The Nacimiento Pipeline is 45 miles long and provides water to 5 California communities. Photo Credit: San Louis Obispo County
The Nacimiento Water Project, touted as “the saving grace to many local communities’ dwindling water supplies” is a $176 million project designed to increase water supplies for 5 communities within San Louis Obispo County in California. The project includes a 45-mile water pipeline that carries water from Nacimiento Lake to Atascadero, Cayucos, Paso Robles, San Louis Obispo, and parts of Templeton, and was finished being built and installed in 2010. Since its initial installation, however, the pipeline has already been shut down three times due to leaks, dents, and collapse; the most recent shutdown has taken the pipeline out of commission since June of this year, resulting in a lack of water from this source for all five communities for most of the summer.
The pipeline was shut down after county workers noticed that water was seeping up onto an access road near the Nacimiento River. San Louis Obispo County hired excavators and divers, who dug 20 feet underground and cut into the 30-inch diameter pipeline, using a video camera to find the source of the leak. After patching that leak, the pipe still failed a subsequent pressure test, encouraging investigators to look for more leakage. They found at least 5 more cracks in the pipe. The cause of the cracks is yet to be determined, but authorities have narrowed it down to three possibilities: faulty material used in the construction of the pipeline, a problem with the welds, or damage incurred while actually installing the pipeline. Investigations are currently ongoing, but county officials say they have found a temporary repair method that should get the pipeline running again while they determine a more permanent solution. Since July, 2014, the county has spent $134,000 on emergency contract work to investigate the problem, but at this point, the leaks are small and not causing any serious issues. Additionally, any water that leaks out goes directly into the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin.
Nacimiento Lake feeds the 45-mile pipeline. Photo Credit: San Louis Obispo County.
While the pipeline has been billed as the “largest public works project ever”, designed to provide millions of gallons of drinking water to the communities, its shutdowns have prevented communities the additional water supply they were promised. And considering the drought that California has endured this year, now is the time that they need that water the most. But since the lake is only one of several sources that provides the area with water, County District Supervisor Frank Meacham seems more concerned about water supplies to cover next year’s drought: “the concern is going into the next year, and if there’s another year of drought, will we have enough water at that point?” Prior to June’s shutdown, the city had been using the pipeline water allocations to recharge wells, filtering the lake water into pooling systems on top of the Salinas riverbed to offset summer shortages. The lacking ability to follow that same process this summer, combined with the lake’s significant water level drop, has resulted in Meacham’s (and others’) concerns.
This latest leak comes as yet another piece of bad news that has seemed to follow the pipeline since its inception. During construction, 3 pipeline workers were killed in two different incidents. In August, 2010, a segment at the pipeline’s intake site at Nacimiento Lake collapsed, forcing an 8-month shutdown just after it was completed, and later, the pipeline was shut down again due to a dent and subsequent rupture that occurred in a segment near Santa Margarita. Clearly, the project needs a permanent, reliable solution to prevent any more shutdowns.
The HJ3 Civil System repaired this steel drinking water pipe in a matter of hours.
HJ3 is able to provide that solution. Our patented carbon fiber has already repaired thousands of feet of pipeline, often in emergency repair situations. And considering that our systems meet NSF 61 standards for potable water, they’re completely worry-free. Once applied, HJ3’s systems are resistant to corrosion and chemicals, requiring no future maintenance or excavation whatsoever. And they install quickly and easily; in another California county, HJ3 was called upon to fix a steel drinking water pipe that had corroded to the point of developing through-holes. Rather than replacing the entire section of pipe, HJ3’s Civil™ system successfully repaired the degraded pipe in just a few short hours.
This large-diameter PCCP was successfully repaired with the HJ3 Civil carbon fiber system.
And in Miami, HJ3’s Civil™ system also repaired more than 750 linear feet of corroded PCCP in only 3 days, where 7 sections of pipe in their sewer system were found to be leaking. Not only did the city prevent 2 weeks of downtime from having to excavate, remove, and replace the damaged pipe, but they also saved $1 million by repairing the PCCP with carbon fiber instead. Furthermore, repairing water pipelines instead of replacing them prevents hundreds of thousands of gallons of water from being wasted, several tons of carbon dioxide emissions from polluting our atmosphere, and tons of steel and concrete from filling our landfills due to the production of new pipeline.
