AGRU HDPE Pipe in New Sewer Main for Fort Lauderdale

Water/Waste Water
August/September 2021

In 2020, the City Commission of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, USA approved US$65 million for the design and construction of a 7.5-mile-long pipe that will serve as a redundant wastewater transmission line. The extended line starts from Coral Ridge Country Club Wastewater Lift Station and ends at the G. T. Lohmeyer Wastewater Treatment Plant (GTL), providing improved infrastructure with redundancy, enhanced reliability and improved services.

One challenge was that some sections of the 7.5-mile-long pipe extension run near or along streets and roadways as well as residential zones and neighborhoods. To help minimize the impact in these areas, a piping material that was capable of being installed using underground horizontal directional drilling (HDD) was required.

To overcome installation constraints, engineers chose to use high-density polyethylene (HDPE) sewer pipes. In addition to being flexible and durable enough to support HDD, HDPE pipes are more resistant to corrosion and have fewer mechanical joints, which help reduce long-term maintenance requirements. The piping system is expected to improve the infrastructure’s resilience to rising sea level and groundwater table.

The new force main was completed without issue and set a record for one of the longest and largest HDD pressurized sewer pipe installations in the world, at 3,100 ft at OD 54. The installation required fusing about 23 sections of pipe as it was being pulled underground.

Photo courtesy of Krishan Kandial, PE.