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Providing surge protection for a vital plant

Two shot of the tanks


For the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission and other utilities, water storage tanks and surge control systems are vital components of the water system, providing water for daily fluctuations in system demand and fire flow.


On behalf of the Commission, Mott MacDonald completed detailed hydraulics/surge analysis and designed tanks to provide surge protection for the main zone transmission lines leaving the 200 million gallons (757 million liters) per day Potomac Plant.


The system includes air compressors and level controls to maintain an optimal ratio of air to water. A recirculation booster pumping system protects against freezing and turns over the volume of the tank every two days to maintain water quality.

We worked closely with Commission personnel to avoid disruptions to the operation of the plant, which is the Commission’s main source of supply. We improved system hydraulics and efficiency by recommending that hydraulic cylinder ball valves be used instead of check valves to control pressure in the distribution system.

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