If you want more information about HJ3’s Civil™ systems and how they will repair your own problematic pipelines, write us today at email@example.com.
September is National Preparedness Month, which is convenient considering the extreme weather disasters that we’ve been struck with this summer. FEMA, NWS, and NOAA have compiled a handy checklist to help you and your family prepare for extreme weather. We can’t outsmart Mother Nature, but we can be aware of what she’s doing and prepared for whatever she throws at us.
Build a Kit. Have basic food, water, and first aid supplies in a prepared kit that can be stored and easily found if an emergency is imminent.
Prepare Medications. Stock enough essential medications to last 3-5 days, and pack them ahead of time.
Have a Radio and Extra Batteries Handy. When the power is out, you’ll still want to be informed about the conditions outside. A solar-powered cell phone charger might be a good idea, too, but keep in mind that cell phone reception will likely be minimal.
Make copies of important documents. Make copies of such documents as birth certificates, insurance policies, and other personal papers to time-sensitive documents in case the originals are destroyed.
Inform Everyone of your Plan. Every immediate family member should have clear instructions of the emergency plan. Make sure to also inform a relative or family friend who is not in the nearby area.
Keep Extra Cash on Hand. If the power goes out, ATM’s and credit card machines probably won’t work. Have some emergency cash in your kit or readily available.
Fill Up your Gas Tank. In extreme cases, gas supplies can be limited. If a storm is approaching, fill up ahead of time in case you need to evacuate.
Less than a week after Hurricane Norbet took its toll on Baja California and the Southwest United States, Hurricane Odile has swept through the same area, causing major damage and flooding for many parts of Mexico. And now, it’s on its way to the same area that was drenched in record-setting floodwaters just last week. And in the midst of cleaning up after these two hurricanes, Hurricane Eduoard on the Atlantic Coast has strengthened to a Category 2 hurricane of its own. While Eduoard is expected to stay far out into the ocean, posing no potential threat to land, one thing is clear: Hurricane Season is upon us.
Hurricane Norbet was the 10th hurricane of 2014. It is responsible for at least 5 deaths in Mexico and the United States, and damage reports have estimated the total economic losses in the US and Mexico to exceed $100 million. It reached its peak intensity on September 6, when it was a Category 3 Hurricane with 120-mph winds that tattered coastal Mexican cities like San Carlos. Record-setting rainfall drenched Phoenix and surrounding areas.
Destruction from Hurricane Odile. Credit: BBC News
Hurricane Odile has seemed to follow in Norbet’s footsteps, bringing 125-mph winds when it landed near Cabo San Lucas. Thousands of tourists and locals were forced to hunker down in luxury hotels that were converted into shelters. And even then, some shelters were destroyed by winds, forcing those people into hotel stairwells for several hours. Hundreds of homes have been destroyed, especially in poorer neighborhoods, and some hungry citizens are looting grocery stores for food and other goods. Trees and power lines were knocked down throughout Cabo San Lucas, and nearly 239,000 people are without power. But while 30,000 tourists have been put up in temporary shelters and 135 minor injuries have been reported, Hurricane Odile has luckily not taken any lives or caused any serious injuries.
Hurricane Odile weakened to a Category 1 on Monday, and then downgraded to a tropical storm on Monday night, but dangerous flash floods and landslides are being warned for the Southwest United States. Some 6-12 inches of rain could fall between Wednesday morning and Thursday night in southern Arizona, with 10 inches or more possible on mountain slopes.
A few years ago, HJ3 was featured on the Discovery Channel’s hit show, SmashLab. On the show, a mobile home was wrapped with HJ3’s carbon fiber and put up against Category 5 hurricane winds. The winds were so strong that they forced the mobile home off of its anchors, sending it tumbling; what’s truly remarkable is that even while it’s rolling, the mobile home stays fully intact. HJ3’s carbon fiber really is strong enough to prevent a house from falling apart in strong hurricane winds! But don’t just take my word for it, check it out for yourself!
