from the old substation to the new transformer needed to be done without interrupting York Water Company’s operations. We met with them daily to keep them up-to-date and adjusted our schedule as needed to minimize disruptions.

From unknowns in the existing space and site limitations, to working around the owner’s operations and installation of the pump support, our team’s knowledge and ability to quickly provide solutions helped us overcome every challenge. Thanks to this, we were able to maintain the schedule and complete all of the upgrades to the Brillhart Pumping Station in March.

Categories: Completed Projects, Featured, Industrial