HJ3 has been strengthening corroded bridges with carbon fiber for a while now, and the results have been impressive. Throughout the years, carbon fiber has really proven itself to be an innovative rehabilitation material, but we never seem to hear about bridges that are actually constructed with carbon fiber reinforced polymers (CFRP). But why? It seems logical that if reinforced concrete structures could be protected from corrosion right off the bat, the structure’s life expectancies should surpass 70 or 80 years, doubling or even tripling the life expectancies of current designs, right? So have we not heard of these bridges because they don’t yet exist? Well, as it turns out, there are several bridges all over the world that were initially constructed with CFRP materials.
CFRP cable strands and tendons were used in the construction of the Bridge Street Bridge. Credit: michigan.gov
The first CFRP bridge to be built in the United States was the Bridge Street Bridge (aptly named, don’t you think?), in Michigan. It was designed and built by researchers at Lawrence Technical University in 2003, and replaces traditional black steel reinforcement with a combination of stainless steel and carbon fiber materials. The carbon fiber components include both straight and bent bars (for non-tensioned reinforcement), as well as pre-tension carbon fiber strands (used in a manner similar to steel pre-tensioning strands in concrete beams), prestressing CFRP tendons and non-prestressing carbon fiber composite cable strands (to replace steel bars and tendons), as well as carbon fiber mesh fabric. 11 years after its construction, Michigan governor Rick Snyder has commended the success of the bridge, referring to it as “the bridge of the future.”
Lifting the CFRP bridge deck into position took less than 30 minutes. Credit: fiberline.com
CFRP bridges are also prevalent in Europe. While many of them are footbridges, used primarily for pedestrians and bicyclists, their success will likely transition into more road bridges in the near future. One such road bridge, The West Mill Bridge, in Oxford, UK, has been described as “one of Europe’s most advanced highway bridges” for its CFRP construction, even though it’s only 10 meters long.
The West Mill Bridge is “one of Europe’s most advanced highway bridges” Credit: Composites UK
Built in 2002, the bridge utilizes composites in its load-carrying beams, side paneling, and bridge deck. The bridge’s edge beams, footpath, and two crossbeams at each end are constructed of concrete, while its crash barrier is made of steel. The wearing surface itself is actually a polymer concrete as well. All load-carrying elements are made from polyester, glass, and carbon fibers, and the entire bridge was built at a temporary factory, located at the bridge site. After construction was finished, it took less than 30 minutes to lift it and set it into position. Building a bridge with CFRP components comes with several advantages:
Short construction phase
Resistant to water, de-icing salt, and frost
Much longer service life
Minimal maintenance costs
Low operation costs
Less traffic problems due to maintenance
Reduced mass, allowing for smaller cranes, simplified transportation, easier installation, and reduced assembly time and cost
Resistant to chemicals from spillages
New aesthetic possibilities
More efficient geometrically
Want more information about using carbon fiber for bridge repair or construction? Email us today! firstname.lastname@example.org
Corrosion has been blamed for an oil spill that occurred in Wyoming this past May. A backhoe initially nicked a 6-inch underground pipeline, which, over time, resulted in corrosion until the pipeline eventually ruptured. Reports indicate that it’s unclear just how much time passed between initial backhoe damage and when the spill actually took place. 25,000 gallons of crude oil were spilled into the ground in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin, traveling for more than 2 miles before being blocked by a temporary dam, which was put in place to prevent the spill from pouring into the Powder River.
The 25,000 gallon crude oil spill was cleaned up by burning. Credit: kansascity.com
Cleanup efforts “went very well,” according to Bureau of Land Management environmental coordinator Bob Dundas. Initially, the BLM was planning to use vacuum trucks to clean up the spill from the Casper-based Belle Fourche Pipeline, but later decided that burning the spill was a more efficient disposal manner.
The spill is reported to have occurred on federal and state-owned land; no private property was affected. Even though high levels of petroleum remained in the soil for a few weeks following the spill, area groundwater is also said to have been uncontaminated.
While this spill isn’t exactly a disaster, per se, it could have been prevented. After the back-hoe nicked the pipeline, a simple repair would have prevented the corrosion which lead to its ultimate demise. And while traditional repair methods are costly and time consuming, often requiring steel welding and/or total replacement, there are other options available that don’t require replacement at all.
HJ3’s CarbonSeal system is perfect for pipelines of all sizes. Here, a natural gas pipeline has been repaired with HJ3’s carbon fiber.
HJ3’s CarbonSeal™ carbon fiber repair systems provide an innovative approach to repairing nicked or otherwise damaged pipelines. Carbon fiber composites are approved by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) in their standard for repairing pressure equipment and piping. Carbon fiber is actually 10x stronger than fiberglass systems, so less material is needed. The installation is quick, requiring only minimal downtime. And the overall price is competitive. ASME/PCC-2 compliant HJ3 Composite Technologies CarbonSeal systems have been used to repair thousands of linear feet of pipe since the original standard was created in 2008. HJ3’s systems in particular save owners up to 90% on repairs compared to replacing their pipe.
Pipeline ruptures are preventable. As more and more oil refineries and individuals become aware of carbon fiber repair options, spills like this one will become less and less prevalent, but regular inspection of pipelines is key to providing a solid solution.
Want more information about repairing your corroded pipelines? Email us at email@example.com.
Flooding along Arizona’s highways caused road closures and significant damage. Credit: AZCentral.com
On Monday, Southern Arizona experienced its wettest day in recorded history. Remnants from Hurricane Norbet mixed with pre-existing monsoon humidity to cause more than 3.25 total inches of rainfall in one day. The region typically sees 2.71 inches of rain for the entire monsoon season, but on Monday alone, 2.96 inches had already fallen by 8:30 am, and the downpour didn’t let up all day. Two people were killed while trying to escape the rushing waters, and more than 10,000 homes and businesses were left without power. Whole sections of interstates were washed away in Phoenix, and here in Tucson, high waters in the Santa Cruz River have threatened the structural integrity of all bridges along that river. The damage from Monday’s flood continues to mount as saturated soils create instability all around us. And as the damage climbs, so does the repair bill. On top of the countless homes and businesses that will have to be restored, bridges and entire sections of road will have to be rebuilt. But this isn’t the first time that floods have caused so much damage to our transportation infrastructure, and sadly, it won’t be the last.
A bridge collapses in California during a massive flood. Credit: redding.com
In 1927, a flood in Vermont killed 84 people, left another 9,000 homeless, and destroyed 1,250 bridges. An 1891 flood in Arizona collapsed a railroad bridge across the Salt River, causing provisions to run short during the 3-month repair process. A 20-day flood in Oregon and Northern California in 1964 killed 19 and destroyed more than 20 major highway and county bridges, causing hundreds of millions of dollars in damages. But while many of these disasters occur without warning, preemptive efforts can prevent such terrible damage to our infrastructure.
Severe corrosion on the bridge columns.
One DOT recently decided to use carbon fiber to preemptively strengthen one of their highway bridges. Tiny cracks had developed as a result of vibrations from daily traffic passing overhead. Over time, water and oxygen had seeped into the cracks, causing them to expand and corrode the concrete and reinforcing steel rebar within. The bridge had more than 60 corroded concrete columns; the columns were so corroded, in fact, that whole sections of concrete had fallen off, exposing corroded rebar all along. The DOT realized that their bridge would collapse if something wasn’t done to strengthen it soon. They chose to repair the bridge with HJ3’s carbon fiber. Before installing the HJ3 Civil™ system on the bridge columns, all the damaged concrete was removed with chipping hammers. The exposed rebar was cleaned to near-white and protected. Wood forms were constructed around the columns to encase a high-strength grout that was poured in place. Finally, the resurfaced columns were primed, wrapped with HJ3’s carbon fiber fabric, and layered with a protective topcoat.
Restored columns are strong and corrosion-free.
The HJ3 Civil™ system successfully restored the columns’ shear and tensile capacities in only three weeks. The DOT saved 50% compared to replacement costs, and the entire repair was completed with minimal road closures. Thanks to HJ3’s system, the bridge is now corrosion-resistant, preventing the need for future maintenance. Furthermore, repairing their bridge instead of replacing it saved months of downtime, as well as preventing more than a million gallons of water from being wasted in the construction of new columns.
If you have a bridge that requires strengthening, let us know! Shoot us an email at Info@hj3.com.
Manholes are often overlooked by the common passerby, but their importance to the every-day workings of society shouldn’t be. The EPA estimates that there are about 20 million manholes in the United States – that’s about one manhole per every 400 feet of pavement! While manholes are most commonly used for allowing access to sewer lines for maintenance and repair, they are also used to gain access to water, electric, telephone, and natural gas facilities. Keeping these manholes in good condition is vital for the continued success of our cities. Unfortunately, however, many of our manholes are overlooked when sewer system maintenance is performed, which has resulted in serious decay. An estimated 20% of the manholes in the U.S. are between 30 and 50 years old, and more than 3 million are so badly degraded that they require immediate rehabilitation or replacement.
The cementitious liner that had previously been used to repair these corroded manholes in 1996 cracked and failed.
In Pima County, Arizona, 21 manholes originally built in the 1940’s had been previously rehabilitated with a competitor’s cementitious liner, which had failed. As the liner eroded, it started to lose bond adhesion to the substrate, and fragments fell into the sewage stream, threatening the county’s sewage processing system. The manholes required removal of the failed liner, strengthening, and protection from Hydrogen Sulfide Gas.
After removing the eroded liner, the surface of the manholes was sanded with a grinder. The concrete was resurfaced with Quick-Set grout, and all cracks were sealed with a low-viscosity crack injection polymer. The CarbonSeal™ carbon fiber was saturated and installed, and a vinyl ester topcoat was layered over the carbon fiber to protect it from future erosion due to Hydrogen Sulfide gas.
HJ3’s CarbonSeal™ is applied to the interior of the manholes.
HJ3’s vinyl ester topcoat will protect the manholes from Hydrogen Sulfide gas and future erosion.
HJ3’s carbon fiber system saved the county 80% compared to the cost of replacing all 21 manholes. Furthermore, since HJ3’s system repaired the manholes without causing any road closures at all, the county saved months of downtime and prevented almost 62,000 gallons of water from being wasted due to the manufacture of new manholes.
Want more information about CarbonSeal™ and how it can repair your manholes? Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As part of George’s Dojo, HJ3’s philanthropic arm, the HJ3 team dedicates time and money each year to give back to the community as a company as well as on an individual basis. Together, we have dedicated 1,000 hours of community service each year to organizations such as the Salvation Army, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and Habitat for Humanity.
HJ3 recently donated to the Volunteer Lawyers Program (VLP) of Southern Arizona. As a result, VLP anticipates that it will help 700-800 more people in 2014 than it was able to help in 2013!
HJ3 donates to the VLP of Southern Arizona, helping it to service 700-800 more people in 2014 than 2013
In order to bring hope and justice to those who are less fortunate, the VLP of Southern Arizona Legal Aid matches attorneys who wish to do pro bono work with low-income clients in need of civil legal assistance. Each year, the 1,200 attorneys and law students who volunteer through the VLP dedicate time, service and expertise to thousands of Arizonans who would otherwise not have access to justice. To learn more about this fantastic organization, visit www.vlparizona.org.
HJ3 Composite Technologies has been named a finalist in the 2014 Copper Cactus Awards for the category “Best Place to Work”. The Tucson Metro Chamber Copper Cactus Awards presented by Wells Fargo celebrates the accomplishments and innovation of Southern Arizona’s small businesses. The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona Best Place to Work honors businesses that encourage and support professional growth, education and development for employees.
“HJ3 is honored to be a finalist”, says Jim Butler, HJ3’s CEO. “We hope this brings awareness to our company as we are one of Arizona’s fastest growing companies and we are looking to hire.” HJ3 is a finalist among 13 other companies in this category. The list of finalists includes:
Aqua Star International
Casa de la Luz Hospice
Children’s Orthopedic Specialists
HJ3 Composite Technologies
Patio Pools & Spas
Remedy Intelligent Staffing
Tanque Verde Ranch
TCI Wealth Advisors
Technicians for Sustainability
White Stallion Ranch
HJ3 is a finalist in the 2014 Tucson Metropolitan Chamber Copper Cactus Awards presented by Wells Fargo, for the category of “Best Place to Work”
“HJ3 is a leading manufacturer, engineer and installer of carbon composites to strengthen infrastructure. Coming from HJ3′ employees, some of the greatest benefits of working at HJ3 include the open ‘cubicle-free’ environment that fosters communication and collaboration. HJ3 is also a culture dedicated towards service to others. The team has committed 1,000 hours to community service each year through HJ3’s philanthropic arm we have named “George’s Dojo” in honor of our former production manager, George Salustro who passed away. We currently work with organizations such as the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Southern Arizona, the Salvation Army’s Adopt a Family program, Love Everyday, and Habitat for Humanity to name a few. HJ3 is an extremely results-focused organization, and comes together to reward performance and to encourage team building at monthly “Town Hall” events, beginning with company announcements followed by an organized, and often competitive event of bowling, billiards, and laser tag.
HJ3 at the Cystic Fibrosis of Southern Arizona 2014 Great Strides Fundraiser
Additional Copper Cactus award categories include the CopperPoint Small Business Leader of the Year, Cox Business Growth, Nextrio Innovation through Technology, and Tucson Electric Power Charitable Non-Profit Business. The winners in each category will be announced at the awards ceremony on Thursday, October 30 at Casino Del Sol Resort located at 5655 W. Valencia Rd.
HJ3 Composite Technologies is one of 21 small businesses nationwide recently awarded a contract through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The goal with these research grants is to help “develop new solutions to some of our biggest environmental challenges,” said Jared Blumenfeld, the EPA’s regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest.
HJ3, who is known for manufacturing, designing and installing high-strength carbon fiber and glass fiber systems to repair degraded infrastructure, is thrilled to be included in this group. “We are very excited about this award, and we are developing a system to scale it on a commercial level,” said Jim Butler, CEO and founder of HJ3. HJ3 is developing more efficient ways to strengthen corroded drinking water pipe, which is currently a significant cost to owners. “We are developing a new automated way of installing high-strength carbon fiber material to strengthen corroded pipelines,” Butler said. “The result is an increase in productivity by 500 percent,” he said. “Workers can go five times faster in completing the work than in current techniques.”
Jim Butler, CEO of HJ3 Composite Technologies
The EPA contract comes at a time where infrastructure is on people’s minds and in regular conversations. With pipeline breaks and leaks making headlines daily, and the expense of conducting emergency repairs vs. maintenance, this is a serious topic as we continue to plan and work within existing infrastructure repair budgets. We must find creative solutions that do more with less material, less cost and in less time. Fiberglass has been used since 1965 to fix pipelines. In the mid-1980s, carbon fiber was introduced in Japan to repair pipelines. HJ3’s carbon fiber has been successfully used on more than 10,000 applications, worldwide, at a tremendous cost savings vs. replacement of concrete and steel structures.
HJ3’s carbon fiber repair systems are used to fix large and small diameter drinking water pipe
“Now HJ3 is increasing the rate of production. Instead of repairing 100 feet of pipeline at a time, we can do 1,000 feet at a time,” says Butler. “We are still developing it. We did a pilot and proved the concept, and now we are developing the system to scale it on a commercial level,” Butler explained.The $100,000 will be used to finalize the prototypes in Phase 1 of the award, which will be completed in October. HJ3 expects to receive an additional $300,000 for Phase 2, which will be used to commercialize the product. To learn more, please contact HJ3 at email@example.com or by calling 1-877-303-0453.
With the help of the EPA’s grant award, HJ3’s systems will increase in installation time, from 100 feet of pipeline at a time to 1,000 feet